While a good book may be the backpackers best friend, traveling with more than one at a time can seriously weigh you down. Avoid lugging around more than one book at a time by participating in a book exchange.
Book exchanges or swaps are semi-informal systems offered at hostels that allow travelers to trade in one book for the next. Trusting travelers not to leave with pockets full of novels at a time, hotels encourage people passing through to leave books they’ve read and grab a book they haven’t. While it may be tempting to pack enough books to last the entirety of your journey (especially if your travels will be taking you to places where English isn’t the first language) try to resist! Bring one or two books with you if you have a couple long-haul flights lined up before touching down but otherwise, keep an eye open for book exchanges on the ground.
Can’t find a book exchange? Head to a backpackers hot-spot like an internet cafe or restaurant featured in your guidebook and ask fellow travelers for advice on where to grab your next good read. Chances are good that they’ll either know of a place you can make the exchange or have a book they’re looking to swap themselves.
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