Saturday, December 3, 2022


A good place to carry books in your RV


By Jim Twamley

Editor’s note: In an early Star Trek motion picture, there’s a scene where Captain Kirk has donned a pair of ancient eyeglasses and sits – reading a book. When the film came out, people laughed at the anachronism: Imagine – a dusty, old, paper book in those future days.

My how time flies. Seems like everyone but “tree killers” reads their books on some sort of e-device. Or do they? We have a few favorite books of ours that have to be suitably illuminated, and pages physically turned. Maybe you do to. If so, you may enjoy this suggestion from the Professor of RVing, Jim Twamley, on how to carry those “quaint, old-fashioned” tomes.

How about setting a goal for yourself to read two books a month or more? RV parks usually have a free book exchange where you can trade in books you’ve finished for some you haven’t read.

If you are like me, you probably have several books you like to keep around for reference. Both weekend and full-time RVers enjoy taking books along on their travels, but where do you store them?

If you put them deep in the back of a cupboard you will forget about them, but if you have them somewhere at the ready, you’re likely to read more.

Do-it-yourself RV book rackJames and Colleen White from Mt. Carmel, Illinois, enjoy reading. They like having their books handy so they installed a simple retaining rack in the space over the driver side and passenger side windows. This decorative railing is available at any big box hardware store. This is a handy place for both reference books as well as casual reading. Reading is one of the greatest gifts we have, so please, read with abandon! —Jim Twamley, Professor of RVing


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11 months ago

When we switched from separate washer and dryer in cabinets inside closet to single washer/dryer combo and replaced dining table with a desk and file cabinet, I asked the repair shop to repurpose the wood top of dining table by cutting it up to make a bookcase. They made three shelves to fit perfectly inside the previous dryer cabinet and now our books are stashed away safely, give weight to counter the washer cabinet, and easy access to our unread books.

Dr. Michael
11 months ago

Seriously? That is not the best scene in Star Trek with books.
I have not had the time to watch the show in decades, but even I remember Samuel T Cogley, attorney at law!!

Star Trek — Samuel T Cogley, Likes His Books – YouTube

I always bring my medical journals when we go away. The quiet time is perfect for sitting and reading.

Be safe

Dr. Mike

Last edited 11 months ago by Dr. Michael
11 months ago

We have garage sales in Texas, paperback books go for about 25 cents each and then after some strongarming the seller along with some serious bartering, I get them for a cool 3 for a dollar!!

Mike Albert
11 months ago
Reply to  david

Sounds like the seller tricked you. .25 each would be four for a $1.00.
Just saying, but either way, worth every penny if you enjoyed it.

Donald N Wright
11 months ago

I tend to keep books and magazines in a cabinet down low. Books are heavy, and you do not want them falling off a shelf.

11 months ago

Spouse likes her various e-readers. I like paper. Small book-sized closet holds my books. Cannot resist used bookstores or “free.” One of the best used bookstores that I have found is in Crossville, TN. A converted failed grocery store that has almost everything for everybody. Wish that I could find more like them.

2 years ago

I had a custom bookshelf made to fit at the end of our island in our Grand Design Solitude, It’s mounted to the floor with Velcro and has a few rubber bumpers on its back to protect the island cabinet. The books are placed inside a ottoman when we travel, it only takes about three minutes to pack them in or out, so no big deal. I have done something similar in all of my RV’s over the years.

I’m old school I would rather hold a book to read it, rather than on a screen. Although I do own a tablet that has hundreds of books on it, paper is my preference, some books are just better in paper format.

Paul S Goldberg
2 years ago

Sadly gave up most print books when moved to full time in 2012. We do have a chunk of cupboard space devoted to cookbooks and files of recipes. Wife looks them up online and prints out the ones she plans on using. They get marked up as the process goes and added to the file. I have tried to convince her to use the screen, but she says it is really hard to write on. Old habits are hard to change and in our case the habits are pretty old.

2 years ago

I resisted using an e-reader for many years but finally gave in a few years ago and bought one. It didn’t get much use–until this year. Even so, I can’t resist buying something in independent bookstores (must be the author in me that has to support the non-chain stores where the booksellers are so quick to help and knowledgeable as well). I leave those books in laundry rooms and laundromats, in RV park libraries and on swap tables, and in those free little libraries when it’s allowed (some curators don’t like books left in them that didn’t start there). I also donate them to used bookstores and libraries that have used bookstores in them; sometimes I get a free book or two back for them–icing on the reader’s cake, to be sure! The only books we keep are field guides and maps (we’re in a 30′ Class C full-time… space is a premium). Good to see some suggestions for adding shelves, though…!

Phil Atterbery
2 years ago

When we started our FT odyssey it didn’t take long before my DW decided she needed a book shelf. My response was not the normal, “sure, how big”. After several exchanges of the pros & cons of shelving in a DPMH the DW logic won out. It was determined to place the book storage unit in front of the closet bypass doors on the carpeted floor. Later the single box design was place just inside the closet on the floor, in front of all western boot bags and such. It hasn’t presented any problems yet. It’s remained stable after several short trips. When your house has wheels & moving walls, one has to be creative.

Matt C
2 years ago

While Mary is always reading from her tablet, we still find the coach library essential. As we are travelers more than campers, we carry several heavy guide books, not to mention a trucker’s atlas (spiral bound opens flat) both east and west mountain directories purchased long before the electronic version, EZ-66 and Blue Ridge guides and a few more. It does worry me that they are on a high shelf. The manuals for the coach itself are in an old attache that lives with the spares. The stack of Family RVing and Vintage RVing get cycled though, but are regularly renewed. As I have had a name tag that had Navigator under my name, it is a habit to carry charts (maps) that will still work when the GPS quits. This has been helpful.

Dr. Mike
2 years ago

Like Captain Kirk, I have a “fondness for antiques” (books, that is). When we removed the front TV from our 2008 Tiffin Class A, we built in a two-level bookshelf with glass doors. It looks OEM and we get many comments like “I wish I had selected that option from the factory!”

Dr. Mike
2 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Mike

Also, the scene you mention is actually from the 1982’s Star Trek movie “The Wrath of Khan.” The publicity photo of a 35-year old William Shatner as Captain Kirk was taken in 1966!

2 years ago

My books are under control, but kudos on finding a way to add a little storage space. Looking around I see 2 nooks where I could store things if I set up a railing like that. Thanks!

Richard B
2 years ago

Kindle is our answer to where to keep books in our RV. We can store 100 books in the space of one book.

Sink Jaxon
2 years ago
Reply to  Richard B

Totally agree!!

Gloria Sluder
2 years ago

I have a Kindle so storage isn’t a problem. It’s been getting use a lot !ately. That’s how I get your site. Unlimited is great.

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