Packing Books for BlogHer '11? My Five Tips
What books are you packing in your bags to take to BlogHer '11? I know, I can hear you -- no one has time to read at BlogHer. We're in sessions! We're at parties! We're hanging out with people we only see once a year! That's true. Many of us also have to travel to get there and I'll be honest, sometimes a quiet five minutes in a corner with a book is just want I need to recharge. Pack a book, you'll thank me, but be smart about it. Here are my five tips for packing books.
E-books are your friend: If you have a device you can read e-books on I can't recommend it enough. E-books have totally changed how I pack books for a trip. Before I go on any trip I load my e-reader up. I have more reading selection on trips than I ever before and it's really not that expensive since I use a mix of purchased e-books and library e-books. Bonus: I don't have to worry about losing these library books.
Pack light: E-readers have totally lightened up my luggage. Trust me, do yourself a favor and leave the 600 page hardcover book at home even though it's really good. When I was packing for BlogHer Food in May I was reading Deborah Harkness' A Discovery of Witches for BlogHer Book Club. Penguin had sent me, and all the reviewers, a lovely hardcover copy of the book. I took a look at the book. I took at look at my luggage. Then I hopped on my iPad and bought the e-book. I had more space and less weight in my bag thanks to that one decision and long e-books are great for travel. A Discovery of Witches got me through four flights, two layovers and even a quiet evening in the hotel. But if I hadn't had a e-book option I would have left it home and packed a paperback(or two).
Pack a paperback (or two): Even though I absolutely love my e-books I always toss a small paperback into my bag. E-readers can run out of power and you aren't always going to be able to recharge your e-reader the go. Also, if you are traveling by plane there's always that period when you have to turn off and stow your electronic devices. That's when I pull out that small paperback. On my last few trips I've been grabbing something from my pile of old Georgette Heyer paperbacks that I've picked up a garage sales for a quarter. Georgette Heyer is a favorite of mine and she hasn't let me down yet.
Pack what you want to read, not what you think you should read: I used to take these 24 hour train rides -- in economy class -- and I rarely got much, if any, sleep. So I read a lot but after the first couple of trips I realized that there were some books that just didn't work for me. As much as I love Jane Austen, I cannot read her in the constant noise and activity that is around me when I travel. Now, when I travel I stick to fun fiction, romance novels, biographies, and really great narrative nonfiction. You know what you like. That's what you should pack.
Pack an extra book or leave room for an extra that you can buy on the fly: It's very rare that I go on a trip and do not end up packing more books than I will read OR that I don't pick up one on my travels. Actually, when I went to Europe a few years ago I picked up many extra books on my travels (I was at Shakespeare & Company, how could I not?) but foolishly packed them all in my checked baggage. My flight, of course, was delayed. It was a long enough to delay to require me to buy food and to run out of the reading material I had packed in my carryon. Airport bookstore to the rescue! And I didn't need to juggle yet another bag onto the plane because there was just enough room left in my bag to slip in one more book. There, my five tips for easy, and light, book packing. Now tell me, what books are you packing for BlogHer '11?