I have always been pretty skeptical of ebook readers. I love the heft of physical books, the smell and feel of paper, and the color and art of the covers. I like how reading a book in public can be an invitation to an exciting conversation, and I am deeply satisfied by a well-organized bookshelf. So until recently I never felt the need to bother with any of the various ebook readers.
However, my trip to Oaxaca is 12 days long, and I was determined to only take carry-on bags to avoid the fees and dangers of checking luggage. Luckily on the clothes side of things, the place we're staying has a washer and dryer. However, there was no way I could possibly pack enough books to keep me entertained (I read very fast, and have been known to go through as many as six books in four days).
So, I took the plunge and downloaded Kindle for iPhone onto my phone. There are TONS of free ebooks to be had from Kindle; both copyright-free ones such as Alice in Wonderland and specials from current authors (often romance and mystery novels, but I happened upon a free e-version of Naomi Novik's His Majesty's Dragon). Of course you can also buy ebooks, but I still have a hard time justifying the purchase of a book that I can't put on my shelf. So I picked up several of these to keep me occupied. I also downloaded a free app that contained the entire set of Sherlock Holmes stories.
I have to say, I'm rather hooked. I still am skeptical of the utility of a single-purpose piece of tech like the Kindle or Nook -- I'd rather use my smartphone for as many jobs as possible -- but for people who travel I think ebooks are totally the way to go. Generally you can change the font size (and sometimes even the font) to make your story easier to read, and with baggage fees going nowhere but up it makes complete sense to "pack" your books on your phone rather than take up valuable luggage space. By bringing along most of my reading material on my iPhone (I still brought a couple of physical books!) I was able to pack so lightly as to be able to still have room for souvenirs!
So next time you travel, mix it up and consider using ebooks to keep yourself entertained!
(As always, I am not affiliated with any products or companies I mention here!)