Sunday, October 11, 2009

Poll Results Are In!

A big Thank You to all 95 readers who voted in the last poll. In it I asked how books fit in when packing to leave on vacation.

How did I answer? Well... they always get packed before anything else. I forgot my camera once when traveling cross country to Virginia, but I've never forgotten my books! Something has changed a bit, though. Now I pack fewer books, and they fit in my carry-on. I like to do a bit of book browsing at my destination and help out the local economy there.

Here's what all of you told me:

--Not a single one of you said that books do not fit in your vacation packing plans. Are we a group of dedicated readers or what?

--56 of you said that your books get packed before anything else, which is extremely sensible. Once the momentous decision has been made on which books are earning frequent flyer miles, mundane things such as clothing and deodorant are easy peasy!

--10 folks told us that they have e-readers, so they don't have to worry about how many pounds of books go in the suitcases. To be honest, this is the only time-- vacation time-- that having an e-reader has appealed to me. I may be a bookaholic, but I'm also organized and like to be able to get all essentials packed without putting fatal strain on luggage zippers.

--2 folks said that they packed their books only if there were any space left. This makes me nervous, which has to be a sign of a true bookaholic!

--27 people voted for taking a couple of books in their carry-on luggage and buying more at their destination. Once I started flying across the pond, I started doing this. It gives me a built-in excuse for stopping and taking a look in book shops. I've also left books behind-- donating them to a shelf of reading material in the cottages Denis and I have enjoyed. Not only am I helping future travelers and readers, a piece of me remains behind in a place that I love.

To conclude this post, I'll tell you about a trip to Seattle in 2003. Our friend had to take us on a day trip down to Powell's Books in Portland, where I thought I'd done an adequate job reining in my book buying enthusiasm. When it was time to pack and head to Sea-Tac and the plane back to Phoenix, I discovered that I'd woefully underestimated the space left in our luggage for packing books. A couple of pairs of my shoes, a pair of jeans, and a couple of my t-shirts remained behind in Seattle. All of my new books arrived safely in Phoenix, though!

Have any of the rest of you left items behind in order to have the space in your luggage to pack all your new books? Do tell!


  1. Great bibliophile story! Thanks :). I've actually left things behind to pack books, and I always pack as little else as I can to make room....

  2. I'm one of the 27 who packs a few books in my carry-on and buys more when I get there. I'd like to add on to that. Back before I retired I flew a lot and learned which airports had the best bookshops. When making my reservations I'd try for long times in between flights in the airports that had the best book shops. Then I'd only take along a magazine, knowing I would load up in the airport bookshops.

    If it didn't work out so I had long lay-overs, my backup plan was to shop locally wherever I went. Little local bookshops are often some of the best places to find gems. By the way, my favorite airport shop was in Chicago at the Midway Airport (lower level). I haven't been there in quite a few years now so I don't know if it's still there or not.

  3. On a recent visit to England I packed only my Kindle and one, thin, softcover for just-in-case situations. The Kindle served me well (aside from one oops when all the content disappeared for a day but returned)on both flights and traveling around. I even added a new book by downloading it from Amazon to my laptop then copying it to the Kindle. Whether you choose the Kindle or the Sony, I think e-books are terrific for traveling.

  4. I was in the 'pack a couple and buy more while there' camp. I've had some great fun trying to find books while overseas - especially in non English speaking countries - but looking is half the fun I find. I have definitely left non essentials behind in order to bring books home - especially when I visit my brother in the US where books are so much cheaper in comparison to our prices. It doesn't seem to matter how much room I leave in my bags I always buy more books than there is room.

  5. Sounds like you made the right choice in Seattle!

    With luggage weight restrictions being enforced I will probably go with an e-reader (when I buy one) for my future journeys.

    Thanks for hosting such great polls. They always capture my attention.

  6. LOL!! Glad to know your priorities are right -- who needs extra clothes when there are books to pack.

  7. Margot-- I think my packing got easier because Denis and I were staying at self-catering cottages in the UK where I could do laundry easily. Much simpler to pack fewer clothes when you know you'll be able to launder them!

    Margot-- I used to do quite a bit of air travel, and much of it was not planned by me. I very seldom ever had a decent length layover in an airport unless it was late at night and all the shops were closed. Normally I had to scramble out of one plane and make a mad dash through the airport to make my connecting flight. I loved it when I got to plan my own travel!

    Mack-- They certainly sound like it. Thanks for the input, Mack!

    Bernadette-- I've always wanted the Jetsons' luggage. You know...someone walks in carrying a tiny box, pushes a button on the side and it transforms itself into a 50-room mansion. Just think how many books we could bring home in something like that!!!

    DC-- I'm glad you like the polls!

    Beth-- Pre-cisely! LOL


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