Well, it’s been a little while since I’ve blogged, partly due to traveling and also due to a cold that knocked out my energy for almost two weeks. But I’m back, and I’ve got lots of posts coming up! I decided to post this today because I’m catching up on writing projects at one of my favorite places — a library. I don’t know if most writers share this sentiment, but libraries and bookstores tend to be one of my most inspirational and productive locactions for writing.
As much as I love them, though, I’ve found that when I try to combine books and travel, I encounter some issues. Do you run into these problems?
1. My luggage is always too heavy.
I’m actually a light packer, thanks to a lot of practice. I made it through our ten days in Italy with just a carry-on, with room to spare.
But where I struggle is with reading material. It’s bad enough that I start most trips with too many books. You’d think that owning a Kindle would solve this problem, but even when I stick to digital reading on a trip, I rarely go anywhere without bringing home books. And then I almost pass out when I try to hoist my bag into the overhead bins.
2. Cool libraries and bookstores require a detour.
I’ve detoured for books so frequently that I now pre-scope book stops, because they’re going to happen anyway if I stumble upon a cool place by accident. Google image searching “city name + library” is now an automatic part of trip planning.
Just in the past year or so, I’ve seen Salt Lake City’s amazing library, Charleston’s Blue Bicycle Books, Orlando’s downtown library (with a bookstore inside that sells their “dusties” for cheap!), Venice’s Acqua Alta bookstore, and more. At least it’s always a free diversion, until I buy some books.
3. There is never as much time to read on vacation as I think there will be.
Maybe it’s just me, and maybe I need to stop taking vacations to places where I’m always out and about and try a vacation in a remote cabin, but there is never enough time to read when I travel. I always have these delusions of grandeur that I will spend uninterrupted hours lost in a book, and it very rarely happens.
4. I spend more time thinking about what books to pack than anything else that should come with me.
I am not exaggerating this, especially for big, planned trips. I have a thing about reading just the right book in particular places. I’ve been known to pack enough books for a month, and then forget basics like socks. And of course, I spend hours thinking about which books I should bring, only to finish maybe one of them on most of my trips. (Because of what I said above.) My idealism is unfailing in this area.
Despite it all, I’ll keep reading when I travel.
You’d think I’d learn my lessons, but I won’t. There’s nothing like finding a book I’ve been on the hunt for in a random bookstore and reliving that memory whenever I see it on my bookshelf, or associating certain novels with certain locales. I’ll keep accepting these “issues” of book travel, because I won’t stop reading, or traveling, or doing them together.