I'm a great book-hoarder.
No easy feat for an ever-moving person without a fixed address, right?
But I get books everywhere; as gifts, at garage sales, through tips from well-read friends. My pile of unreads is a teetering mess.
I'm off to South Korea soon. This is a place where the English section of a book store boasts Wordsworth Classics, a paperback pyramid of Tuesdays With Morrie, and little else. Not really a vast selection for a voracious reader.
I've learned that when moving abroad, it's best to bring a little library in your luggage to keep you busy. When you're a book nerd, assembling and packing that library is too much fun. The trouble is, though, that some books are better suited for going abroad than others.
Should I immerse myself in Korean literature and essays? Should I get revved up on travel with Theroux and Pico Iyer?
A book can be a wonderful companion when you're travelling. The right book can reflect the many emotions of travel and change. Reading On the Road while backpacking in England, I readily drank in the giddy sense of freedom. Reading A Portrait of a Lady in China, where I stood out as a single foreign female, I felt comforted.
Some books, I read in the wrong place at the wrong time. In busy Istanbul, The House of Spirits made me long for family. I read The Unbearable Lightness of Being when I was last in Korea, and the bleak and gritty scenery never synced with my bustling, neon-lit surroundings.
I'll be making my luggage-bound library soon, and I'd love some tips.
From my fellow travellers and fellow readers, what are the best books to bring overseas?