In defence of books

As the battle between ereaders and traditional books rages on, many travellers are starting to think ahead when it comes to packing for their trip.

Many seasoned travellers who have been staunch advocates for the traditional book are starting to see the benefits of a smaller, lighter way to devour their reading material while on holiday.

Peregrine staff are not only a well travelled bunch, but many of them are also voracious readers - so I asked them to weigh in on the matter. And, overwhelmingly, the response was for books over ereaders.

And the majority of people cited sentiment as the reason, knowing full well that an ereader was probably a handier device to pack when travelling.

Our copywriter, Erin, said: "I know it’s dorky but I love the smell of a book and actually turning the page with your own fingers."

Kate, our Assistant Destination Manager for Africa said, "I feel I get more out of the pages I am holding the book.  Plus there is something nice about when you return from a trip and see the way to book looks as well - all torn apart, water splashed on it, sand or dirt still in the pages."

So the head might say ereader, but the heart stands by the book.

For those of you interested in embracing new technology, here are a few stats:

  • The ereader is lighter, weighing about 8.5 ounces. Your average book weighs 12 ounces. A hardback weighs about a kilogram.
  • Ebooks are cheaper, and they're free if the copyright has expired, meaning you can download most of the classics for nothing
  • The carbon footprint of an ereader is equal to 22.5 books (according to a report on the Kindle by Cleantech Group). So if you download two books a month for two years, then you will have negated the carbon emissions of your ereader
  • There's a built-in dictionary and translator for foreign language text. Plus, you can increase or decrease the font size to accommodate your level of blindness.

Although, as our Marketing Coordinator Tristan pointed out, there are other considerations that come into play when travelling: "Whipping out an ereader in the middle of the street to check a map would make me a target for stealing."

She also made another good point: "I usually travel to places where power is quite limited or unreliable so an ereader wouldn't get much use as I wouldn't be able to charge it regularly. And it would no doubt be out of power when I needed it the most!"

Area Sales Manager Sarah Louise felt similar, saying: "Batteries can't go flat on a book, so they're ideal for long distance journeys or remote places with lack of electricity."

This was supported by Lizzie, our Production Manager, who said, "It's one less thing to worry about charging. And I’m not going to be too distraught if I lose one or two books."

So it really comes down to personal choice - there are always going to be pros and cons for each. But one of the overriding sentiments to come from this debate was the role books can play in opening up doors while travelling:

"You can swap books with your fellow travellers as you go, or leave them behind for others to find when you have finished reading them."

"Books can encourage conversation. They can be the bridge between a complete stranger next to you on a plane to someone to fill in the time chatting with on a long-haul flight. And once you have finished reading your book you can recycle it on your travels by leaving it at a hostel – so this means you don’t have to lug it around in your luggage and you’re helping the planet by recycling!"

Which do you prefer - ereader or book? Tell us in the comments section below then head to Twitter and Facebook to see what the rest of the Peregrine community is saying.

If you've got itchy feet and are thinking about travel, why not browse our destinations. There's always time on a Peregrine trip to sit back and relax with a book while looking at some of the world's most incredible scenery.


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