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About this blog

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page” Saint Augustine of Hippo

This blog is a look back at my wandering and reading over the last few years.

I tend to read classics when I travel.
Not pretentiously, and not exclusively.

It’s just that travel – my travels, anyway – have a lot of time which could be put to better use. The books I’ve been meaning to read one day, but haven’t got around to yet. A two-hour delay can make a sizable dent in the pile.

Classics are affordable – almost throwaway. You can pick them up anywhere cheaply, so you don’t have to worry about replacing them if they get lost along the way. They’re often bulky – which means more room for souvenirs in your luggage when you ditch them.

Or you can buy a second-hand copy from a charity shop. That way you’re supporting a good cause – plus, if the book’s already been pre-loved, you don’t need to feel bad about scuffing/creasing/bending/losing it. And it’s kinder to trees. As a life-long devourer of books, I’ve always felt guilty about the number of trees I’ve had killed for my pleasure, so I recycle as much paper as possible, always have – even before eco-guilt crept up on us all.

Many hotels and hostels have a bookcase where people can leave one book, take another. And books aren’t just a resource for fellow travellers. Books can be very expensive in some parts of the world. People wanting to improve their English often practise with books people have left behind on their holidays – and while Dan Brown may have his place, I’m sure they’re glad to have literature as well.

Books can be old friends, holiday romances. They’re the closest thing there is to telepathy – getting inside someone’s head, under their skin. A book can be a companion, a pillow, a door stop – even toilet paper!

So, read a book, leave a book. I often bring local authors home with me – their books, that is. Most authors won’t consent to being stuffed into my luggage…

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