I’m one of those people who nearly always has a book in her bag. I do a lot of my reading on the train, but I also bring a book when I have an appointment with the dentist or the hairdresser. It goes without saying that I also bring a book whenever I’m going on vacation!
Of course, I’m not going on vacation just to read. Whenever I visit a place, I want to see and do a lot of things. Still, there are the inevitable ‘dead’ moments, such as in the evenings on your hotel room or while waiting for your plane on the airport. It’s nice to have something to read with you, even if it’s just to pass the time, especially if you’re travelling alone. Thus far, my trips were usually short — a few days, at most. I’d make a conscious decision to bring one (and only one) book; a fairly thick mass market paperback to save space/weight, but wouldn’t finish too quickly.
Next month, though, I’ll be taking my very first long trip — to Japan, in case you’re curious. A long trip, in the sense of both flight time (11 hours), and my actual stay (2 weeks). Obviously, I’m quite excited and I’ve already made the majority of my intended preparations. However, being the geek that I am, I already find myself attempting to decide on which book(s) I’ll be taking with me.
This is actually kind of interesting for me, since a vacation is usually the only time where I decide which book to read prior to actually reading them. I’m very much a mood reader, after all.
Of course, the easy solution is to buy an e-reader so I can bring multiple books without having to worry about space or weight constraints (especially on the way back, because I’m pretty much certain that I’ll buy stuff in Japan). I’m reluctant to buy a device I won’t use much (I’m not even sure if I’d even use it again in the future), however, so I’ve decided to stick to physical books anyway.
Still, there are some obvious constraints. To save space/weight, I’d want to bring as few books as possible, and they’ll have to be small and relatively light. However, I don’t want to bring something I’d finish too quickly, so nothing too thin, easy, and/or sporting large font. I don’t expect to be able to buy something I can read in Japan, after all. The genre of the book(s) won’t matter much.
I just pulled some mass market paperbacks from my shelves to see if they were a viable option to bring with me. I’ve selected them based on their size, page number, and font size. I won’t be taking all of them; they’re just up for consideration.
The Stand (Stephen King)
My copy has 1436 pages, so it’s a brick. It’s also the heaviest out of the bunch, but on the other hand: I’m pretty sure I’d only need to bring one other book with me since the font is really small, there’s very few empty spacing and Stephen King isn’t necessarily quick reading with all the building up he does. Then again, this one might be a bit of a pain to drag along my Shinkansen rides. On the other hand, maybe I could just read this one during my flight/in the evenings, and use the other one as my ‘take along’ book?
The Chronicles of Chrestomanci, volume I (Dianne Wynne Jones)
With 593 pages, this one is pretty decent size. It’s a brick, but not as much of a brick as The Stand. It’s not heavy, either, and I’ve had it lying around on my shelf for ages. A nice fantasy might be just the thing to take on vacation! It’s also the lightest on the list in terms of weight, I think.
Watership Down (Richard Adams)
Yeah, it’s a classic. Never read it before, though, and it’s been on my TBR for a while so it might be a good opportunity to read this one. My copy is nearly 500 pages with tiny font and it’s not heavy. I’m roughly familiar with the synopsis though, so I’m not sure if this is suitable for vacation.
NOS4R2 (Joe Hill)
Another one that’s been on my TBR for ages (looks like that’s a theme). One might question the decision to take a horror novel with me on a vacation alone, but with nearly 700 pages it’s also a brick. It’s not as heavy as The Stand, though, so it’s easier to carry.
Assassin’s Apprentice (Robin Hobb)
With 480 pages, this one is the thinnest option, but it’s still not exactly something I’d expect to finish in an hour or two. Pretty much the same reason as The Chronicles of Chrestomanci; a nice fantasy might be just the thing!
I’ll probably end up bringing 2 to 3 of these books with me at most — one in my hand luggage, the remaining one(s) in my suitcase. I think that should carry me over for two weeks! I don’t expect to finish reading 2-3 books while in Japan since I have plenty of stuff planned, but I’d rather not get bored on my flight back.
Thankfully, I still have some time left to decide which books to take with me!
How do you decide which books to bring with you on vacation? Do you bring any? Do you decide beforehand, or do you pull something random off your shelf five minutes before leaving? How many books do you usually take with you on vacation? Or do you own an e-reader? What do you think of my options? Let me know in a comment!