Guest post: The best ways to read while travelling*

Reading and travelling go hand in hand. Great books talk about great adventures and you can certainly live your own while travelling.

It wasn’t that long ago when we only had one option when reading. We had paper and that was it! And while I deeply care about books and their paper-eternal format, I have come to realise there are some advantages of digital displays on some occasions.

As soon as I know I’m about to travel I make sure I include some books in my backpack. It’s always an excellent chance to let your mind go while you can’t move in a crowded train or even while appreciating new horizons and landscapes, in a moment of rest.

Books are definitely an item almost everyone cares to take with them while travelling. But how can we can get the best out of both the digital and the paper format?

I travel in various ways — my means of transportation ranges from trains to cars and aeroplanes. While getting from one place to another, besides a possible chat, I tend to dig up a book to relax.

When the digital format wasn’t really a “thing” grabbing a book and trying to read when it’s getting dark can be a nightmare. If the road is long and the hours inside that train are a long stretch, you surely have to distract yourself.

Most of time your means of transportation will provide the lighting you need to read a “real” book. There is always a small bulb somewhere near your head that will attend to your needs. But sometimes it isn’t enough and you really shouldn’t be forcing your eyes to read in that near-dark situation.

For those occasions there are now various solutions. You can buy a special lighting device for books. These are usually powered by a LED that will be attached to the book. Mostly designed with a spring, these LED book lights are the best option to keep you reading wherever you are and whatever light conditions you’re in.

I found them to be a simple yet effective solution and I even use it at home when I don’t want my body to be woken up by all the lighting around and so I can simply relax before I go to sleep.

So if you have one of these you’re good to go!

But if you’re forever loving your digital devices, they provide a great option as well! Ok, the feeling is not the same and nothing will be a real replacement for paper and ink. But the reality is, if you have to pack the device anyway, you might as well save your precious paper copies and opt for the digital version.

You can keep your favourite books on any tablet and with the light-up screen they can be read in any lighting condition. Be careful when buying any device specific for book reading. Many of the Kindle-like e-readers don’t have a bright background and will be of no use in dark places and so you’ll need a device or tablet that has a powered light screen.

While this is probably the best option for saving some space in your backpack as well as being able to read in most difficult situations, staring at a screen for long hours can mess with your body’s internal clock.

When reading a digital book, take a break every 30 minutes and stare at a long distance spot for five minutes (preferably a dark space).

You also have to keep in mind that digital reading requires battery and the availability of the books are reduced to the energy you might (or not) be able to charge.

Depending on how are you travelling (confined spaces or at night) you can go for the best option that suits your needs.

If I’m honest, I’d say that I always carry a book with me. There’s nothing like the real deal and that will never change. But I also have my small tablet so I can get as many books as possible in there. I like to keep my options open for whatever situation I might be in so I pack light.

One pocket book to serve all my paper needs and a selection of digital ones for when the long hours on a train have me reaching for the bright background.

Balance is key but the choice is yours – it is a personal subject but you will arrange the best options that fit your needs.

Happy reading and travelling!

Jane Grates

Author’s Bio:

Jane Grates
Jane is a bookworm who loves to travel and run. She frequently visits popular running destinations together with her husband. When she is not busy travelling and preparing for races, she manages her websites, Nicershoes, Runnerclick and GearWeAre.

*This is sponsored content

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