Reading & Books on the Road
“Reading is the basic tool in the living of a good life” Mortimer J.Alder
If I were to be re-born as an animal I think it would be a book-worm, simply so I could immerse myself fully in the written word, inside and out. I love reading, simply love it, and one of the biggest worries we had going full-time on the road was giving that up. At home we had a 400+ book library, and it was almost heart-breaking to pack it away. We took a measly 30 books on the road.
Thankfully, in this modern day and age there are plenty of options for book-loving-full-time-nomads like ourselves. Here’s just a few:
1/ Electronic Readers – I’ve always been one of those people who said I could never read a book electronically. I love the feel & look of paper, and just couldn’t imagine giving that up. Hubby bought a Kindle some time ago, and after I’d read our mini-RV-library for the 10th time I broke down and bought one too. It’s been one of my best purchases ever and I’ve enjoyed more reading since we got the Kindle than I have in the past many years. If you haven’t tried it, you should. Not only is it portable and light, there’s an enormous selection of free “classics” in the wireless storefront, plus amazingly it’s really, really pleasant to read. The connection is decent, and we’ve had access to download books in all but our most remote campsites. There are lots of other electronic readers out there (e.g. Apple IPad, Nook), but we’re very happy with the Kindle.
2/ On-Line Book Swaps – To supplement the Kindle we also do on-line book-swaps. Most book-swap sites are free services based on the honor system. You place any books you’d like to swap on-line. If someone orders it you post it at your expense and get an online “credit” once it’s received. With that “credit” you can ask for any of millions of books (sometimes also CDs, or DVDs) posted by others and receive it for free. The only negative is that posting takes a while. Most swap sites use low-cost Media mail which can take 2-3 weeks to arrive. Since we travel around we can’t get books sent to us directly, so we ship to our mail forwarder (we use Alternative Resources in SD) and stick with light books when we do it. Here’s some of the best swap-sites:
3/ On-site Book Swaps – Lots of RVers love to read, so you’ll find plenty of people willing to swap on the road. Some RV campsites will have a swap library on-site or in the laundromat. Also, some local bookstores will buy or barter used books as well.
So, fear not that your mind will be idle. Go ahead and kick back in your RV backyard, crack open your favorite author and enjoy the view.