Question Of The Week

Books Vs. eReader Showdown: What’s Best For the Road?

We had a great time reading all your feedback on eReaders versus real books, and your personal recommendations on what to read on the road.  We both added a number of book titles to our summer reading list.  The question is, will we read them on paper, or an eReader?  What follows has us thinking…

Had this Question of the Week been a poll, eReaders would definitely have won the day.  Furthermore, the most popular eReader mentioned is the Kindle Paperwhite.

What really caught my attention is the Kindle Paperwhite’s readability in the dark (which I had not considered), and the glare-free screen for reading in daylight.  TCM readers also report the Kindle Paperwhite battery lasting for weeks.

This is all very compelling, even for this self-described Luddite.  Remember, I still prefer LP records and vacuum tube amplifiers for goodness sake!  That said, it would be fantastic to have my entire book collection with us on the road.  Hmmm…

Dear Santa – I have been very good this year (so far).  Can I please have a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas?  I promise not to shoot my Red Rider BB gun, or poke my eye out.  Yours truly, Gordon.

This week’s Question of the Week was, “On the road, do you read real books, or do you prefer an eReader?”  As a bonus question, we asked, “What’s the best book you have ever read while truck camping?”

“I have a Kindle Paperwhite because I can read it at night before going to sleep without keeping my husband awake or having to be concerned about the blue light emitted by tablets.

Book Recommendation: Any Nero Wolfe book by Rex Stout!” – Sheelin Prinzinger, 2004 Dodge Ram, 2016 Adventurer

“An iPad!  You can carry hundreds of books on an iPad, and get free downloads from the public library or by purchasing them online.  Light and easy access, what’s not to like?

We have a sailboat.  A hard copy book can mold or mildew in days if conditions are right.  Digital copies are no problem.

Book Recommendation: Joshua Slocum’s, Sailing Alone Around The World.  It’s a voyage around the world on a old sailboat. Great adventure story!” – Jay Knight, 2014 Northstar Adventurer

“Because of the number and type of books available, we both have Kindles.  However we also enjoy paper.

Book Recommendations: While I enjoy a variety, I especially like the old westerns and tails of the early frontier by Zane Grey.  For those who enjoy traveling and the great outdoors (as Truck Camper Magazine readers do), his colorful descriptions can instantly bring everything to your mind’s eye.

For a current day writer I also enjoy Clive Cussler.  His initial books written just by him are great, but his co-authored books are more varied and every bit as enjoyable.

We have many books in hard cover, paper as well as on the Kindle.” – David Pracht, 2015 GMC K3500 4×4, 1987 Lance LC900

Ereader Book List

“My preference while traveling in our camper, for book reading, is my iPad and eBooks downloaded from Amazon.  I was once told that, with limited space in a truck camper, one should make any item do at least two jobs.  Well my iPad does many more jobs than that, and all of them while offline.

My iPad is a GPS navigator.  I use the fuel app, Wikicamps, the camera, walk mapping app, bird identification book, the calculator, the diary and many more, including my welcome eBook reader.

I now prefer eBooks to real books.  Downloaded eBooks mean I can carry as many books as I like without taking up any valuable storage space.

Other advantages over paper books include (a) the ability to increase print size, (b) no need for bookmarks as it stays where I left it, (c) downloadable books are available on my iPad or iPhone, (d) the ability to instantly look up the meaning of a word, which is particularly helpful for historical novels, and (e) ability to search for words or passages I want to read again.

Many of my eBooks come with narration as well.  How wonderful it is to have a book read to you!

I have more books on my iPad than I could possibly read on any one trip, but that gives me lots of choices of which book I may want to read next.  A completed book can be deleted or saved for later rereading. I find the iPad comfortable to hold under any situation.

I originally had a nostalgia for the feel of a paper book, but the convenience of all my books in one place, and not taking up valued space in our camper soon diminished any sentiment I may have had for paper books.

Book Recommendations: I don’t really have a best book that I’ve read while traveling, but I do prefer light, easy reading books while on the road.  But if I must name a favorite, I would say any of the series Mary Russell and Sherlock-Holmes Mystery, by Laurie R. King.  I’ve nearly read them all.” – Rosemary Doherty, 2007 VW Transporter, 2015 Lance Camper 825

“I use a Kindle.  Book Recommendation: Mind – A Journey to Becoming Human By Daniel Siegel, MD.” – Bruce Bowens, 2015 Ram 3500, 2017 Eagle Cap 1165

“I have an iPad Air in the truck and a Kindle Fire HD in the camper.  Both have the Kindle app, but the iPad has more RV, travel, camping apps.  The Kindle has some exclusive subscriptions and is a better eReading experience.  Both have our email accounts, so there is no need to share a tablet.  Plus, it is nice to have a backup.

The iPad travels in a map sleeve on the driver’s side of the console.  It is at the ready to locate diesel on Gas Buddy, camping sites or food on a few apps.  Extra 12-volt outlets were installed in the dinette and cabover for recharging and convenience.

Book Recommendation: Empire of the Summer Moon which is the story of Quanah Parker the last Comanche chief.  His mother was the captured white teen depicted in Dances with Wolves.” – Joe Sesto, 2015 Silverado 3500, 2015 Bigfooot C2500 10.6E

“I’m old, stubborn, and tech resistive, so even though they are bulky I’m a paper book kind of guy.  I like authors who write follow up books, so I can have a number of them to read in order.  I will find a set like that and put it away for my annual month or more long camping trip I take in the fall.

I like to boondock and there is nothing better than a remote spot with a view, a fall baseball playoff game switched to the outdoor speakers (if there are no neighbors), and a good book in my camp chair.

Book Recommendations: The Hunger Games series.  My nephew talked me into reading that series shortly after it came out.  Even though it was aimed a younger reader it kept me going through all of the books.” – Terry Gfeller, 2015 Ram 2500, 2013 Lance 865

“I use the Kindle app on my Droid.  Book Recommendations: Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novels, but not Tarzan.” – Howard Bisco, 2015 Ford F250, 2014 Palomino HS-6601

Flipy for eReaders

“I once swore I would never do my reading on a screen with the allure and literary culture of the printed page and all that.  One too many times I have been rudely awakened by my heavy novel falling out of my hand and walloping me in the face, the onset of arthritis in my paperback holding thumb, wasting electricity due to falling asleep with the lights on, and the towers of books all over the floor because my shelves are overflowing.

So I am now totally converted and preaching the word that Kindles are the way to go for voracious readers.  The battery lasts weeks on airplane mode.  I have hundreds of books in my camper.  I can read in sunny glare at the beach with the Paperwhite.  There is no more having to remember to return all my library books (and if you check out the maximum number from multiple libraries and leave it on airplane mode you can have 50 books to enjoy all summer without having them get returned automatically).

Lights aren’t needed with the adjustable back glow, and it shuts itself off.  With a wonderful thing called a Flipy, you don’t even have to hold it in your cold aching hand. The only shortcoming on the Kindle is that it does not come with a voice command of turn page so you have to stick your hand out of your warm cabover cocoon and touch the screen to turn the page.  Yo Amazon, I’d pay a lot for that one voice command! Sheesh, they should hire me.

Book Recommendation: I love reading ex-park ranger Nevada Barr’s murder mystery novels set in whatever park I am visiting.  Reading Ill Wind while exploring Cliff House and Balcony House at Mesa Verde National Park brought a different perspective of the park that enhanced the visit.  She has many mysteries that add a thrill to visiting our national parks.” – Darcy Hubbard, 2014 Ram 3500, 1998 Lance Legend

“I read both.  I stock up my Samsung Galaxy with a supply of books, but I have book sale constipation.  I just can’t pass one.  As soon as I see somewhere selling second-hand books – be it a book store or a charity shop – I’m in there.

Every year I make a resolution not to buy any more books until I’ve read the ones I’ve already got.  It normally takes less than a month to break the resolution.

Book Recommendations: Fiction, The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham.  For non-fiction, The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Gerrard (about Captain Scott’s ill fated Antarctic expedition).” – Tony Sutton, 2007 UK Ford Ranger, 2005 Northstar 700 DL

“It’s books, always books!  I tried the rest (Kindle, Nook, etc.) but it has and will always be books.  I agree with you wholeheartedly, Gordon!

Book Recommendations: Political books and a variety of novels (one a week).  My most recent was How to Drain the Swamp, How Washington Corruption is Worse Than You Think by Colorado Representative Ken Buck and In Pursuit of Spenser,  the Creation of Robert B. Parker’s American Hero by a compendium of mystery writers.  I always loved Spenser, as well as most of Parker’s other works.” – R. Shaffer, 2016 Ram 3500, 2016 Four Wheel Camper Hawk

“I use a Kindle and sometimes a paperback.  Book Recommendation: Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire.” – Harvey Stallings, 2010 GMC Sierra 2500 HD, Travel Lite 890SBRX

“To keep the weight down, I read books on my iPad.  Something you might mention to your readers is BookBub.  You sign up for BookBub and every day it sends you an email with lists of ebooks from the genres you selected at deep discount prices.  Many are even free from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  It’s a one day sale.  The top price for any book is under $4, and most are under $1.  While I prefer real books, this is a great way to be able to take a bunch of books without any added weight!” – Marianne O’Brien

“I read from a mix of paperback and digital using my iPad and Android phone.  Book Recommendation: John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley.  I am still missing my friend, Bert, a standard poodle at my side for fourteen years.” – Tom Burns, 2015 Ford F350, 2006 Northern Lite 8-11

“Yes, I always read.  Usually I buy two or three books from my library’s for sale rack at $1 each to have while traveling.  Recently, someone gave me their old Kindle when I gave them my old iPhone (such a great way to recycle old electronic devices).  I really like the Kindle because, as you said, I can have as many books as I want on it.  But, I am also thrifty so I have only downloaded eBooks on loan from my library.

The Kindle will never replace real physical books for me, but I sure do like it for traveling!

Book Recommendation: A trilogy by Penny Vincenzi, No Angel, Something Dangerous, and Into Temptation.  It’s a multi-generational saga about a family publishing company that I read while truck camping in Florida for seven weeks.” – Cheryl Lane, 2006 BornFree Motorhome

“Given the size of our campers and that I am a Network Engineer, I use a tablet.  Book Recommendation: Eric Baldwin’s Helmsman.” – Mark Brown, 2004 Ford F350, 2015 Palomino HS-2902

“I prefer real books.  My wife will use her Samsung tablet.

Book Recommendations: Biographies of Custer, Glass, and Goodnight.  The Last Lion, James Michener’s 30 year old novel, Alaska. S. Ambrose’s Band of Brothers, and his book about the Lewis and Clark expedition.  We don’t have a TV in our camper.” – Philip Tron, 2009 Chevy 3500, 2012 Lance 1050

“I have been using various electronic readers since the 1980s (the first HP palm tops) and today I do 100-percent of my reading on an iPad Pro.  Book Recommendation: Travels with Charley by Steinbeck.” – Ralph Bunn, 2015 GMC 2500HD, 2004 Four Wheel Camper

“I love to read.  I have at least a dozen paperbacks in the camper and a couple hard covers.  Some are new, and some are re-reads.  I also have the Kobo and Kindle apps on both my phone and iPad so I can read anywhere I go.  I also have I books and 3M Cloud Library so I can borrow from public libraries.

Book Recommendation: It’s so hard to chose a favorite.  Game of Thrones is my current favorite.” – Linda Haley, 2007 Dodge 3500, 2016 Wolf Creek 850

“Being a fly angler, I like to fish until there’s very little light left, so by the time I put all the fly rods and tackle away, secure the boat for the night, prepare supper and clean up afterwards, sit by the campfire a while, and take a quick shower, I’m just about ready to hit the bunk and get some sleep!

After I wake up and have breakfast, it’s time to go fishing so I don’t have a lot of time to read.  I do carry a few real books, but also bring my iPad which has a whole library loaded on it.

Book Recommendation: My favorite book to (re)read while camping?  Being a hobbit at heart, anything by J.R.R. Tolkien, of course!” – Randy Brewer, 2001 Ford F150, 2016 Capri Retreat short bed

“I travel loaded with my Nook, iPad, and magazines in paper form.  Danny, on the other hand, always has several paperbacks.  My current book is always my favorite.” – Peggy Sego, 2005 Dodge 3500, 2011 Lance 992

“I visit used bookstores when traveling, so buy those (mostly paperbacks), but also have a Kindle and an iPad.  I have lots of books on my Kindle and use the iPad for magazines such as Arizona Highways or Shutterbug.  The advantage of the paper books and Kindle is not having to deal with glare.

Book Recommendation: One book I very much enjoyed was Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer.” – Bill Head, 2007 Tacoma, 2016 Four Wheel Camper Fleet shell

“I very seldom read any bound books anymore, unless that is the only was we can get them.  We read ebooks on an HP Slate, iPad, or a Dell Laptop.

Book Recommendations: Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us by Robert D. Hare, PhD was riveting.  Dr. Hare is considered one of the leading authorities on psychopathy today.  I met a number of these people while working in sales and had the misfortune of working for one for a brief period.  It also provides an excellent insight into the behavior of some politicos currently serving in national and state legislatures.” – Jon Hunstock, 2008 Ford F250, 2014 Northstar Arrow U

“I have a Kindle Paperwhite.  I use it for books only which I get from the library.  I like the Paperwhite because it has a backlit screen which is excellent for reading in bed.  Book Recommendation: Lonesome Dove.” – K. Newton, 2008 Chevy 3500, 2008 Lance 915

“I use a Kindle for everything… reading, banking, surfing, etc.  Book Recommendations: Several Stephen King books like Duma Key, Under the Dome, and 1963.” – Shellie Barnes, 2014 Ford F150, 2017 Palomino SS-550

“Neither!  I use audio books from  If I have magazines to catch up on, I take them too.  Then I use the pages I’ve read to start my evening fire.  Book Recommendations: The Walt Longmire book series by Craig Johnson.” – Christine Dyer, 2012 Chevy Silverado 1500, 2016 Four Wheel Camper Hawk Shell

“My wife is the reader.  She likes free books on the iPad or Kindle.  She uses the library system and overdrive, as well as Book Bub.  She also buys books at thrift stores or yard sales.” – William Sargent, 2012 Ram 3500, 2009 Lance 971

“I am always on my Kindle!  The main reason is that, regardless of the time of day or night, I can download an ebook from my local library on the road.  We also download audio books from the library on the Kindle to listen as we drive.  It passes the time and we get to read another book.

Book Recommendation: One Second After by William Forstchen is excellent.  And it just might save your life in an emergency situation.  It’s fiction, but it could easily happen.” – Pat Mitchell, 2007 Ford F150, 2016 Capri Camper

“Bette and I both use Kindles.  We love that you can read without lights on.  That said we usually hit used book stores during our travels and pick up an old-school book. Sometimes you just need a real book.

Book Recommendation: It’s hard to say.  I’m a big John Gierach fan (fly fishing), but I also enjoy mysteries and westerns.” – Lane Noyes, 2012 Silverado, 1997 Jayco Sportster 8

Reading spot, Lake George, New York

“Reading a paper book is vacation to me!  I am on a computer all week at work so it’s a treat to read for recreation at camp.

Book Recommendation: I prefer biographies as well and whatever I’m currently reading is my favorite at the time.  Last week at camp I read Bite Me which increased my paranoia about tick bites!” – Veronica Chase, 2015 GMC Sierra 2500 HD, 2016 Northstar Liberty

“I have a Kindle.  For a three month trip it would take up a lot of room to hold enough paper books, plus I get my new magazines.” – Robert Mayton, 2014 For F450, 2015 Lance 1172

“While we prefer books, we travel with a Kindle in our camper.

Book Recommendation: The Milepost has to be the best book we’ve read while traveling.  Having driven throughout Alaska and western Canadian provinces twice, this book proved its worth over and over as we journeyed throughout the region.” – Chuck and Jodie Ramsey, 2012 Chevy Silverado 3500, 2014 Adventurer 116DS

“My wife and I prefer the Kindle Paperwhite.  It is very thin and light and does not require you to keep the lights on in the evening because it is backlit.  Battery lasts a month or more.

Book Recommendation: Grey Seas Under by Farley Mowat.” – Jim Holland, 1995 Chevy Silverado K1500, 2010 Hallmark Milner

“I love my iPad.  We listen to a lot of books.  I take some birds and blooms along, but I like my iPad.  I can download such a huge variety of books.

Book Recommendations: I like any of Lilian Jackson Braun books.  She writes about cats and we always have two to three of our five along.  We just got back from a month long trip to the national parks in Utah and had a great time.” – Sue Mathison, 1997 Dodge 3500, 2000 Lance 1030

“We carry a Kindle for sure.  We load it up before our trips.  There are so many advantages for us; weight, space, light, convenience, great while traveling in the truck in all light conditions, and no lighting needed while in bed.  Many of the same advantages are in the backpack, too. We still use some books here and there when not traveling.

We download our best favorite authors who we can count on for always.  We have read many favorites!” – Tony Polvino, 2016 Ford F150, Travel Lite 770RS

“I generally use an iPad, but I always keep a few good paperbacks in the camper.  I also have a problem turning into a used bookstore if it is on my path, especially one that is crammed full of treasures!

Book Recommendation: At Dawn We Slept was the most memorable.” – Jon Schnebly, Freightliner, 2014 Arctic Fox 1150

“I read a mixture of real books and use the Kindle app on tablets; a Samsung Galaxy Tab and Asus Transformer.

There is no one best book, but many have been very meaningful depending on the events in our lives at the time.” – Bill Peters, 2017 Chevy Silverado, 2013 Four Wheel Camper Hawk

“I do some reading on my tablet (Lenora Yoga 3) but mostly from books.  My east-west bed has a book ledge the entire length of the mattress, right in the nose of the camper.  I keep several books, some logic puzzle magazines, and some reference books in that area.  I travel light on many other things, but I want my books!

I love campground book exchanges.  Almost every one has one as do many small town laundromats.  Often these are full of unappealing (to me) romances or crime stories, but I have found utter gems and read things I never would have thought to purchase and have greatly enjoyed.  I also trade books with friends when I stop to visit them.

I buy books at garage sales and church fairs while traveling.  The other way I enjoy literature is through my daughter’s downloads on my smart phone.  For every trip she loads several books that she has enjoyed.  I listen to them while driving, on dull grey or rainy days, or in my cabover when my eyes are tired.

My biggest problem is that when I love a book I don’t want to lose it.  I want to take it home and add it to my bookshelves. On a two month trip, that can add up!

I can remember reading many fabulous books, but where I was when reading them I can’t recall.” – Michele McLeod, 2013 Ford F150, 2000 Travel Hawk 9.5

“I have a Kindle Paperwhite and it is the best eReader I have ever had.  Book Recommendation: I am reading a collection of The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle.” – Phillip Cohen, 1998 Vacationeer Cheyenne 11.5

“Both.  I subscribe to Kindle Unlimited and have lots of books on my iPad tablet.  I also use local libraries for the dead tree stuff.

Book Recommendation: That’s a tough one.  I’ll go with one I just finished (dead tree version) Farley Mowat’s, High Latitudes, an Arctic Journey.  It describes an extended trip that the author made through the Canadian Arctic in the mid-1960s.” – Joe McGerald, 1991 Ford F350, 1995 Lance 880

“Although we bring a computer and an eReader, I prefer books.  I start out with a few from Goodwill and our library sale.  I swap at campgrounds whenever I can.  I love finding books to trade at campgrounds.

Book Recommendation: Just finished The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokow.” – Kate Meehan, 2009 Ford F350, 2009 Arctic Fox 811

“I tend to use a mix of printed books, the Kindle app on my iPad, Audible audio books via their iPhone app, and podcasts via the Downcast app for iPhone.

Book Recommendation: John Steinbeck’s, The Grapes of Wrath.” – Thomas Bowes, 2010 Chevy Silverado, 1998 Bigfoot 3000

“I use a Kindle.  Book Recommendation: Walden.  Though I suspect Thoreau would argue that truck camping is hardly the simple life he imagined.” – Bill Sledzik, 2002 Ford F250, 2014 Hallmark Ute

The Endurance book

“While taking relatively short trips (less than two weeks) I’ll take a book or two.  When we retire in a couple of years, I plan on getting an eReader so that I can have several books at once!

Book Recommendation: I love true adventure books and the best one I’ve read (so far) is The Endurance by Carolin Alexander.  It is a biography of the failed expedition of Earnest Shackleton to try and reach the South Pole.  The book contains several original photographic plates that were taken on the expedition and provide graphic illustration of the hardships endured by the crew, all of whom survived!” – Eddie Fort, 2016 Ford F350, 2016 Hallmark Everest

“I only read real books!  Book Recommendation: Travels with Charley.” – Steve Cordis, 2000 Ford F250, 1996 Skyline Weekender

“I read real books only.  That is what I was raised on and love the excitement of quickly reaching out and turning the page to continue the story!

Book Recommendation: Being a Stephen King fan I have read The Stand several times while traveling.  It is the good over evil theme that works so well on vacation travels.” – Rob Friedrich, 2016 Ford F150, Looking for a camper

“I use my iPad.  I usually use the Kindle app for reading books.” – Diane Bos, 2015 Ram, 2007 Lance 845

“I read real books that I get from our library.  When I run out of those, I read them in the Kindle app for the iPad.  I can renew my library books via the internet so I don’t have to worry about them being overdue when we are out more than three weeks.

Book Recommendations: John McFee’s geographic series including Rising from the Plains, which was perfect for a Wyoming trip.  In Suspect Terrain is about glaciation in the Northeast US.  Basin and Range is about Nevada, and Assembling California is another.  I watch for his books about places because they tell the story of the land and people.  Colin Fletcher’s A Man Who Walked Through Time and Walking Man: The Secret Life of Colin Fletcher by Robert Wehrman were perfect to read when traveling in the southwest.” – Laurel Wilson, 2013 Ford F350, 2016 Four Wheel Grandby Shell

“I am a avid reader, reading three to four books a week.  I mainly read fiction – who done it books.  I probably have 1,500 hardback books I’ve collected, mainly from friends or library sales.  However, I recently found that I can download copies of most of my authors through the local library website.

Our library in Greenville, South Carolina carries many books that can be borrowed and read on a variety of forums, Kindle, Overdrive, or PDF formats.  I prefer using overdrive and download to them my iPad.  I also have a Kindle Paperwhite.

The local library allows me to check out three books at a time and I can have four on hold until they are available.  You can set up for seven or fourteen day time limits.  I download at home on WIFI or on the road with a hotspot.  The download is quick and doesn’t use much data.

Our library also has audio books that can be downloaded.  Check out your local library because it’s free.

Book Recommendations: I have about twenty different authors I follow.  Linda likes authors who are dead, so she has to update collections.  However some keep writing even after they’ve died?  Her favorites right now are authors who have regional destinations.

I have been exploring the National Forests in South Carolina and found it interesting talking to rangers about Nevada Barr whose main character is Anna Pigeon.  It’s about a ranger catching murderers in National Parks.

There are a couple authors writing about Wyoming.  C.J. Box whose character, Joe Pickett, is a Game Warden and Craig Johnson whose character, Walt Longmire, is a sheriff.

I’ll dust off James Mitchner’s Alaska before our trip next year.” – Tim and Linda Zeh, 2005 Chevrolet 3500, 2007 Arctic Fox 1150

“I have read from a Kindle for many years. I travel a lot and taking real books is a lot of trouble, so a Kindle makes great sense.

I can read my books on my iPhone, iPad, or MacBook so there’s a lot of convenience and versatility.  I also have a Kindle.  For outdoor reading, that is the best option.

Book Recommendation: The best book I ever read would be hard to identify, but one of the best was Travels with Charley in Search of America by John Steinbeck.  He was wondering the country in his truck camper.  I have seen the camper at the Steinbeck museum in California.  It is pretty cool.” – Mark Turnbull, 2013 Chevy 3500 HD, 2017 Cirrus 820

“My husband and I use our Kindles.  We load them up with lots of books before we leave and, if we run out, it’s easy to load more.  We never run out of reading material and don’t have to take up valuable space in the camper with books.

Book Recommendation: The French Pastry Murder, by Leslie Meier.  It takes place in Paris, France.  At the time I was reading the book we were in a campground in Prince Edward Island, Canada.  There were a lot of other campers from Quebec speaking French around us.  It was just like being in France while reading the book.  I almost thought I could speak French myself!  Talk about a vacation!” – Debi Long, 2013 GMC Sierra 2500, 2014 Lance 855

“I like the feel of a paper book.  I find reading on an electronic device unsatisfying.  Book Recommendation: The Name of the Wind, Roadside Geology of Nevada.” – Ronald Schlaifer, 1999 Chevrolet K3500, 2016 Four Wheel Grandby

“Real books, always.  I love the feel of them.  Book Recommendation: Anything by Clive Cussler.  Dragon is awesome.  His books are full of adventure, just like we are searching for on the road, although not quite as dangerous as his characters find!” – Shelley Pike, 2009 Ford F350, 2006 Lance 915

“We read paper books.  We get most of our books at library book sales.  We travel with over 100 books, and swap them out as we travel.

Book Recommendations: Travels With Charley and any of the Nelson Demille novels are favorite.  My wife and I try to only drive three or four hours on travel days and try to read a book a day.” – Tom Scholtens, 2010 Silverado 2500HD, 2013 Bigfoot 2500 10.4

“I have a Kindle Paperwhite so I can read outside with no screen glare.  I have read over 500 books so far and there are more to come.  All of my library is in one place.

Book Recommendation: Harry Potter series, of course.” – Linda Phillippo, Dodge Ram 3500, 2017 Lance 1172

“No real preference.  We read paperbacks, hardbacks, Kindle, sometimes an iPad. Thrift stores are definitely a source of real paper books as well as our quarterly library book sale fueled by book donations.

The iPad is always along loaded with USGS topos of our destination and a book or two, just in case.  The Kindle has reading preference however, because its charge lasts so long.

Book Recommendation: Nothing to Lose by Lee Child (mostly because of its setting in Colorado).” – Rick Johnson, 2004 Ford F350, 2007 Lance 1181

“There’ll always be a hardcover book or two along for the ride, but they do add weight and are unneeded after one has finished reading them.  Ebooks are of course the solution, and although we have a Kobo Vox and a Nook Color, I wonder if I really want to take them along when I can read any ebook equally well on my laptop.

Macs feature a built-in reader (iBooks) and both PCs and Macs can download the freebie, Calibre.  Both readers feature tons of e-reader features, and organized storage for all your ebooks.  Calibre provides many unique capabilities including format conversions.  Change .epub to .mobi, for instance.  Note that most ebooks and all laptops emit a lot of blue light spectrum, which contributes to sleeplessness which is already a problem for seniors like us.

So be sure to download the freebie f.lux software to alter the color spectrum emitted by your screens.  f.lux is synchronized to the time of day automatically.  Also, you can buy thin plastic laminated filters that overlay your e-reader screens to cut back on their blue light emissions, too.  Enjoy your night-time reading, but sleep well!

Book Recommendation: I had downloaded copies from Europe of The Millennium Trilogy before it was known at all here in North America; Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, etc.  It was published in Sweden at the time.  I was totally transfixed during that marathon read, and will never forget it.” – Bob Bridge, 1999 Dodge Ram 2500, 2002 Fleetwood Angler

Badlands by Richard Wheeler

“We read real books.  One of us drives and the other reads aloud so we both enjoy the novel and it helps eat up the miles.

Book Recommendation: Badlands by Richard Wheeler.  We read it just last month on a trip to Arkansas/Texas.  I had read it over 10 years ago.  We prefer historical novels and Wheeler is a favorite author.  His Skyes West series is really great and we have read almost every one.  These books are easily found online in decent condition for little cost.

We prefer the paperbacks over eReaders.  I tried it and went back to real books!” – Jan Hill, 2002 Chevy Silverado 2500, 1993 Litecraft Pop-Up

“When reading, we usually use a Samsung Galaxy Tab S2.  The ability to carry a library of otherwise bulky books (trigger warning!) beats the smell of fine ink and the rustle of paper of bound reading material.

Our absolute favorite way to enjoy books is through audio books.  The pleasure of immersing the mind not only in the story, but the standout vocal talents of a really fine reader in an exciting or humorous story is the pinnacle of reading enjoyment for both of us!  Whether driving, sewing, relaxing, even sleeping (with one earbud firmly inserted in the upside ear), the bulk of our enjoyment of terrific authors comes from our Audible subscription.

Book Recommendations: As we favor fantasy mixed with action and humor, our favorite authors are Terry Pratchett, Larry Correia, JK Rowling, and Michael J Sullivan, among others.  Favorite readers include Oliver Wyman, Nigel Planer, Jim Dale, Tim Gerard Reynolds, and Bronson Pinchot.” – John and Marylou Wells, 2011 Chevy 3500, 2012 Chalet Ascent S100F

“Paperbacks and magazines, mostly.  We like the smell and feel of real paper.  Plus, I can throw them at the wildlife trying steal our food.  Try that with a Kindle and see how long it holds up.  Just kidding… sort of.

Book Recommendation: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” – Jamie Morris, 1999 Ford F250, 1999 Lance 1120

“I have a Kindle Fire and the Kindle App on my phone.  In addition to the weight concerns, books are bulky.  I can read my Kindle in the dark and, if I get tired, I can increase the font size so I don’t strain my eyes.  As a bonus, I can download thousands of books from my library for free!  That is even better than a coupon.

Book Recommendation: The Martian!  If you haven’t already seen the movie, read the book first!  Bridge of Spies was really good as well.  If you have seen the movie, read it anyhow.  It is a total immersion book!  I read anything but romance novels.” – Jeannie Coushaine, 2001 Ford F350, 2012 Chalet 116RB

“I like the Kindle Paperwhite especially in the evening when my eyes are tired or in the bright sun.  Not to mention it’s good for storage space and weight.  I also love the convenience because I get too tied up in brick and mortar stores.

Book Recommendation: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance.” – Robert Bergen, 2008 Chevy Silverado, 2016 Cirrus 800

“I’m old school, so it’s real books for me.  My wife’s the same.  Book Recommendation: A River Never Sleeps by Roderick Haig-Brown.” – Greg Armstrong, 2011 3500 HD, 2008 Northern Lite 8-11

“I prefer the Nook eReader or my iPad.  I have been reading from these over the past six or seven years.  It’s very convenient to bring along to save space.

Book Recommendation: My favorite read while sitting in the woods is Undaunted Courage written by Steven Ambrose.  It is the story of the Lewis & Clark expedition.” – Mike Reier, 2013 Ram 2500, 2012 Palomino 1620 Real Lite

“I don’t go anywhere without my iPad.  Subscribe to to get a daily email with downloadable books for $.00 to $5.99.

Book Recommendation: To Try Men’s Souls.” – Barbara Youngs, 1999 Ford F250, 2014 Arctic Fox 992

“I have always enjoyed the feeling of a real book.  There are too many gadgets and too many wires to keep track of to keep all these gadgets charged.  And, I can read a book in the sun as opposed to trying to read a screen that you cannot see.  Plus it doesn’t matter if I get sand in a book!  Can you tell I am all for the real thing?  A book!

Book Recommendations: Anything by John Grisham, quick reads by Janet Evonovich, and The Shack was pretty good in the middle of the woods in a thunderstorm.  And I would be remiss if I did not include my state maps and county maps.  I’m always looking for the next adventure.” – Susan Surateaux, 2016 GMC 3500, 2017 Arctic Fox 811

“We use our iPads and iPhones which can share the books easily, including autobookmarking (when you have WIFI service).  That way our library can be endless (which it is) and extra books can be stored in our account (which they are).

The best thing we did was join our local library.  It is free, the books are free, and the selection at a big library are endless!  I go beyond cheap and won’t pay even $1 for a book so the library was perfect.  The only thing to think about is how fast you read.  I can’t finish a book in three weeks so I found a way to keep it longer.  That also allows me to have the next one in the series already downloaded and ready.

Book Recommendation: Steve has enjoyed the Longmire series by Craig Johnson (pick any one).” – Steve and Tracy Schuster, 2015 GMC Denali 3500, 2012 Lance 992

Laptop reading at a campground

“Just about everyone already has a laptop and they work great. Upload anything you want before you leave, or my preference is catch up on anything or everything on the internet with WIFI or a personal hotspot.” – Fred Patterson, 2013 Ford F350, 2002 Lance 1161

“I found a couple of cheap tablets, $30 each.  I ordered them, downloaded the Kindle app, and these are used exclusively as our books.  The tablets run on android, and have so little processing speed that they’re not good for anything else.  Our sources are our local library, Amazon sales, plus I get one free book each month for being an Amazon Prime member.

I’ve only had a truck camper for three months, so my favorite truck camping book has yet to be determined.” – Larry Power, 2014 Ford F350, 2009 Northland Polar 860

“I use them all.  I like my eReader (Kindle) since it does not require an external light.  I read the Bible on the road.” – Steve Hannan, 2016 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD, 2013 Hallmark custom

“It’s one of our main priorities while packing the camper for a road trip; making sure we have our reading material.  We love our real books and magazines… no electronic readers for us!

The majority of my wife’s books come free from the library, or we go to library sales twice a year and buy hardbacks for a buck, paperbacks for 50 cents.  We love finding bargains.

My wife reads every single night for a minimum of two hours.  On the road we’ll sometimes stretch that to 3 or 4 hours.  No wonder we don’t get far the next day.

We both prefer reading over watching TV.  Although I will watch some cable shows because I don’t subscribe to cable at home.  And let’s not forget newspapers while on the road.  We must have our daily fix of world news.

As to the best book read while travelling, I enjoy the Jack Reacher stories by Lee Child.  Total escapism.  My current read is Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann (library book) a true story about the Osage murders and the birth of the FBI.” – Roger & Elaine Odahl, 2008 Dodge Ram 3500, 2004 Eagle Cap 950

“Most often these days, I read e-library books with the Overdrive app on my old iPad. Alternate choice is again e-library books plus Amazon Prime Reading and free monthly book with the Kindle on my iPad.  And don’t forget e-library magazines with the Zinio app on the iPad.

Gone are the days when I stockpiled used paperbacks all year and started every long trip with a grocery sack full of them in the camper, giving them away along the journey as I finished them.  Reading on e-things freed up a cupboard, and space is always nice to have in a small RV.

Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns in 2003 while I was partially retracing their route. Also read the original L&C journals and several other related books.” – Karen Smith, 2006 Chevy Silverado 8.1 L 4×4, Tiger CX (it’s a C, not a TC)

“Yes!  I use both paperback and my Nook.  Not so often I’ll use the tablet.  I like both paper based and the Nook since they are small, compact, and easily portable.  The advantage of the Nook over 300 full length books of numerous genres is that it can be used at night without waking my partner (who does get cranky if woken up).

Book Recommendation: Louis L’Amour’s story, The Haunted Mesa.  Of course, I’m partial to all L’Amour stories, especially since many are of states or areas where I have traveled or lived.

Most stories have been read numerous times, but now I get the geography and geology books as well as current maps to trace the areas where the story takes place.  I’ve found many neat places to visit or camp by using this technique.  Both L’Amour and Zane Gray provided great detail about the landscapes where their stories were located.  This does help the mind work longer and the memory is challenged to find the locations.” – Harry Palmer, 2008 Dodge Ram 2550, 2008 Lance 915

“Kindle. It’s preferred and 99% of the time I always have a hard copy handy if the battery runs dry. I always have an iPad and laptop along.” – Bob Nelson, 2015 GMC 3500, 2013 Arctic Fox 1140

“I may take along books or magazines, but I love my Kobo eReader.  I have two tablets as well.  Ebook readers are the ultimate off the grid device.  There are no worries about running out of battery life and you can read them outdoors in the blazing bright sun of a beach.

The tablets are great for night reading and also serve as a computer for online browsing.  We have Asus and iPad mini tablets.  The energy efficiency compared to a laptop gives us a lot of freedom.  We never have to power down off-grid.

Book Recommendation: Second Nature by Michael Pollan.” – Rene Poulin, 1997 Dodge Ram 2500, 2000 Bigfoot 2500 9.6


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