Friday, June 9, 2023


When RVing, do you read mostly printed books or eBooks?

Before eBooks came along, RVers who were avid readers needed to pack along printed books. Each one added additional weight to their RVs, which in some cases could be significant.

Then eBooks came along, most notably Kindle editions from Amazon. It was now possible to have an unlimited library of titles available at any time with a simple download via the internet. Most public libraries offer eBooks as well. Whether you downloaded one book at a time or kept a library of hundreds, the weight was the same — that of the tablet or other device used to read them.

It’s been a long time since we’ve asked readers how they are reading books these days when traveling with their RVs. So our question today is about your own reading habits — printed books or eBooks?

Remember, it can take a few moments for the poll to load if you are on a slow connection. So hang on … it will be along shortly. And, please feel free to leave a comment.


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9 months ago

Having a Kindle has hugely increased the choices we have to read on trips. I mostly use the Kindle for my fiction reading, along with some non-fiction. It’s easier on my arthritic hands, and being able to change the font and lighting is handy no matter where I am. A friend, and sometimes camping companion has dyslexia and the font created for that is great for her.
My Bible, study books, cookbooks, and quilting books are all better in hard copy. I have the Kindle app for my iPad and iPhone, and may use that for some cookbooks (often I decide to buy the hard copy), etc. We have some small press hiking guides that the updated versions are now only available in electronic version. Not as handy as hard copy, but they exist.
For the next trip, we have two tote bags of hiking and field guides, two book bags, and two Kindles – for a week.

10 months ago

Read Printed Books. HRH “The Princess” reads e-books. When we are both reading it is called “Peace in the Valley”!!.

10 months ago

Mostly printed because they are available at campground libraries/exchanges. How do you share ebooks?

Neal Davis
10 months ago

DW only reads e-books that she gets from the library. I almost always read printed books, but I do have several books as PDFs. However, I do not enjoy reading the PDFs nearly as much as hard copies..

10 months ago

I love audio books

Ed Wullschleger
10 months ago

As I clicked on “Mostly e-books” the poll reloaded and took the click as “Only printed books”. Also the poll wouldn’t let me change my vote like they used to, so my vote is now incorrect.

RV Staff
10 months ago

Hi, Ed. Thanks for your comment. I don’t set up the polls, but just went in and added the option back in to allow you to change your vote. I don’t know if it’ll work for you now, but you might try it. (I’m not sure why that option was turned off.) Have a good evening. 😀 –Diane

Diane Mc
10 months ago

Sadly ebooks. Just more convenient. If you want to keep them, don’t take up any space at home or in the motorhome. Something about a real book, though.

10 months ago

The wife constantly reads e-books, at home or away. I read farm and car magazines, yes real paper magazines. On the road, I can take magazines with me, (RV has a built in magazine rack), or brochures from the area to find the next local adventure.

10 months ago

I read both. I have 998 ebooks on my Kindle (Really????? How did I end up with this many books?!?). We use book exchanges at a lot of campgrounds (pick one up, leave one behind). It’s a great way to keep the inventory of books in the motorhome to a minimum.

10 months ago

I read them and pass them around and if still in good shape donate them to my local Library for use or sell at their used book store.

Roy Davis
10 months ago

I read e-books even when not RVing but that’s the only thing I read when on the road. My wife, on the other hand, only reads printed books. We have had the discussion about space and weight, but it’s an argument I cannot win.

10 months ago

I read both but like printed best. I look on Little free library’s map to find one near me and swap them out after reading. The map isn’t always up to date and sometimes there is no longer a little free library there.

Val Catena
10 months ago

I used to read printed books (avg 3 per week) and had at 1 point over 800 unread in my library. Children got me a kindle which I used regularly when traveling. After death of partner I had to downsize and last few years found audiobooks best and almost always on! I checked “do not read!”

10 months ago

I read ebooks most of the time (on a Kindle) but I always have three or four regular books on board…just in case. I NEED to have a book to read…I may not have a lot of time to read it but that’s my security blanket – to know there is one available when I want to read. If there’s a heaven, it has a library.

Leslie P
10 months ago

I used to be exclusively e-books but I enjoy the feel of a real book. I only allow myself one book at a time because living full time in a truck camper doesn’t afford the luxury of a library. I love when I find a book trading spot in a park that I can share my books I’ve read. Of course that then allows me to get a new one.

Gary G
10 months ago

I read ebooks 99%, DW is 50-50. I prefer my iPad as I can change the font and brightness as I wish. Works better with bifocals.

10 months ago

The lighting where I sleep in the RV doesn’t work well for reading a paper book once I’m laying down, so I have paper books for outside in my chair 🙂 and books on my iPad (Kindle app) for in-bed.

Ron T.
10 months ago

I have a book at my bedside wherever I am – RV or home (mine or others’). I collected them for three decades and they number 1000+. I’m now reading or re-reading them and when a box gets full, they go away. Downsizing on my own terms.

10 months ago

Ebooks allows me to read at night and not disturb those still sleeping. It also allows me to increase the word size for easier reading. That is why I prefer ebooks over traditional paper/printed.

Caro Erlingheuser
10 months ago
Reply to  Janet

Exactly the same reasons for me+–I like reading in bed, hubby doesn’t like the light on—also like to adjust the text depending on eye fatigue

10 months ago

I actually read exclusively audiobooks

10 months ago
Reply to  Darla

I should state why. I have severe carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands. Holding either a print or ebook causes numbness. Audiobooks are a salvation for my insatiable reading appetite.

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