Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

Never stop dreaming, 'cause the day you stop dreaming, is the day you stop living.

A Month Abroad: Which books to take?


The title is the best description of the problem I’m dealing with. Next week Saturday, the 24th, I’ll leave behind Germany and enter France for the four-week work experience arranged by my college.

A Picture of a eBook

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What this means is that I’ll live in France for a month and work full-time. It doesn’t sound that difficult, if you ignore the anxiety due to not being about speaking French essentially 24/7, living with someone I don’t know, and working with people I don’t know.

Okay, so maybe I’m a bit more nervous than I’d like to admit. That’s not the point of this post.

Obviously, I need to take things for entertainment (my laptop is so going with me), but the problem I have is choosing books.

I have so many things I need to drag with me. How do I decide if I should take books or not, and if I do, which ones and how many?

With all the clothes and other basic day-to-day things I’m taking, I can’t afford to drag along my entire bookcase. Sadly, I haven’t gotten myself a Kindle yet, or else this would solve itself. It’s on my list of things to buy after my trip.

It’s difficult to decide, if I take books, which to take. Should I take ones I know I love, so I can enjoy a relaxing read after a rough day at work? Or, should I take some of my unread books and risk venturing into the unknown?

I have all five books of Jenna Black‘s ‘Morgan Kingsley’ series, but have only read the first. Maybe I should take those?

I will shower those who offer advice with flowers and praise and eternal gratitude. Maybe I’m a worry-wart, but I don’t want to make the choice in what to take, as the amount I can take with me is limited.

Preparing for this trip is going to kill me.

What kind of books would you suggest taking, and how many? Have you had any experience with this kind of trip?

Author: Natasha McNeely

I'm a writer, reader, gamer and a dreamer. I love losing myself to thought and considering possibilities. That is how I create my stories and weave the erratic tales into readable ones.

12 thoughts on “A Month Abroad: Which books to take?

  1. That usually happens to me when I go in a trip. I have a Kindle now, so that kind of helps to solve my problem but I had to go through this same dilemma when I didn’t have one. So my suggestion to you is:
    1. Take at least 2 but no more than 4 weeks, depending on how much you read and how much time you will actually have available.
    2. Only read after work. Take some time to walk around and be a tourist so that when you do get time to read you will just want to lay down and read.
    3. Don’t read books that you’ve already read. If you’re reading a series of books finish them, that should help you stay motivated (if you enjoyed the first one at least).
    Hope you resolve this issue soon!(:

    • I’m hoping to get a Kindle soon; it would make my life so much easier.
      1. I didn’t intend to take any more than five, tops – if any at all, as that’s my current dilemma.
      2. I’ll be a tourist as much as I can be, but I don’t want to spend all of my free time walking around. I’ll figure out how much time to spend doing what, when I figure out my work schedule.

      Thank you for the advice! 🙂

  2. Arrrgh, tough decision! I hate when this happens too! Well, do you have any particular book that you really wanna read at the moment? Usually that’s how I decide, selecting books that I really wanna read the most. Or I try sorting which book is more famous since they usually tickle me and make me curious of what made them so famous. And although it’s really hard, but I’d try not to bring more than 2 books (if they’re thick) or 3 (if they’re thin).

    • I have so many books I want to read, that I don’t know where to start. I have 20+ unread books in my bookcase and that’s not including research books.
      I’m thinking I might take the Morgan Kingsley series, just to finally get on with it. I read the first book in Summer 2010! Just got the other books two months ago. I need to get to reading.
      Thanks for the help!

  3. A month sounds like a long time, but it will go by quickly once you’re there. I would take 1 or 2 books that you’re really excited about reading.

    You probably won’t have as much time for reading as you would at home since you’ll be meeting lots of new people who will want to entertain you and show off their homeland to you. You’ll also probably be spending a decent portion of your spare time keeping in touch with friends and family back home.

    If you run out of reading material, you can always buy another book over there. English books are readily available in most places in Europe. I went on a professional exchange for a month back in 2007, and I scarcely read a thing!

    • Yeah, I’m sure you’re right about that; I just like being well-prepared.

      I am hoping to spend time online to chat with friends and hopefully keep my blog updated. That, and I’m hoping to get a lot of writing done.

      I know Europe has a lot of books in English, but my biggest problem with Europe, after living here for nearly twelve years, is that the selection of English books is rather limited.
      I get all my English books via Amazon.

  4. That is a tough one. I would bring at least two books that are like old friends, one that you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t made the time, and a couple that you know you will probably like (such as the ones in the Morgan Kingsley series). It will work out to a lot of books, but then you will be covered for all moods and circumstances, right?

    • Yeah, I definitely agree. I’m thinking about taking that series and, like you said, a book or two that are old friends – ones I can read over and over and will still love.
      Thanks for the help! 🙂

  5. My own personal experiences tell me that it’s completely pointless for me to take books on trips anymore. I never find the time to read while I’m away, and even in the event that I’m not doing anything, I almost never feel like reading. When I’m in a new place, I’m just too busy for my mind to slow down enough to read.

    Nevertheless, if you think you’ll want to have some downtime and just read a book, and also have the space in your suitcase, take a couple along. I won’t make recommendations for what books you should take, though. Whatever strikes your fancy at the time is what you’ll enjoy the most! 😉


    • I know what you mean. As much as I’d love to spend all my free time reading, I doubt I’ll be able to. Despite that, I hate being somewhere for an extended period of time without something to read, even if I don’t get around to reading it.

      I’ll probably take a small amount, just in case. I don’t know if I’ll have the time, especially as I plan to get a lot of writing done, but I’d rather have it and not need it, than not have it and need it!

      Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  6. Take five random unknown books. New country? You may just discover a new genre or a new favourite author. Hope you have fun!

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