I love to travel; to see new sights, to learn about new places, to observe people from all over. I especially love a road trip. Since childhood, I’ve loved the sound of the highway passing under the speeding tires, the changing landscape as we passed through state after state on our way to Missouri or Florida or New York or Texas, and collecting rocks or flowers or brochures during a stop to stretch our legs. Road trips, more than flying (unless it is a very long flight), are a reader’s paradise. There was a time when I would pack at least three novels every time we set out on the road (three thick books or five thinner books – always paperback). Now, thanks to e-readers, I can take hundreds with me and save space in my luggage for souvenirs (or more books).
I know, I know – this is a controversial subject among bibliophiles. To e-read or not to e-read, that is the loaded question. I love books – the feel of them, the smell, the satisfying sound of turning pages as I disappear further into the world of my chosen novel. I really miss those things when I’m reading on my e-reader. But the electronic libraries have their pros too. The biggest one for me and the reason I got one in the first place is that I no longer have to pack five books for a 10-day vacation. And if I don’t like the book I’ve started and want to take a break, I have hundreds more to choose from (and millions more to download if I run out of reading material – Ha Ha). Plus, with the e-reader, the pages don’t shake when you’re on a particularly bumpy road (and being from Louisiana I know about bumpy roads!), I can adjust the font size to lessen eye strain, and change the page color to make nighttime reading easier and less aggravating to others trying to sleep.
But what about the ever-draining battery? That’s what chargers are for. Before a road trip a few years ago, I purchased a car adapter for my e-reader and now I never have to stop reading unless it’s my turn to drive or I just want to take in the passing scenery.
Of course, there are times when you just can’t drive and you have to take an airplane. Simple. Bring a book for the flight. Or buy one at the airport. When you’re finished with it, just leave it for someone else to enjoy or find a second-hand bookstore or library that takes used books.
E-readers definitely have their purposes – I also like to use mine when I’m on the treadmill or stationary bike because it doesn’t shake or flop like the pages of a book – but I do miss my precious books when I’m away. The first thing I did after unpacking when I returned from my last trip was to grab my next book off the shelf and inhale that singular ink and paper scent. Divine.