Paper or digital?
There’s a trip on the horizon and a quandary in the planning stages.
What is the better format to use – a paper guide or one in Kindle, PDF or an alternative eBook format on an iPad, phone, desktop or laptop?
There’s two Rough Guides and a Lonely Planet plus a DK on the iPad in Kindle format and an elderly Lonely Planet, a newly acquired (last Sunday – from a bookshop, not online) Rough Guide, a more comprehensive DK and an Insight Guide (also from the same bookshop) in paper format.
It’s over two years since I wrote about this subject, but since doing the research for this upcoming venture, paper books are still for me the way to go when planning or undertaking a trip.
The Rough Guide I bought last Sunday is already on my iPad in Kindle format, but getting the paper version has already proved worthwhile.
Our town and city destinations for this road trip have been marked up with Post It notes and the highlighter pen will be in action this week as potential attractions in and around those towns and cities are spotted.
That book will be shoved into my jacket pocket when we fly and used alongside any information or posters spotted once we land, find our accommodation and then start exploring on the ground.
It will also be used as a guide to menu busting, an aide to my ever woefully bad language skills and as a quick reference assistant should we find ourselves in interesting places at short notice…
I may have an iPhone now, but Siri is disabled on my phone as a means of preserving battery life and data usage allowances.
Is Siri useful? Possibly, but it’s not for me, even though we’ve had great fun leaving reminders on someone’s Alexa device recently (usually along the lines of “It’s time to tidy your bedroom” or “It’s time you used the washing machine” or “It’s your turn to do the washing up”…
So no, technology hasn’t won me over.
Yes, I will have the iPad with me for email checking, but the Kindle app will be used to read biographies, travel accounts or even the odd novel or two (I’m not into fiction).
As far as guides go though, a paper book is easier to read, mark up and find things in thanks to the contents list at the front and the index at the back.
And a book has another advantage – you don’t need to charge the battery!