Reading during a long flight or commute can pleasantly pass the time. Even once you’ve arrived, a good book can convert any environment into a place of leisure. Not to mention, reading in public places immerses you into the local culture (i.e. cafe or park).
Unfortunately, lugging your personal library around can be cumbersome. Books add poundage to your suitcase—baggage fees are steep enough without paperweight—and take up precious space. Thus, you must select your titles strategically for books not to become a travelling hassle.
Matching Trip Duration with Book Length
On a weekend trip, just bring a slim narrative—something light for your downtime. Over a week-long trip, maybe consider a story with more heft. That said, the more pages it contains, the bulkier it gets in your suitcase.
Small novels are typically easier to store than large ones. You can line the bottom of your suitcase with them without taking much room vertically. Same goes for paperbacks versus hardcovers. Paperbacks can bend to the contours of your clothes and toiletries. Your hardcovers will sit like a brick and occupy substantial space.
Note: when packing big books, pick your titles smartly. You won’t have room for a backup, so choose a series or author that you always enjoy.
Buying Books Abroad
If you care less about reading in transit, then buy your books once settled into the new city. Local malls, libraries and thrift shops will certainly offer titles of interest.
Digitalizing Your Book Collection
If you’re worried about weight, an e-reader proposes a solution. You can download as many titles as you like—at home or over Wi-Fi—without cluttering your bag. This is excellent protection against changing your mind or picking a bad book. With huge selections of free books, you can trial-and-error as you please.
That said, e-readers come with three disadvantages:
- Value—electronics cost more than paper, plus they are more fragile and attractive to thieves;
- Non-Disposable—not that you intend to throw your books away, but you cannot donate e-readers to free space on your return;
- Charging—you’ll need to charge your device to ensure interruption-free reading time!