Photo: Paper all the way.

Books forum

looking for the ideal book to take for 3 months travel...

Posted by jack2408 on 15/2/2010 at 03:26

Any help? I was thinking of a classic such as grapes of wrath, robinson crusoe etc...

#1 jack2408 has been a member since 2/2/2010. Posts: 10

Posted by somsai on 15/2/2010 at 07:18

My experience is that if you want a book to last the trip it had better be one of those scratch the head and read the paragraph again ones. Absalom Absalom by Faulkner or Finegans Wake or something.

Alternatively, trade at guest houses or those book stores that often pop up in tourist towns. I prefer those light classics you mentioned, plenty there to sink the teeth into, timeless, and good quality, but be ready to ditch them for the next one.

Another alternative, a history of the area. I notice the head fishman who is a going on a busman's holiday is taking a history and a book he'd been having trouble starting as he posted here. http://blog.travelfish.org/2010/02/10/what-im-packing/

#2 somsai has been a member since 1/3/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 568


Posted by jack2408 on 15/2/2010 at 07:52

thanks a lot again, anyone else with any advice?

#3 jack2408 has been a member since 2/2/2010. Posts: 10

Posted by caseyprich on 14/4/2010 at 19:57

i like easy reading science fiction or chomp at the bit to keep reading fiction when i travel - especially for long bus rides.

Murakami's big works. Rushdie. Douglas Adams. Larry Niven (Ring World). Dune. Brother's Karamazov.

stuff you can't put down and has a lot of pages.

sometimes the reason we've never read those classics is because the language makes them just not that fun to read these days.

#4 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
 Where has caseyprich been? 

Posted by UCSBrown on 15/4/2010 at 01:35

If you can find something related to the country or region you are traveling in it will make your experience that much better.

#5 UCSBrown has been a member since 28/11/2009. Posts: 24

Posted by wombatfuz on 15/4/2010 at 09:07

I generally leave the heavy reading stuff for reading when I have minimal distractions. On trips there are just too many interesting things or other distractions. I won't be able to concentrate on a book that requires re-reading because of the difficult expressions or abstract meaning.

For me, a travel book would be nice. Doesn't necessary have to be about the place that you are travelling at that time (although that would be great). I like to read about someone else's journey while I'm on my own journey.

#6 wombatfuz has been a member since 30/12/2009. Posts: 38

Posted by MADMAC on 30/7/2010 at 22:57

Lord of the rings... all three books in one. Last forever.

I love The Breaking Point - but I doubt you will.

#7 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by cisdeluca on 17/1/2011 at 13:08

If you are only bringing one book for 3 months, it should be long. My favorite longer books are Shantaram and Pillars of the Earth.

I just read Half the Sky and loved it.

#8 cisdeluca has been a member since 17/1/2011. Posts: 13

Posted by jnelson232 on 17/4/2011 at 18:53

Another massive book that is perfect to read while traveling is Shogun by James Clavell. An incredible work of fiction about ancient Japan right when a British pilot lands shipwrecked.
A great insight into Japanese history and culture. Also gives good information about how the Catholic Church spread its influence through many asian countries. Plus its 1200 pages.

#9 jnelson232 has been a member since 28/3/2011. Location: United States. Posts: 37

Posted by kateemily on 18/5/2011 at 13:08

"Shantaram" is an amazing book (it'll definitely open your mind up to travelling in India) and I'm trying to get through "A Suitable Boy" by Vikram Seth. Not much luck yet...

#10 kateemily has been a member since 7/4/2011. Posts: 12

Posted by chicoelnino on 18/5/2011 at 21:33

How about an Ereader? That way you can have as many books as you want in one small device. When I started using an ereader initially, I found it abit cumbersome, with the whole "can't beat a physical book", which is true, but when travelling its such an advantage.

I'm going to asia for 6 months and have a sony ereader that has over 150 books on it that I loaded onto it. Doubt I'd even get through 25% of them, but the point is you have tons of choice :)

#11 chicoelnino has been a member since 17/9/2010. Posts: 66
 Website   Twitter   Facebook  

Posted by MADMAC on 18/5/2011 at 23:52

I just read "Guns, Germs and Steel" by Jared Diamond. Good read.

#12 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by rledez1990 on 19/5/2011 at 00:50

Last time I went to Thailand I saw a book called 'Thailand's Third Gender' and I've had an urge to read it ever since...so I'll be picking up a copy of that when I get there in June haha

#13 rledez1990 has been a member since 12/3/2010. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 106
 Twitter 

Posted by Thomas922 on 19/5/2011 at 04:06

No books unless they enhance your traveling in some way. Reading into different things about the places you are in. Then looking out for things that are written about. Getting insights. Usually I don't want to be stuck in a book in SE Asia. I am busy experiencing or taking in subtle things.

#14 Thomas922 has been a member since 1/7/2007. Location: United States. Posts: 352
 Instagram 

Posted by jnelson232 on 19/5/2011 at 11:48

"Sacred Games" by Vikram Chandra.

A 900 page novel that takes place in Bombay and is in the perspective of several Indians (shocking I know) Part crime novel, part window into a fascinating city.
I absolutely loved Shantaram but this gives a completely different perspective into the area.

#15 jnelson232 has been a member since 28/3/2011. Location: United States. Posts: 37

Posted by Basil on 9/9/2011 at 01:34

Three months is a lot of reading time.
How about Edwards Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
It is a hell of a story, broken up into bite size chapters, and what is all the more remarkable is it happens to be true!
Not sure how well you would do trading it in though...

#16 Basil has been a member since 23/8/2007. Posts: 16

Posted by busylizzy on 9/9/2011 at 06:28

Get a Kindle then you can take all the books you want :-)

#17 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,155
 Where has busylizzy been? 

Posted by johnbarrington on 19/10/2011 at 19:23

I would definitely take Narcissus and Goldmund. Really inspiring stuff and the perfect travel companion. You really will not regret reading it.

#18 johnbarrington has been a member since 19/10/2011. Posts: 22

Posted by johnbarrington on 19/10/2011 at 19:24

I would definitely take Narcissus and Goldmund. Really inspiring stuff and the perfect travel companion. You really will not regret reading it.

#19 johnbarrington has been a member since 19/10/2011. Posts: 22

Posted by SarahA on 11/7/2012 at 17:32

I like to read books specific to where I am travelling, for instance, 100 Years of Solitude in South America, Midnight's Children in India, the Quiet American in Vietnam...

#20 SarahA has been a member since 9/7/2012. Posts: 3

Posted by Saphir on 25/11/2012 at 22:08

Unlike most people, it seems, I dislike reading a book set in the place where I am travelling. One of those electronic devices would probably suit long-time travel, although I have not used one myself. I also find I cannot rely on picking up books at hostels as they are mostly rubbish. As for the comment about being stuck in a book whilst travelling, I have been stuck in a book ever since I learnt to read and would not be without one, ever. At the end of my day's travel adventures, I like to go to bed with a book, the same as I do at home.

#21 Saphir has been a member since 19/5/2009. Posts: 74
 Where has Saphir been? 

Posted by ellencarroll on 26/2/2013 at 06:29

Last year I visited Thailand and spent two months there withmy companion- a regional guide. This book not only helped me a lot to knowabout the various attractions, restaurants, hotels of Thailand but also never let me feel that I am alone and visiting that country first time.

#22 ellencarroll has been a member since 26/2/2013. Posts: 2

Posted by dokuman on 21/7/2013 at 02:07

I would suggest you take 2 or 3 short story compilations, Its always fresh to read a new story every day. carrying a novel is sometimes overkill, if the trip is very engrossing. you can always read a short story in the taxi on your way to the hotel or when going by a frequently traveled path

#23 dokuman has been a member since 16/7/2013. Posts: 8

Posted by Alexandre8100 on 22/8/2013 at 12:08

My list included:

1. The Hundred Great Persons (Michael H. Hart).
2. Sacred Games (Vikram Chandra).
3. Harry Potter (J. K. Rowling).

#24 Alexandre8100 has been a member since 22/8/2013. Posts: 5


Please login to add a reply

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a reply to this post. Please use the button below to log in. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.