Booking Through Thursday: Traveling with Books

House of Seven Gables

This week’s Booking Through Thursday prompt asks “When you travel, how many books do you bring with you? Has this changed since the arrival of e-books?”

How many books I pack for trips depends on how long I plan to be gone. I usually just take one because I don’t often find time to read on vacations when I take them. However, I took my Kindle on my most recent trip to Salem. I took no other books. My travel reading packing has definitely changed since ebooks. For one thing, I was able to download Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of Seven Gables the day I visited the actual house. In fact, if I had taken my Kindle with me to visit the House of Seven Gables itself, I could have downloaded the book at the actual site and might have begun reading it in the beautiful gardens next to the house. I might not pack actual books for trips ever again. My Kindle is much lighter, and packing it instead means I can actually take more books than I otherwise would be able to take. Also, if I decide on a whim to read something else, I can download a new book in about a minute. Can’t beat it.

I found some bookish news you might be interested in. Related to e-books and travel is Attributor’s finding that e-book piracy is on the rise. Probably not a huge surprise to folks with e-readers. For the record, all my books are either free titles or legally purchased books (in case you were wondering). I think maybe Kindle’s closed format (not allowing ePub formats, for example) probably prevents piracy, but you can still load them with PDF’s, provided the books have been made available in that format.

LitWorld wants to help one million children learn to read by 2014. You can help! In related news, and Amazon are working together to digitize African books and provide access to e-books by African readers and e-readers for students in Ghana. Nice to see folks pitching in to increase literacy and also to help make reading easier and more accessible.

photo credit: danahuff

Reading and Changing

Reading the International Kindle in the hammockThe New York Times reviews Stanislas Dehaene’s new book Reading in the Brain: The Science and Evolution of Human Invention. The review discusses some interesting insights regarding our brains and reading. I thought the insights regarding how we read differently now in the Internet age were especially intriguing given my task as an English teacher.

NPR examines how e-books are changing reading as well. Some folks considered it a big shocker when more e-books than paper books were sold this Christmas. Considering how easy they are to download, and also considering the fact that a lot of folks probably received Kindles for Christmas, I’m not surprised. I looked all over the place for my copy of Outlander when I wanted to re-read it recently, and I just couldn’t find it. I checked Amazon and discovered the book was available for Kindle, so I purchased it to read on my iPhone Kindle app, and it was on my phone immediately available. No trip to the library or bookstore. No waiting for it to arrive by mail. And it was cheaper, too. The only downside, as I see it, is that Amazon doesn’t appear to allow you to use gift certificates on Kindle purchases. I, too, have affection for paper books and their beautiful covers, but I have found reading on my iPhone very easy and convenient.

photo credit: TheCreativePenn