1. Chris
    December 28, 2013 @ 5:47 pm

    I got my Mom a kindle in May 2010; she gave it to me in Sept. and said to learn how to use it and then teach her; i connected it with the internet in 2011. Finally in August 2013, Idownloaded a book onto it. Maybe I’ll read it in 2014. I travel a lot. I look at the kindle and decide to pack a few real books.–lipstickonjenga.com

  2. Tony James Slater
    December 21, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

    Just gotta bite the bullet, and ship ’em! I have hundreds and hundreds of books, my prize possessions, and have just emigrated from the UK to Australia! I took a few, but some things had to take priority – clothes, computers, chargers, my wife’s shoes for gawds sake!
    So we’re organising shipping – half a container. It’ll cost a couple of grand, which I’m currently saving up for, but books in Oz cost a fortune – like more than 3 or 4 times the equivalent back home.
    It’s the price we pay for being book junkies – mind you, I do have a Kindle. Millions of free books to ease the pain, some of them even good – I don’t think I’d ever re-buy books on it, because anything I’ve already owned and read – well, I can hold off reading it until I can ship it. There’s no shortage of new stuff coming out, so no need to duplicate a whole collection just so that it’s nearby – just rebuy the few you can’t live without, wither in paper or e-book form. You’re lucky you’ve got Amazon – over here anything I buy gets posted from the US!!

  3. Anne
    December 19, 2011 @ 8:09 pm

    I received my Kindle as a gift. Though I didn’t expect to enjoy reading on a screen, I’ve become so dependent on it that the past month without one has been painful! (My last one died after a few years and I”m picking one up in the US this week).

    If it were a short trip or a place where I could do the expat book swap, bringing books would be no issue. But for a longer trip the portability factor wins out for me.They’ve also really improved the content and I now use it for small games, foreign language dictionaries, and sometimes download a travel guide to a city for reference. And I’ve been taking advantage of many of the free books lately.

    When in the US, I do often visit the used bookstores or thrift shops and pick up a few books to take back. But buying English books in non-English speaking countries often tends to be pricey

    Hope you have a wonderful trip with Ali over the holidays (and some good reading!)

    • Andrew
      December 19, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

      Thanks. I leave in just a few days. We have a few longer trips and I am determined to try to read her Kindle. I just love the feel of real books, but I get into technology too, so who knows.

      Thanks for the comment and enjoy the time in the US.

  4. Sabrina
    December 5, 2011 @ 11:55 pm

    I’m in the sme boat as you are: travelling and reading don’t really go together that well because of weight restrictions. I know the electronic options are great and that I should switch to one of them, but I really just don’t like reading on a screen. So, I usually buy some cheap paperbacks on half.com before leaving for a trip and leave them as I go through them. They are usually pretty cheap and easy-reading books, so it just frees up some space for things I want to take home from the places I visit and I don’t really lose anything valuable. I try to leave books with people or in hotels that stock used books for other travellers instead of just throwing them – even though I have to admit that I have had to do that before too.

    • Andrew
      December 7, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

      I have gotten used to reading on the screen through my job, though I agree it doesn’t work in the sunlight. The kindle though is pretty cool. It is one of the e-Ink devices. The screen isn’t back lit like a computer, but really is black or white like a piece of paper and just controlled electronically. I was using Ali’s for a bit at one point and they are much more readable. My problem is the lack of the older books, so maybe I’ll just add newer books to hers. Especially as my favorite book store was recently replaced by a clothing thing.

      Half.com is nice too. My dad uses that a lot. Used bookstores in the States are a great option too, though not as prevalent as previously.

  5. Kurt W
    December 5, 2011 @ 9:28 am

    Andrew, I would have to agree that a physical book is of utmost importance when I travel. Usually my trips are short enough that two books will be enough to get me through…but combined with a book swap or buying one along the way it usually seems to be enough to fit into a backpack.

    • Andrew
      December 5, 2011 @ 8:06 pm

      Seriously? Only two books per trip? Admittedly I usually like the enormously long train rides which mean good book reading time, but a trip on my own for only a week is a 1-2 book trip. What kind/length of trips do you do?

  6. Andrea
    December 3, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

    I love books too -it’s so hard when travelling because if I happen upon an English-language bookstore I almost always find something I want to buy. Only the last few weeks have I allowed myself to start picking them up and suddenly people have been giving them to us too – thank goodness it’s almost time to put some things back into our storage because the bags are getting heavy! =)

    • Andrew
      December 5, 2011 @ 8:04 pm

      Yeah, i always have to pack knowing that I will pick up books. This sometimes has meant sending clothing home in boxes in order to accommodate books. Are you guys nearly done and going home? Or what kind of storage do you mean?

  7. Judy Q
    December 1, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

    As we are preparing for our move to Freiburg, our books are some of the toughest items to part with. My husband and I found that it takes a lot of effort to sell them (and of course you don’t get much $ either) and even donating to the library is limited. Alas, many boxes of them will be going into the shipping container next summer to join us in Germany. Hope we will find room for them there!

    • Sanda
      December 1, 2011 @ 7:12 pm

      Yes, it’s really sad that libraries are not keen to take donations anymore. I had a brand new edition of the Stieg Larsson trilogy to give away (so a very popular book, which was forever out on loan, so they could have done with a second copy), and they didn’t want it. I think it has something to do with copyright and lending rights paid to authors.

    • Andrew
      December 1, 2011 @ 11:05 pm

      Oo oo.. Coming to Freiburg with tons of English books? You don’t happen to read fantasy paperbacks, do you? BTW have I mentioned Freiburg English club?

      Bookshelves are pretty cheap and get some tall ones. German rooms have tall ceilings.

      • Judy Q
        December 2, 2011 @ 6:52 am

        Unfortunately, after tremendous editing, the books we are keeping are mostly giant art books. We gave most of our paperback novels away 🙁 I do recommend the Kindle (you can even use a Kindle App on the IPad). It is priceless for traveling. Great to be able to purchase & download English books at whim (it sucks that they are the same price of physical books though!).

        Thanks for the tips, I look forward to meeting follow all English speaking expats in Freiburg 🙂

        • Andrew
          December 3, 2011 @ 4:48 pm

          Yeah I understand the editing and sorting.
          I have heard enough good things about the ebook readers, i will probably try one book on Ali’s and see if I like it. I may however start putting money away for a tablet. I love books, but even still the idea of a single-task object is less appealing if I cant get every book I want.

  8. Jeff
    December 1, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

    I have written a couple of relevant articles that might be helpful to anyone interested in the topic:

    Finding Books on the Road

    The Ultimate Guide to Electronic Book Readers (E-Readers)

    • Andrew
      December 1, 2011 @ 11:06 pm

      Thanks for the resources.

  9. The Honourable Husband
    December 1, 2011 @ 10:58 am

    I love the physical feel of books so much, that I can’t bear to part with one. That leaves book-swapping out for me.

    Andrew, have you tried the “Englische Bücher” bit on amazon.de? I find I can ger almost everything I want there. Kerryn Goldsworthy’s recent book Adelaide has been the only exception, so far.

    • Andrew
      December 1, 2011 @ 11:08 pm

      I tend to like books too, although I have read enough that I have no interest in reading again that I have fodder for the swap.

      I have not looked at Englische Bücher that closely, although I have ordered a few various English things from them.

  10. Frau Dietz
    December 1, 2011 @ 10:54 am

    I only ever take two books with me if I’m going away for a couple of weeks; longer, however, and I take a couple more and go for the book swap route (ensuring whoever I’m travelling with has a couple of good ones too!). I’ve only ever had extremely good luck finding great books to read – a couple of them were keepers and are on my bookshelf now! Plus I’ve bought books very cheaply in, for example, India, that turn out to be lovely mementos of my travels, too.

    • Andrew
      December 1, 2011 @ 11:09 pm

      Two books?? I take two books on a weekend trip. Each train journey needs one and I figure one every few days. This is all when I am traveling alone though. With Ali with me as my traveling partner, I have less need to read and enjoy talking more.

  11. Sanda
    December 1, 2011 @ 10:49 am

    I’ve tried all of the above options and am currently operating with a combination of them. I do find local libraries a great way to discover new books and cultures that I may not have been considering when I had my own familiar favourites close to hand. I do wish that Amazon would shape up with its EU wide delivery, postage and VAT system – or perhaps that should be the EU shaping up?

    • Andrew
      December 1, 2011 @ 11:11 pm

      I don’t seem to notice much difference between ordering on DE or UK, just that for English often the UK is just as fast and cheaper. Yeah, I imagine it is less Amazon itself and more the EU and the shipping companies.

  12. Jarmo
    December 1, 2011 @ 4:36 am

    I got myself a kindle as I was spending whole 2011 traveling. I am quite the fan of books, I read a lot, and I wasn’t completely sold originally on the ebook reader. But after trying it, well it is like reading paper, and you can carry all the books you want. My reading has actually increased since I got it, as now I can easily carry with me the fiction book I am reading and all the factual books I am reading or planning on reading. Sadly my ebook reader broke a month ago, and I am back to swapping books at hostel, it’s horrible, so poor choice! I can’t live like this, I want the option of reading whatever I want. I can’t wait to get a new ebook reader, I don’t think there is going back for me!

    • Andrew
      December 1, 2011 @ 11:12 pm

      I guess I need to look at what I can get for a kindle. My wife has one that I will probably play with at some point. I just like the idea of the physical book. Though the idea of having all my books at once IS appealing.

  13. 50+ and on the Run
    December 1, 2011 @ 1:07 am

    I reluctantly entered the e-book world about 18 months ago, thinking I would hate it, but I don’t. When traveling, I like to take the kindle, but at home I read both paper and e-books–whatever works. I haven’t “re-bought” any books. Also, I can now borrow e-books from my local library, which has saved me tons of $$.

    • Andrew
      December 1, 2011 @ 11:13 pm

      This sounds like a good mix. Books are expensive enough in whatever form. Not individually necessarily, but in the volume that I can go through reading. Are there swapping possibilities on them yet? Lend-a-book program.

  14. Ariana
    November 30, 2011 @ 11:28 pm

    I love the idea of an expat lending library. The thing about travel is that there is always somewhere new you want to go, and it would be hard to get a book for every place. Maybe a travel bookmooch will materialize!

    • Andrew
      December 1, 2011 @ 11:15 pm

      What is bookmooch? The lending library thing is fun, especially as it is amongst friends with similar tastes.

      BTW I love your picture of the books in the phone book from a few days ago.

      • Ariana
        December 1, 2011 @ 11:26 pm

        Thanks, Andrew! Bookmooch.com is a free service that facilitates book swapping. I have used it a ton, it’s really cool. You post books that you have and are willing to part with, and you see if anyone has listed some that you are looking for. When someone mooches a book from you, you pay for the shipping, but when you are sent a book it’s completely free. It’s a really smart, economical system!

        • Andrew
          December 3, 2011 @ 4:46 pm

          Bookmooch looks cool. Apparently they do have some members in Europe. No books i saw interested me in Germany, but totally cool to know abou it.

          • Ariana
            December 4, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

            Yes, there are members all over, which is great. There are also a lot of people that would be willing to ship to you in Germany, so there are still more options. A lot of the books I want are not available, but the wishlist system is cool– when someone lists the title I’m wishing for, I get a notification and can jump on it.

          • Andrew
            December 5, 2011 @ 8:04 pm

            I will have to play with it more. Thanks for the tip.