As I must assume you know by now, I have a deep love for books. Subsequently, having books in order is a crucial part of getting ready to travel. So, considering I am moving to Zimbabwe for 3 whole months in approximately 35 days (!), I had some big, book-related decisions to make.
The last time I traveled, I planned on extremely light reading; first of the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris (after I’d already watched most of the TV adaptation, True Blood). I brought along another longer work of fiction that I needed to read for a Writers Fest review, but mostly ended up listening to Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone while laying on the beach with my husband.
Prior to that trip, the last time I was traveling (besides home to Saskatchewan or on various road trips) was to India in September 2012. This was one of my more difficult reading material decisions, as we were trying to pack light (one large backpack, one small backpack, a camera case and a purse between myself and my husband). But I knew we would be spending a lot of hours on a plane–something like 28 hours to and from India–and a lot of hours on a train–something like 42 hours, albeit a fair amount of those hours were in the middle of the night.
My worst fear (aside from the obvious lost passport and horrible accident stuff) when traveling is to run out of or be bored by reading material.
I decided on Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss; a classic that I’ve been meaning to read for years, and a highly recommended work of fantasy, both of which were extremely long but available in mass market paper bound format for ease of packing.
As it turns out, I only read about 100 pages of Anna Karenina because it was so dense (and I was always so tired). I finished The Name of the Wind near the end of our final flight home.
My husband has our eReader (a Kobo mini that we bought for $50) with him in Zimbabwe, so I am likely to use some gift cards (thanks to Leigh, Phil and Hilary for contributing to my ebook fund!) to purchase ebooks. That, however, is a bridge I am not ready to cross yet: one book decision at a time!
After doing some thorough research with various bookstore employees, and comparing to both my interests and reading goals, here are the books I decided on:
Anna Karenina was easy, because a) I already own it, b) it is small, c) I am determined to read it, and d) I have another copy at home so I can leave this one behind.
As everyone already knows, I love the TV adaptation of Friday Night Lights, so as soon as I found a copy of the Bissinger novel (and realized it was fairly long), it was a no-brainer. It isn’t a tiny book, but it is a paperback so it won’t take up a huge amount of weight in my carry-on bag.
Lastly, and probably most difficult, Gardens of the Moon. In the end, it made a lot of sense, but it was a tough process. I wanted something that was at least sort of in the fantasy genre, and I wanted it to be good, and basically I wanted it to be The Name of the Wind or Game of Thrones. Thankfully, after having a friend recommend this series with glowing excitement, and getting a similar recommendation from a bookstore employee, I felt relatively convinced.
So all that being said, you can expect a follow-up post on how things turn out!
In the mean time, how do you occupy yourself while traveling?
Do you listen to audio books, use an eReader, or kick it old school with paperbacks?
I would love to hear about it.
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