Posted in Reading

Why I Still Take Real Books on Vacation

I rarely read on e-readers. I have an old Kindle and the Kindle app on my phone, and I use them once in awhile, but I still prefer to hold a real book in my hands. Even on vacation.

Packing for a trip is always hard. Even after I’ve figured out what to wear, counted out the right amount of underwear, and accepted the fact that I don’t need ALL those pairs of shoes, I still have to decide what books to bring.

One for the plane, and one in case I finish that one. One for the trip itself—something short like poems or short stories that I can read in small bursts. Local theme is a bonus. Then maybe something different for the plane home. Let’s see… how many books is that now?

It’s times like these—when I’m considering ditching my raincoat for one more volume of poetry—that I envy those friends who love their e-readers. So many books in such a small space. I get it, I do.

But I doubt I’ll ever convert, and here’s why: Physical books are sponges. They pick up sights and sounds and smells and tuck them away into their pages. Books remember things that we forget. Their bent corners and coffee stains tell stories that would be lost on a Nook or iPad.

Whenever I fly, I use my plane ticket as a bookmark. And when someone in a far-away state or foreign country is rattling off directions to me, I often jot them down in the back cover of whatever book happens to be in my hands.

I have journeys and adventures sitting on the shelves in my living room, just waiting for me to pick them up and relive them. There’s no way I’m giving that up.

Books, come with me. Let’s go see the world together.

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