Friday, March 1, 2013
eBook or Real Book?
I have recently bought a kindle and really like having a large library of books to read for such a small amount of weight. It is a kindle fire so I can also use it for reading email and browsing. When I was traveling for an extended period I had times where I had 4 or 5 guide books with me and that adds a lot of weight to the backpack. I thought that the kindle would be great and would solve this issue for me. For my recent trip to Nice I bought a LP guide book for France and hated it. I found it really difficult to find things when I was looking for them. Even when using the search function. If the word had an accent in it the search would not find it when I typed in the word without the accent. I could bookmark the sections I wanted when I found them but the bookmark did not always seem to return me to the specific page I bookmarked but the top of the section so at times I would think there was nothing on this page that I was interested in. I also just preferred a piece of paper in a real book. I was concerned about the maps but this was one of the things that did not bug me at all. The map was click-able and then it could be zoomed so it worked out well. It was difficult to flip back and forth between the map and another section but I think I could live with this. There were a couple of the diagrams of a site that were not click-able and the font was too small for me to read which was a bit disappointing but am sure this could be easily fixed. Guide books are not cheap and at times they cost me as much as my budget for 1 day in parts of Southeast Asia. I still feel they are worth the investment and I personally don't like to travel without a good guide book. I just don't feel I own the ebooks. When I was traveling I swapped, sold and gave away guide books. As far as I can tell this is not possible with the ebooks. I could buy the pdf version of the guide book and this would resolve it but the pdf version seems to have other issues. I tried a pdf version when I first got my kindle when I was in Hungary but also did not really like it. I am only writing this post because I was only able to find one negative review of electronic guide books. I feel I and this one other person can not be the only people to feel there is still a lot of benefit to having real paper books for travel. I also would like to know if others hated the e-versions and first and have been won over or other constrictive feedback. I am sure the kindle is now a permanent item in my backpack but have not sure if it will be used for guidebooks. I am currently considering buying one large multi-country electronic books from one guide book company and then buying the specific country books in the paper version from a different company. I will need to do a bit of research to even see if this might work. I am really interested in finding out others experiences so leave me a comment.