One of my favourite TV characters, Rory Gilmore from The Gilmore Girls, always carried several books around in a backpack with her. She wanted to make sure she had something to read, but was never sure which genre she was going to feel like. Whenever we saw her waiting, she was absorbed in a book.
There are many of us with a similar philosophy, partly contributing to the surging popularity of e-readers. I was particularly bad as a teenager, often with my head in a book while I walked down the street. And I spent so much time reading in the car, when it was time to get my driver’s licence, I didn’t really know how to find my way around (I am sad to say it was a small country town so it shouldn’t have been difficult!).
One of the pleasures of reading, though, is the way you can do it anywhere. It’s cheap, portable, and comforting. Dipping into a good book or magazine can make you feel at home wherever you are.
It’s also lovely to read about something near where it happened. A friend of mine read Into Thin Air at Everest Base Camp. I’ve not been quite so adventurous, but I remember how much I was enjoying reading We of the Never Never as we drove through the Northern Territory of Australia. The only problem was a visit to the site of the old homestead and cemetery written about in the book—before I’d finished it. Of course, the ending was revealed, and I stood there wishing for the equivalent of a real-life spoiler alert :)
Here are a few ideas for managing reading on the go (if you don't have an e-reader):
- Think about where you will be, what you will be doing, and how much time you will have when choosing your reading material.
- Try not to overwhelm yourself with too much choice. An achievable pile of reading is more motivating than taking too much.
- Set a limit, such as two books and one magazine.
- To help you decide, or if you have to grab something quickly but still want to make a good decision, make a fast and unfiltered pile of everything you might possibly want to take. Then sort quickly into three piles: definitely want to read; maybe; and not really. Discard the last two piles, and choose from your pile of definites.
- Place books and magazines into their own bag or module, which will protect them and allow you to move them easily between other bags and locations.
- A good time to purchase a new book or magazine you’ve wanted is when you have a trip coming up. Set them aside so you have something extra to look forward to.
- If you are travelling light, you can buy or borrow books from many different sources—airports, friends, fellow travellers, bookshops, hotels, caravan parks, laundries. Then trade or leave them in a public place for someone else to read.
I’d love to hear how you organise reading material while you travel, or even whether you take a book or e-reader with you every time you leave the house?