Backpacker Books: Digital iPad and Kindle or paperback?

holding an ipad in the street
I chuffing LOVE a good second hand, backpacker book shop. I love the thought that the book I’ve just picked up could’ve been all the way up to Everest base camp or through the jungles of Borneo. The worn cover or the rolled corners of a second hand book suggest it’s been around, they bring a story to life even before it’s left the shelf – especially when your buying it from a bookshop on the backpacker trail.

And this is where my conflict lies, I love the digital age too. I cant think of anything better than a strong WiFi signal and an iPad – if it’s near a nice beach -then I’m in heaven. With new devices like the iPad and the Kindle now offering millions of books at a touch of a button… Is there ever any need to ever step inside a book shop again?
The future of books is most certainly the same as music: digitised and carried around with a thousand others in a pocket…

In my humble opinion:

Some of my information I want right now – and some is well worth waiting for. News, guide books and website feeds (like ours!) are made for the likes of the iPad and the Kindle but stories, they are reserved for paper. To be read and passed on for the next backpacker, to use as a pillow on a 10 hour bus ride or smash a cockroach into pieces. They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but we all do – and I for one will keep on doing it as long as they have covers and not
shiny aluminium bodies.

eBooks you should check out:

Lonely planet guides – Reinvented and interactive! The new digital Lonely Planet guides make my iPad come alive and the old paper guide books seem heavy, flat and good for nothing!
Flipboard – An amazing way to keep up to date with your RSS feeds and social networks. All pumped into your iPad in magazine format – I love this app and to be honest, I reckon it’s the future of digital magazines!

Paperback books you should check out:

A fortune teller told me – Tiziano Terzani
– An Italian journalist seeks the advice of a fortune teller in Vietnam, he predicts his death… It comes true, if he had gotten on that helicopter he would be dead! Instead he decides to make his way home overland to Italy – Stopping off at a few more fortune tellers along the way.
Jupiter’s Travels – Ted Simon
– A British guy in the 60′s decides to set out around the world on his trusty Triumph motorcycle. A beautifully written insight into traveling low and slow and the inspiration behind “The Long way Round”.
The Beach – Alex Garland
– This book need no introductions, it’s better than the film and most definitely best read on a beach in Thailand!
Himalaya – Michael Palin
– The world most British traveler’s finest hour (if you ask me). He starts his journey in North India, heads up the Khyber pass and across the Himalayas – into Tibet.

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