best books to travel with

this is probably my biggest worry when I travel, I’m not going to lie. What book to take on the plane?! (Or train or automobile!) I’ve had some quite embarrassing experiences, so I feel it my duty to pass on my thoughts to you.

  1. Know how the novel ends. The first time I read ‘The Book Thief’, I was on the plane. I cried so hysterically that the flight attendants were called to make sure I was ok. It’s probably the most embarrassing experience I’ve had to date. A small addendum: this might be me being overly self-conscious, but I don’t like to read anything too funny either. I don’t want to disturb anyone with my cackling!
  2. Make sure the cover (and title!) isn’t too…obscene. Obviously a Kindle or iPad helps with this, but for those of us yet to adapt to reading on screens, this can be a problem. Of course, this might just be me being overly sensitive to what other people think, but I’ve been side-eyed a couple of times on public transport because of the book I’m reading. ‘Sex Exposed’ is just ABOUT pornography, I swear!
  3. Try your best to ensure that you actually like the book. There’s nothing worse than being on a long-haul flight and the book you brought is absolutely atrocious. I usually take new books by very consistently good authors, or bring books I’ve read once before, and I know I like.
  4. Make sure it is long enough. This can be a real problem, because you don’t want the book to be so huge that it weighs down your bag too much, but you don’t want it to be too short either. Really, I would just experiment and see what works for you.
  5. Sometimes it can be fun to read books set in your holiday destination, especially if you actually visit some of the places where the main action happens. Just pick it with care – a giddy romp through India would be lovely, a gritty drama involving the serial killing of unsuspecting tourists in Germany – not so much.

reading-on-a-train

Anything I’ve missed out? Let me know!

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