A Trading Device? Not Money. But Books.

Submitted by indohoyindohoy on 20 August 2011   •  Opinion


What do you do to kill time on the road? I bet most of you would say ‘read’ or ‘listen to music’ or ‘sleep’.  Those are the things I do other than (creating and) playing silly games with my travel mates. The scenery is no doubt worth admiring and enjoying along the road, but hours and hours of a beautiful view will definitely wear you down at some point.

Honestly, the initial idea that got me start this post was about books to read in travels. The light bulb clicked in my head 3 months ago when I was killing time and relaxing in a diner in Basco, Batan Island, the Philippines. There in the diner of a small town, I was surprised to find novels such as those of the authors Irvine Welsh and Chuck Pahlaniuk. I didn’t have any book with me (except a not so interesting edition of Reader’s Digest I bought in the airport), so I couldn’t trade in anything with any of the books in their shelf. But with a good approach to the nice lady who owns the diner I finally got my way in buying one of them novels half of the original price, yay! Plus an almost full pack of cigarettes that belonged to my friend Boyo.

books n travel

So. Reading a book and munching on French fries was a nice way of killing time and recharging after a long day of hiking and motorbiking around the gorgeous island. Even as a party kind of person, you would probably be left with no other choice when there is no night club nor bar in town.

I was lucky to meet the nice lady who owns the diner in Basco. Less than a month prior to that, I experienced something not as nice at Seraya Island Bungalows. You see, usually books are to be read for free on the spot. But not on this resort. And judging from the snappy manager, I doubted that I could talked him into selling me a book. And I would not trade in my Frankie magazine with any book. Luckily, there was nothing interesting on the shelf anyway.

travel Indonesia - Togian Islands

So my point is.. I found out that books, in travels, don’t only function as something to kill time with. Turns out, it can also be a trading device. You’ll never know when and where ever you might find an interesting book, or a book that you’ve been looking for, and that you could get it with only trading it with your used book. Hm, why do I have a feeling that my point doesn’t really have much point? But wait! It may get more interesting if.. if… and if.. maybe.. someone cute at the end of the table noticed what you were reading and find it interesting and then strike a conversation… and who knows what will go on from there…. *wink* 

Do you bring books when you travel? And what are they good for?

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