Who doesn’t like free books?
I’m a reader. In the old days, I’d travel with a second checked bag packed square with books. To read, to give away. The thought of spending long hours without a book, or to read myself to sleep was terrifying.
With the rise of e-readers, it’s not so big a problem. I can load my iPad up before I leave home, and so long as it’s charged, I’m good. Even on a plane, apart from take-off and landing, it’s available, and in-seat USB is pretty much universal nowadays.
But still, there’s that feel and convenience of an actual book.
I find that BookCrossing allows me to swap over my books, so long as I keep on meeting fresh BookCrossers (or finding books “in the wild”), and most youth hostels will have a swap shelf. Leave a book, take a book.
Nowadays, there are little pop-up free libraries to keep the reader satisfied. They have actually been around for a few years in various schemes: Little Free Libraries, Wee Free Libraries, Street Libraries.
These can be found around the world. I found one in Lisbon last year, a very pleasant surprise. Almost any city or town will have a few.
My home in Canberra has several within a few minutes’ drive – one within walking distance. I regularly leave a BookCrossing.com book there and grab a fresh one to register and release.
So there it is. On the road, the savvy traveler is rarely without easy access to a source of free books. Just make sure that if you take a book, you leave a book, and the whole system keeps on going, running out of generosity and kind hearts.
Isn’t that the way the world should work? Happiness, love, and reading: pretty much my idea of heaven.