Joe and I LOVE books. If there is anything I am tempted to hoard, it’s books. I love getting lost in a good story and learning new things from the experience of others. I even love the smell of books- I’m a NERD that way. And no one can dispute the value of books from a learning standpoint. As we have learned about our nation’s founding fathers, a common thread among their stories was how much they treasured the wealth of knowledge found in books and regularly sought out ways to borrow, purchase and acquire them.
Unfortunately, when you live in an RV, van, skoolie, or travel trailer, books are not really your friend. A plethora of volumes will quickly weigh a rig down and make driving conditions unsafe. This is particularly a challenge for roadschoolers using book-based curriculums. Multiply that by our FOUR kids, and you can imagine what a dilemma that poses for our family. You can imagine the inner struggle I have: I want to have books. I want my kids to LOVE books. But we really can’t afford to have the weight of books in our traveling tiny home.
So what do we do???
We have had to come up with some creative solutions to our book problem:
- We enjoy stopping at Half Price books and other used book stores to browse books. At theses stores, we can return used books (for a teeny, tiny commission/credit) and buy new books. So far, we still have more books on hand than we should (weight-wise), but this helps keep “real” books in the hands of the kids so that they are not on screens all. the. time.
- Libraries tend to have a “Friends of the Library” section where they fundraise by selling older books for very cheap. All of us enjoy browsing through these sections as we visit libraries to do our schoolwork.
- A lot of campgrounds and neighborhoods have “take one, leave one” libraries. This is a great way to off-load old books that others can enjoy, while giving us an opportunity to scope out new reading possibilities.
- Each of our kids has their own Kindle Fire on which they can read books. We like Kindles because they have great parental controls (monitoring time spent on the device and the content they can access) and a free reading app that is accessible on virtually every device. Not only do the kids have access to great books they can read and listen to, but they can also play games and download movies to watch. If you’d like access to kid-friendly games and activities (especially great for entertainment while traveling!), you can enjoy an Amazon FreeTime Unlimited free 30 day trial by clicking the link below. If you choose to continue once the trial period ends, it costs only $3 a month for one individual plan.
- Kindle offers many free books which the kids can enjoy. There are SO MANY classics accessible to the kids to download for free!! (Did I mention FREE?) Kindle also offers an “unlimitied” program, which allows you to read as many books as you want for one low monthly price. You can click the link to learn more.
- We listen to books on Audible. Again, I have one account that is accessible to all of the kids. We enjoy listening to books together as a family when we are driving. Or if the kids like, they can attach their headphones and listen on their own device to the book of their choosing. Audible is running a special right now that gives you an opportunity to try it out for your next roadtrip FREE!!
- We can check out books through our public library’s ebook lending library. 3MCloud, Overdrive and Hoopla are popular apps that libraries use to disperse eBooks to their patrons. The kids have these apps downloaded onto their Kindles and can check out new books for free. Check with your home library to see what apps they employ.
The good news: whether you love the idea of eBooks and audio books, or prefer the joy of holding a bound volume in your hand, there are options! All it takes is a little creativity.
If you would like to check out Kindles for yourself, I’ve provided clickable links below to see some of the different Kindle options available. Amazon is currently offering some great deals on Kindle packages for Valentines Day!
And if you already own a Kindle Fire, but find it is outdated and not working as well as it should, Amazon is offering a great “upgrade” deal (click the link below):
How does your family approach the conundrum of books and nomadic life? If you have other ideas/options, PLEASE, share them in the comments below!
Keep Doing Life Deliberately,
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