Admission up front — I’m a travel agent and a regular traveler. I understand the advantages of reducing weight and bulk in luggage and limiting what’s in a carry-on bag.
Yet, I don’t travel with a Kindle or other E-Reader, and have no plans to switch. Here are my six reasons why.
1. I like paper, I like being able to fold a page down, easily flip back and forth. And I like the feel in my hands. Of course, there are more practical reasons.
2. If a book gets lost, it’s relatively easy and cheap to replace. Ditto, if it gets wet, covered in sand, etc.
Also, while electronic readers are reasonably durable, friends tell me they do get scratched and they can be broken.
3. If you’re sociable, or even if you just want ideas for new books to read, a quick chat with other people on the plane or by the pool about what they’re reading can be fun.
Over the years, I’ve actually found a few new favorite authors either from my seeing someone’s book, asking about it and vice versa. (On the other hand, I suppose that an E-reader might be useful for anything you feel a bit embarrassed about reading in public; a recent women’s trilogy comes to mind.)
4. Many hotels have lending libraries where you can drop off a used book and pick up one in exchange. So, one book can turn into many.
Plus, if you’re traveling somewhere where books are scarce, you can also often donate them. When we were in Kenya some years ago, our guides told us they would love any books we were done reading.
5. Books do not have to be powered down when the aircraft door closes and kept powered down until 10 minutes after takeoff. (On a flight that sits on the tarmac for a while, this can mean up to an hour with nothing to read except the inflight magazine and SkyMall catalog.)
6. Seeing a book at home on a shelf can be a pleasant vacation memory. This can be especially true if you read books set in your destination. I’ll often remember and associate a particular book with the trip where I read it.
Now, of course I do realize that E-books and E-readers are the wave of the future, and I suppose at some point I may have to break down. But for now they’ll have to pry my books out of my hands.
How about you, Consumer Traveler readers? What do you think? And have I missed any reasons to stick with paper?
Photo: ©Nomidic Lass, Flickr Creative Commons