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You have decided to go on a trip. You might be going somewhere for a few days or a few weeks. But the best part is that you will be going with your friends and family. By that I mean your books.
Traveling is a great opportunity to discover the world and meet other books. It could mean going halfway around the world to go to a special bookstore that was a former theater or to admire beautiful illuminated manuscripts. Or maybe it’s your chance to read a book somewhere other than on your couch or bed.
But the biggest problem bibliophiles face is the daunting question: how do you pack books for a trip?
So, after many hours spent in the library / lab and years of experience traveling with books, here are some helpful tips so you can best pack your suitcase.
Decide what to read
This is the hardest part of packing books. What do you want to read? Some opt for light reading, the famous beach readings. Others want to catch up on those big volumes that they just never have time to read. There is also a group of healthy people who want books that are relevant to their travels.
The best shots of mice and men.
The only obvious solution is to pack a lot of different books. Add a detective story or two with a critical story of the stripping. And maybe a book of Renaissance poetry and this romance novel that deals with the chemistry of chemistry. You need to determine if you will be in the mood for a snack or a big literary meal. To provide Moby dick but don’t forget to bring The devil wears Prada, too much.
Too many books
Once you have chosen your books, you now have an even more difficult problem to solve. How many books do you really need to bring with you? Unfortunately, our suitcases are limited space, not the storage bags that we really should have now. It doesn’t help that the storage space on planes gets smaller and smaller every year, similar to the Death Star garbage room. Plus, they get super eye-catching with the fees.
If only this were the days when steam trunks were the norm. (A moment of silence for the liner’s trunk, please).
So given the constraints of suitcases and plane costs, what to do?
The most obvious thing is to use an equation. Yes, a proven equation that will tell you exactly how many pounds you will need for your trip. This takes into account the days of travel, the different genres you want to bring, the difficulty of the books, and the size of your suitcase.
D = number of days of the trip
G = different kinds of books
r = relative difficulty (from 0.01 to 1, easy to difficult)
S = square inches of suitcases, bags
B = book size in square inches
So if you go 4 days, D = 4
and you have three kinds of books:
Relative difficulty: G1 = .03 G2 = .08 G3 = .02
S = large suitcase, 288 square inches + 15.5 square inches backpack
B = 54 square inches
Here ! You get 10.8 pounds. Always round to 11.
Easy peasy. You don’t need clothes, do you? After all, isn’t traveling about living in the same t-shirt and shorts day after day?
Also, guides do not count towards the book total. It’s just a given.
Prepare the lugage
So now that you’ve figured out which books you’re going to bring and how much, the hard part now is figuring out how to pack them. You don’t want to put them all in one suitcase because that is a problem. It is important to spread them out in case something untoward happens. You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket.
You will have to be strategic and know which ones will find their place in your personal object and in your checked suitcase. So for the plane or train you will need a primary book and then a secondary book when you finish the first one or realize you don’t like the first one. And then a tertiary sector too. You have to plan if there is a delay. Nothing is worse than a delay and a lack of reading. You might need to talk to the person next to you, and that’s not what you signed up for.
Remember, you can fill your coat with books as a last resort. Especially with these maximum baggage weights which are constantly decreasing.
Question and answer time
Q: What about e-readers? Wouldn’t that save a lot of space?
A: No. They may seem like space-saving devices, but batteries don’t last forever. The books are. (Except for the Library of Alexandriaâ¦ Too early?) Also, if you’re going international, you’ll need to find a suitable take for the endless puzzle of takes. Why bother?
Q: How about buying new books?
A: Good point. Consider getting a new suitcase. It’s worth the plane fare to bring home your travel library. I mean, why are you traveling if not to get more pounds?
This should keep you in the pages for your trip. On second thought, an e-reader would be a nice addition to these 11 books. Yeah, I would bring that too.
If you want more book packaging tips, check out this Rioter’s advice on book packaging. Or here’s a list of 100 great travel books. You should bring them all on your next trip.
Have a good trip !