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On our last trip the limitations of a dead tree book really got to me. My book was larger and heavier than an e-reader, but I was annoyed because I had almost finished it before our flight had landed at the start of the trip. So now I was in a land where English language books are harder to come by, and I needed reading material. Same situation happened the trip before and it caused me to buy an over priced used copy of Jaws which was shockingly racist and not a good read at all. I ended up having to haul around the books that I had brought with me and couldn't bear to throw out. The only benefit that I can think of with a dead tree version is that it can physically bend more.
On the last trip, since we were on tours most of the time, we decided to leave our Lonely Planet at home since it is over 1000 pages (more stats if you click through on the link). We still wanted some info from the book, so I made a photocopy we took with us, but apparently I didn't copy enough pages. I would have bought the digital copy, but it felt like a scam since the chapters are so expensive - for a book that we had already purchased. I don't think that I'll ever purchase another physical copy of lonely planet (we've got 7 sitting on a shelf I can see from here). Next time I'll just buy a softcopy, dump it to Laura's phone (since we take that anyways) and print out any "critical" sections that we feel we need to have a physical copy with. That way we'll also not have to deal with another 1 kg outdated book sitting on shelves.
Before our next trip, I'm going to Go Digital and ditch purchasing hard copies. Hard copies seem especially dumb for books with a "best before" like reference or travel books were you want the most up to date. So if you see me with something that looks like a Star Trek PADD, know that I'm not going to a costume party, but am dressing like I live in the future, which is now.Posted by jim at November 12, 2010 08:44 PM