Can a bookworm really manage a 4 month trip without a kindle?

I am a total bookworm.

I love to read, especially whilst on holiday, but when travelling, even more so. Whether it’s on a bus, beach, plane or hammock being able to get stuck into a good book is an essential for me on any trip.


On the move…

The trouble with being a total bookworm is that I can devour a good read in just a couple of days. This doesn’t bode well when you’re trying to pack light for an epic 4 month trip and therefore can’t pack the 20 books you wish to take with you…

Nowadays technology has provided a solution for most issues in life and this includes offering a portable library… e.g. the Kindle.


…or on a beach – a book is essential

However, for a number of reasons I decided against buying a kindle for the trip, instead choosing to take a couple of books with me and embark on a reading adventure which meant relying on hostel book exchanges for an ever-changing library.

I opted to not buy a kindle for a number of reasons

  1. I was saving every penny for the trip away and a kindle costs anything from £59-169 not to mention the further cost of having to buy books to download onto it
  2. I was working so much and had other top priority things to sort out in the little spare time I did have (e.g. vaccinations, malaria tablets and buying a backpack) that I actually didn’t have any time to research, source, buy, and load up a kindle
  3. I am one of those (slightly sad) people that really prefers reading a proper book
  4. I kind of liked being faced with the challenge of finding interesting books (in English) to read all the way round

Even the tiny island of Little Corn, Nicaragua had a local library/book swap

So here is how it went – I bought a book from Oxfam ( a way of buying books that I would really recommend by the way) then in the airport we treated ourselves to a 3-for-2 books offer.

So between us we had 4 books (plus a Lonely Planet);

  • Last Voyage of the Valentina – Santa Montefiore (airport buy)
  • Bridget Jones; Mad About the Boy – Helen Fielding (Oxfam buy)
  • Unbroken; A WWII Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption – Laura Hillenbrand (airport buy)
  • Young Money; Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street’s Post-Crash Recruits – Kevin Roose (airport buy)

(Kind of an odd selection but all were really good reads and would definitely recommend them)

And the swaps we found…

  • Shopaholic Ties The Knot – Sophie Kinsella (No.3 in the series)
  • Shopaholic And Baby – Sophie Kinsella (No.5 in the series)
  • Cheryl ; The Autobiography – Cheryl Cole (well, they weren’t always exactly top quality reads…)
  • Slam – Nick Hornby
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austin (which I have meant to read for the last 10 years)
  • The Undomestic Goddess – Sophie Kinsella
  • Bergdorf Blondes – Plum Sykes

We found a few more as well along the way which was plenty to keep us amused on our many long journeys.


Stuck in to a good book on Tierra Bomba, an island of Cartagena, Colombia

In all, even though the ‘quality’ of books we found often dipped we had a great time reading a whole range of books, trying to find English texts and bringing them with us on different legs of our journey.

Plus it meant we had one less electrical and charger to carry… perfect!

Stay tuned to hear more of my top travel tips!


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