Reading & Books on the Road

“Reading is the basic tool in the living of a good life” Mortimer J.Alder

A few of my favourite Danish books along for the RV ride

If I were to be re-born as an animal I think it would be a book-worm, simply so I could immerse myself fully in the written word, inside and out. I love reading, simply love it, and one of the biggest worries we had going full-time on the road was giving that up. At home we had a 400+ book library, and it was almost heart-breaking to pack it away. We took a measly 30 books on the road.

Thankfully, in this modern day and age there are plenty of options for book-loving-full-time-nomads like ourselves. Here’s just a few:

1/ Electronic Readers – I’ve always been one of those people who said I could never read a book electronically. I love the feel & look of paper, and just couldn’t imagine giving that up. Hubby bought a Kindle some time ago, and after I’d read our mini-RV-library for the 10th time I broke down and bought one too. It’s been one of my best purchases ever and I’ve enjoyed more reading since we got the Kindle than I have in the past many years. If you haven’t tried it, you should. Not only is it portable and light, there’s an enormous selection of free “classics” in the wireless storefront, plus amazingly it’s really, really pleasant to read. The connection is decent, and we’ve had access to download books in all but our most remote campsites. There are lots of other electronic readers out there (e.g. Apple IPad, Nook), but we’re very happy with the Kindle.

The Amazon Kindle. One of my best RV buys ever.

2/ On-Line Book Swaps – To supplement the Kindle we also do on-line book-swaps. Most book-swap sites are free services based on the honor system. You place any books you’d like to swap on-line. If someone orders it you post it at your expense and get an online “credit” once it’s received. With that “credit” you can ask for any of millions of books (sometimes also CDs, or DVDs) posted by others and receive it for free. The only negative is that posting takes a while. Most swap sites use low-cost Media mail which can take 2-3 weeks to arrive. Since we travel around we can’t get books sent to us directly, so we ship to our mail forwarder (we use Alternative Resources in SD) and stick with light books when we do it. Here’s some of the best swap-sites:

3/ On-site Book Swaps – Lots of RVers love to read, so you’ll find plenty of people willing to swap on the road. Some RV campsites will have a swap library on-site or in the laundromat. Also, some local bookstores will buy or barter used books as well.

So, fear not that your mind will be idle. Go ahead and kick back in your RV backyard, crack open your favorite author and enjoy the view.

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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do

  1. Lynne says

    I had all but given up reading late into the night – one of my delicious obsessions since being a kid and reading under the covers with a flashlight. Had thousands of books I just got rid of (and those are just from the last 9 years in Alaska-I had given away twice as many when we left Tulsa to come to Alaska). Then my AT&T account allowed me to get an IPhone 3Gs. Enter the FREE Kindle app. No longer am I keeping my hubby awake until 4am. And I have read almost a complete book a night. There’s something about the background lighting that is so much better than the reading lamp that was keeping him up. Easier to see. Love the ability to highlight passages along with all the other readers in the world, and to read their favorite passages. I have truly found my book and flashlight under the covers!

    • libertatemamo says

      So right, Lynne. I forgot to mention the free Kindle App. Another great way to access and read books. I can’t read in bed on my bulky PC (another reason I got the Kindle), but I can see how the iPhone would totally work.

  2. Brent says

    I’m still really hoping to see some kind of reasonable subscription option for eBooks. I just have a hard time justifying having to buy two kindles and then spending $10 and up for a electronic book that has none of the physical cost of production and distribution.

    However, reading, and the lack of a local library is one of the things I’m really unsure about with our trip. We’ll have to come up with some type of solutionl.

    • libertatemamo says

      I have to admit I was worried about this too when we started, but the costs have been reasonable. There are alot of free ebooks availible (almost all the classics are free), and many that are reduced. The free books are on Amazon or places like Project Gutenburg ( There are some guys coming up w/ monthly subscription plans, like the old-fashioned book clubs, where you get to download multiple books for a fixed fee. I haven’t looked at them in detail yet (still reading mostly free books), but I may when I run out of the classics to read.

  3. rvfulltimers says

    And the Iphone has many many apps that are really reasonable, too. I’m on the 100 Thing Challenge right now ( and the Kindle app for IPhone totally fits into that. I don’t have to store or carry around a ton of books. So far, any of the books I’ve wanted have been a Kindle. There are a lot of overpriced books on Kindle. I usually don’t buy it unless it is under 10 bucks. Most of them are.

    • libertatemamo says

      I do the same. I’m very selective with what I buy on Amazon for the Kindle. Most of my books have been free, but I’ve bought a select few that I really wanted to read and ignore the ones that are overpriced.

  4. rvfulltimers says

    Another thing I love to do is listen to Old Time Radio. I own every single episode of The CBS Radio Mystery Theater, and there are now IPhone apps that allow you to listen to over a 1,000 Old Time Radio Shows. So cool to listen to things like Lights Out, from the 1930s when americans were buying war bonds and taking a vitamin called Ionized Yeast for their health. So funny!

  5. Cheryl says

    I know this is an old post but I thought I chime in anyhow.

    Our local library has a wonderful collection of ebooks (20,000+ titles when I got my nook several years ago). Since I generally have between 5 and 20 ebooks checked out at a time I will be taking advantage of the non-resident membership when we go on the road. It will cost me about $150 a year – not free but not outrageous given how much I read.

    Love your website – I need to start at the beginning and read it all – we go on the road in about 6 months! Thanks for all the good information.

    • libertatemamo says

      Nice little tip Cheryl! We’ve met several folks on the road who’ve maintained ebook connections to a public library. I think it’s a great little idea.

      It’s been years since we got our Kindles and we still love them. Aaaalmost time to upgrade to a newer model.



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