Tooth brush, under wears, mini flash light, gloves… These are the things on your list when you packing. Everyone has their style and secret weapon. one of mine is a book.
Well it’s not a secret per se, because lots of backpackers bring one or two books. But it’s easy to miss. Now everyone has laptop or net book and smart phone so meaning of reading out of thick sheaf of paper is fading away. Reading a book in the airport is one way to spend time but now we can watch movie, update status or simply surfing on the web. However still I think reading from the book is better than ebook.
I love reading. My brother and I used to go the biggest bookstore where we could sit and read every day. We had a competition ‘who reads more’. I remember I beat my brother by reading 7 books. Now I’m thinking, we were such a good kids. 🙂 Anyway, reading is one big part of my life. Bring a book was totally natural step when I pack for backpacking.
My the first choice of the book was ‘Walden’ by Henry David Thoreau. I didn’t pick it up by any reason; just I happened to buy it during packing. Since I was going to New Zealand, the choice seems appropriate enough. I’m a fast reader, but it took me half a month to read all that. Well, reading was not the main part of the travel. As you can see, I love reading and I love books, so I don’t throw my books away but I had to make a choice that time. But the problem was that even if I wanted to donate it, the book was in Korean and I’ve never met a single Korean traveler, so how can I? So I drag the book around quite a while and found a Korean society to give my book away. I think that was my first official book donation. Who knew I could do that in overseas?
In the country of Lord of the rings, well… not really but became one because of the movie, bought old copies in just few bucks. Old smell of paper-second hand book-published in 90s, awesome! That became one of the routine. English books are quite expensive in my country because we have to import everything. So just pick books from flee market or street.
Also I bought few star maps from New Zealand. Astronomy is a big portion of my life, so I had to know what’s it like in Southern hemosphere. 🙂 It’s hard to get from where I’m from but Southern hemosphere star map is ‘normal’ thing here, right? One of my treasure now.
Before I went to Cambodia, thought about buy a guide book or not like usual. Sometimes it’s useless, nonetheless I like guidebooks but they are pretty pricy. Gotta love social media… I put my thought up in Facebook or twitter about Cambodia guide book and experienced backpackers advised me don’t buy it until you get there. I said ‘What??’ but there was this new world, called ‘book of Xeroxed version’. Oh my. So I printed out some essential details and waited till get there. First day arrived, went to market to find some and bam, there they were, xeroxed version of… everything. Lonely planet of Cambodia, map, Vietnam, and various other countries. Guide book to Angkor archeology park, and even novels. So I picked up Cambodia quide book, a book about Angkor kingdom and few novels. That cost me just about 15USD. How crazy is this? One Lonely planet guide book is 30USD or something. Ha! Gotta love South East Asia and xerox. 🙂
That was a nice surprised and good reading material – extremely sad stories though.
In Jeju island, one rainy day we were all hanging out at a guesthouse and chatting about books and movies. One of them were reading a book about Turkish history, and other was reading the fighting club. She introduced me ‘The beach’, which made a movie out of of novel many years ago, filmed in Thailand. And I recommend Eat, Pray, Love and Julie and Julia.
After a week later we met again in Seoul, I gave Julie and Julia to her. Spread word to the world!
In the 101 building of Taipei, there’s this book store called ‘Paper one’. I don’t know what is the big deal with this bookstore and neither did Meaghan and other girls who’s advised must visit by their friends back in Hong Kong. Okay, we all like to read and why not? It was.. well just a book store but yes, it was good. It was my second last day in Taipei, so I felt like to buy one souvenir for me. God knows I love souveniers. I gave myself 60% off Spanish a day calender and 30% off Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre is one of my favourite books but never tried it in English before and I’m trying to learn Spanish so all valid choices. 🙂
I have many fond memories about books while on the road. Sometimes it allows me to back in a little comfort zone, gives me unrealistic imagination in my dream destination, one solution for jet lag, and of course, sometimes it’s just for fun. Pack a book or two, it is going to be another expedition in your travel-or maybe not. I can’t promise anything for you, you know. 🙂 But it was for me, so who knows?