Travelling with Books




Alex Tang



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Travelling with Books

Alex Tang


For the last three weeks I have been travelling around Istanbul in Turkey and key significant archaeological sites in Greece with just one paperback book. No, my reading during travels have not slowed down. I have most of the books I want to read in digital format in my iPhone and iPad. I used to measure the length of my journey by the number of paperbacks I will read. Destination London one way is a two paperback journey (12 hours) while San Francisco is a three paperback one (18 hours). This means I usually lug around 10-15 kg of books in my luggage during my travels. If I have to choose between books or clothes in my luggage, books usually wins.

Nowadays I travel with only one paperback to read during take off and landing and at other times when digital appliances are forbidden. Otherwise, I read using my iPhone 6 plus (which has a larger screen) or my iPad. And I can carry more books. My devices has about 1,000 books on them. However these ebooks have no weight. My luggage is lighter and when it wears out, I will buy smaller ones.

I am also able to highlight, make notes and comments on my ebooks. This is extremely important for me. Another advantage is that I have Microsoft Word on my iPad which allows me to write while travelling. In the past I have to bring a laptop computer along.

Technology has changed reading and books during travels. At home I still prefer to read hard-copies-books which I can touch, smell and feel. I am still a devout hardcopy bibliophile. However, I cannot deny the advantage of ebooks for portability and convenience.

The paperback I brought along was Valerio Massimo Manfredi's Odysseus: The Oath. Valerio is an Italian historian and archaeologist. I always liked his books. While travelling in Asia Minor and Greece, I find it refreshing to read this retelling of the Homer's Iliad main protagonist Odysseus. I have enjoyed reading it. This book ends with the fall of Troy. I look forward to reading it sequel, Odysseus: The Return. Of course, I will read a hard or softcopy book, not an ebook one at home.






















09 May 2015














"treat, heal, and comfort always"

 "spiritual forming disciples of Jesus Christ with informed minds, hearts on fire and contemplative in actions"  


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