Have Books, Will Travel

It was two weeks ago today that I left for a European adventure around the Baltic. For me, getting ready to travel is more than just packing, holding the mail and newspaper and cleaning out the fridge. I need to read!

As soon as I make the reservations I am at the store getting travel books – it’s how I get my feet wet to this new location, start to develop my list of must sees and begin to get excited about the trip. I enjoy my collection of travel guides as an added reminder of some amazing places I have been fortunate enough to travel to. My collection, however, was getting out of hand, so I have now culled down the vast amounts of books to my favorite locations and ones that have beautiful photos that supplement the 100s or 1000s (as in the case of this trip, with more than 1100 edited photos) that I have taken.

But, if I have the time I also like to read about the locations in fiction and non-fiction works. While I didn’t mention my trip in my blog before I left (since I wasn’t sure of my internet access situation, I didn’t want to have auto posts that I couldn’t check up on) a look at my reading list told a tale of my pending travels: Crime and Punishment, The Madonnas of Leningrad and The Reader, along with a non-fiction cultural history of Russia Natasha’s Dance. Back before the trip was planned I had read The Zookeeper’s Wife – otherwise I probably would have added that in too. One that I wish I had read (well actually re-read) Hamlet because my travels also took me to Elsinore and Kronborg Castle.

In addition to the reading before the trip, another important part of the prep and packing is choosing the books that will be traveling with me. Weeks in advance I had started The Pile.

This trip’s pile included: The 19th Wife, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Olive Kitteridge, Commencement and Confessions of a Jane Austin Addict (for Everything Austen). This was WAY too many since I slept most of the time on the plane, tried to keep up with my travel journal when I could, was uploading and editing all the photos I took and was so busy hopping around from place to place that there wasn’t much in the way of free time. But, I like to have a variety of options, and the extra weight was good just in case I didn’t make it to the gym, lol.

I only got two books finished, The 19th Wife and The Time Traveler’s Wife, and am less than 100 pages into Olive Kitteridge, but at least I have my books lined up for pool reading and any other trips I might find myself on this summer.

So now I’m home and trying to get back in the swing of things.

Thanks to all who have remained followers and subscribers even with the 2 week silence, I really appreciate it!!


What do you do to prepare for a trip? Do you read fiction and non-fiction based on your destination? How do you pick out what you will bring with you while you travel? Do you only take a specific genre while you are on vacation?

Also, do you have a favorite travel guide you always buy when you are going to a new location?


Happy Reading, and safe travels to anyone who is about to head off for their summer vacation.


4 Responses

  1. Since I don’t go on any trips as exciting as that, about the most I ever do is buy a travel guide. Did you happen to make it to Lithuania?

  2. I will usually check out a travel guide or two but I mostly check out travel online because the sites tend to be more up to date and you can look at comments from other travelers. I always bring way too many books but last year in Italy I traveled by train a lot so I ended up reading all that I took.

  3. Great post! I haven’t taken too many trips lately, but when I am travelling somewhere, either home to visit family or planning to book a cottage I often think of the reading “space” that I will have, Eg, does the cottage have a nice patio? Are there comfy chairs? Geeky, I know, but I love the reading experience in different spaces.

    As for what I will read, usually I just take whatever I feel like on impulse (and usually more than I’ll need…just in case).

  4. Welcome back! I always take far more books than I an ever read when I travel (and generally acquire more wherever we are if I can find an English bookstore). But the alternative would be to run out and that would be ghastly!

    I just started reading Olive Kitteridge as well. I’m liking it so far and hoping to finish it tomorrow or Monday morning so it doesn’t have to travel with me once more this summer.

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