On Tuesday, I drove eight hours to see my younger brother swim at his last collegiate swim meet, a championship meet that runs Tuesday through Saturday. And since I’m only in town for the swim meet, I knew I would be spending most of my off hours in the hotel, with nothing to keep me busy except for the television in my room and whatever I brought with me as entertainment.
So, when packing for this trip, I knew that I’d need at least a few books to make the trip with me. But, with so many books to choose from, I was left with an almost impossible task. Thankfully, there were still two books left on my February TBR list, so those automatically made it into my suitcase. But I wasn’t sure two would be enough. And that’s when the tough decisions had to be made.
For those people who aren’t avid readers, it probably seems like I’m exaggerating, but a true bookworm will understand the conundrum I faced. There are so many different questions that need to be answered when deciding which books to take and which to leave behind. I had to consider how much space I had in my luggage, whether the books needed an extra layer of protection to keep from being bent or ripped (especially important for paperback books!), what type of book I might be in the mood to read (my book choices are very mood specific!), if taking an e-reader was feasible (i.e., would there be adequate access to electricity and WiFi) and how much time I thought I would spend reading (over-packing books isn’t quite as bad as under-packing, but it still isn’t optimal!).
With so many things to consider and not enough time do so, I took the easy way out and packed an e-reader. Two actually (one back-lit and the other not). Thankfully, this trip was one in which I would have constant access to electricity (to recharge my e-readers if needed) and WiFi (to download whatever book tickled my fancy). But I don’t always enjoy using my e-reader. I often prefer the feel of a real book in my hands when I escape into the world of fiction. Which is why I still brought physical books, as well. It’s nice to have the option to pick up a real book every once in a while. And one of the books I brought was actually a library book that I’d already finished, but I lent it to my mom so she could read it this week instead of waiting for a copy to be available from her local library!
Now, I did spend the first two days I was in town exploring the local university and downtown area, and I get to spend an hour at lunch with my brother each day (visitation hours are limited because the swimmers are supposed to be focused on the meet, and they have other obligations like schoolwork!). So, I did spend a good part of my “down time” not reading in my hotel room. But, this week, I have managed to finish two books, and I’m halfway done with a third…and my mom already finished her book and returned it to me!
As such, it seems like this trip was a success when it comes to the books I brought! But that hasn’t always been the case. Especially when bringing an e-reader isn’t an option!
Question(s) of the week: Do you prefer to take physical books or an e-reader with you when traveling? Does the length of the trip make a difference (e.g., day trip, weekend getaway, two-week vacation, etc.)?
***I would like to end this post by saying that I recognize and acknowledge my privilege in this situation. I know not everyone has the same opportunities, and I am lucky to live a life where these are the “problems” I am facing.