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Reading book worth carrying?

jkb122

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Fall (2019)
Hello! I plan on starting my first Camino in September 2019: any thoughts on a book that you felt was worth its weight to carry? I am not interested in taking a kindle, or reading from my phone. I was thinking about something from John O'Donohue; or maybe the Pilgrimage book by Phil Cousineau? I would love to hear if anyone really felt the book they carried was enlightening and not just extra weight. Thanks!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
I love to read, but for me the book of the Camino is engrossing enough.

If I were to carry anything it would be poetry - something that takes me into the heart, rather than information that takes me into the head. So some John O'Donohue would be perfect, starting with this:

For the Traveler
Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in.

New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.

When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home:

How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening in conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight
You could not have known
You needed
To illuminate
Your way.

When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.

A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.

May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.

May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.
 

jkb122

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Fall (2019)
I love to read, but for me the book of the Camino is engrossing enough.

If I were to carry anything it would be poetry - something that takes me into the heart, rather than information that takes me into the head. So some John O'Donohue would be perfect, starting with this:

For the Traveler
Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in.

New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.

When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home:

How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening in conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight
You could not have known
You needed
To illuminate
Your way.

When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.

A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.

May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.

May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.
Thanks so much-- love this...yes I was also thinking poetry if I were going to take anything to read
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
I take a small and compact New Testament with Pslams for a devotional and prayer time just before I start my daily walk in the mornings. It is the same one I carried in various military-sponsored tours of Southeast Asia a few decades back.

I find that in general, while I love reading, I just do not miss it while on Camino. I'm too busy walking, sight-seeing, doing chores, eating, visiting, or sleeping. :)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
A well thumbed edition of Collected Short Stories of Saki - Hector Hugh Munro is a treasured traveling companion. A hefty 340gm (yes, I just weighed it); it has stories to suit all occasions all of which have been read many, many times.
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May/June, 2018
Porto-Muxia-Finisterre Oct (2019)
I find that in general, while I love reading, I just do not miss it while on Camino. I'm too busy walking, sight-seeing, doing chores, eating, visiting, or sleeping. :)
Dave is right on with this statement. I love to read but I had no time or desire to do so during 5 weeks on the Camino because I was busy living life instead of reading about it. Do your "research" reading ahead of time.

If you have the personality type where you get anxious if you are not constantly doing something than maybe you need a book. One of the most special things about the Camino is the ability to disconnect from routines, responsibilities and expectations we have at home and sometimes unknowingly bring with us to the Camino.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Just this. The only book I have read three times.
Although, on the Camino, I make a point of bringing (but on Kindle, I'm afraid) an unread classic - Vanity Fair was my last one. I'll probably take a Trollope when I set off next week.
As James Major was once reputed to have said: you can't beat a good Trollope!
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
Hello! I plan on starting my first Camino in September 2019: any thoughts on a book that you felt was worth its weight to carry? I am not interested in taking a kindle, or reading from my phone. I was thinking about something from John O'Donohue; or maybe the Pilgrimage book by Phil Cousineau? I would love to hear if anyone really felt the book they carried was enlightening and not just extra weight. Thanks!
A book which I come back to time and again is by John O'Donohue and is a posthumous collection of radio talks. It is Walking on the Pastures of Wonder, edited by John Quinn. It has recently come out in paperback and there seems to be an edition in the USA called Walking in Wonder. It is an easier read than some of his other works - very conversational. Very good on landscape, and walking, and being still, and being quiet. And much else. And it contains a selection of his poetry, one for each chapter. I haven't taken it on a camino, but a lot of it is in my head now! The only book I have taken to read in paper is a small NT. Oh and a Kindle!! - but I find I read very little when walking.
 

Laliibeans

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014)
I'm a die hard reader, but didn't take a book when I walked, I took a travel journal instead (lightweight Moleskine, always a winner). I still felt that I didn't get enough time to write in it after walking, setting up in the albergue, showering, washing clothes, eating, chatting, basking in the afternoon sun, and sightseeing. But then again, you can always take one from a second hand place and if you aren't reading it or it's too heavy you can donate it to an albergue or another pilgrim.
 

Frances Bat

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances SJPdP (June 2017)
Camino Frances Sarria (June 2018)
Camino Ingles (July 2018)
I took and enjoyed Laurie Lee's account of his travels on foot around Spain in 'As I Walked out one Midsummer's morning'. I had a kobo with me though, so I also had The Pilgrimage Road, Basho's haikus, the Bible and some Xena fan fiction. You never know what you might need. :)
 

jkb122

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Fall (2019)
Thanks so much for all the thoughtful suggestions: I haven't decided if the extra weight is worth carrying, but I wanted to know if anyone else carried a favorite book (or tablet). I appreciate all the responses, and have a lot to think about
 

Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Camino(s) past & future
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
Hello! I plan on starting my first Camino in September 2019: any thoughts on a book that you felt was worth its weight to carry? I am not interested in taking a kindle, or reading from my phone. I was thinking about something from John O'Donohue; or maybe the Pilgrimage book by Phil Cousineau? I would love to hear if anyone really felt the book they carried was enlightening and not just extra weight. Thanks!
I read on my iPad and so weight is not an issue. If you want to read a flippant, entertaining novel set on the Camino, then I strongly recommend ‘Two Steps Forward’ by an Aussie husband and wife couple. Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
What about Michener's 'Iberia'?
If you want an "about Spain" book, I think that Giles Tremlett's "Ghosts of Spain" would be lighter and more current.

My reading on Caminos usually involves a pocket Oxford edition of one of Trollope's novels. They were written to be read as stand-alone episodes, much like a TV serial, in a narrative. You can read the 15-25pp of each chapter without worrying what happened to the archdeacon that week. However, I found myself distracted by the vision of the sky turning indigo while sitting in a plaza, the stones still warm from the day, and it usually takes me a full month to finish the book.

Gitlitz and Davidson is gold for the Frances; the wicked pilgrim can read up about their next day's stop in advance, so that they can casually drop references to Wamba III's unfortunate fate, commemorated above the apse in the 12c church of San Ildefonso, so reminiscent of the work of the Maestro Sancho of Navajas. The downside is that you risk being thrown down a well by annoyed pilgrims.
 

benny aumala

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
may-june 2016
may-june (2019)
"The Way is the Goal" by Raimund Joos. A splendid guidebook for CF.
Conrad Stein Verlag ISBN 978-3-86686-517-4 about 17 €.
But weight is 260 grams, and I decided to read it at home.
Instead, there is myriad of free programs for phone without additional weight.
For a paper guide I recommend Michelin "Camino de Santiago" for CF: 85 grams.
www.michelin-boutique.com
Ignore, if your interest is more for leasure reading novels or like.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
Just this. The only book I have read three times.
Although, on the Camino, I make a point of bringing (but on Kindle, I'm afraid) an unread classic - Vanity Fair was my last one. I'll probably take a Trollope when I set off next week.
Yes, Trollope is always a pleasure. Great characters and observation.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Hello! I plan on starting my first Camino in September 2019: any thoughts on a book that you felt was worth its weight to carry? I am not interested in taking a kindle, or reading from my phone. I was thinking about something from John O'Donohue; or maybe the Pilgrimage book by Phil Cousineau? I would love to hear if anyone really felt the book they carried was enlightening and not just extra weight. Thanks!
Never in my life a book was extra weight, not even when I was climbing. People looked at me as if I was crazy though :)
For Camino I always choose thick but lightweight paperback with small font letters (in English - because it is not my first language) so it can last through the whole Camino. On two Caminos Jonathan Franzen was with me but I can't really recommend any author or book although Iberia would be quite adequate as already suggested.

Wish you nice read on your nice Camino ;)
 
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Paladina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cycled caminos francés, Finisterre, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles et al (2018)
Pilgrims often say they don’t have time to read on the Camino. If reading is important to you, you will make the time for it. I never leave home without at least one book in my bag. The choice of whether and what to bring is yours alone.
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Reality is frequently inaccurate
How about Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, a good trip in more ways than one. If only because the author does a very good job of pointing out that "it's the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top".
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
I'm a reader too,,, but you can read on your phone,,, kindle or PDF,,, why carry extra weight
I agree with you in theory, and electronic readers have the very real advantages of being able to adjust font size and provide their own lighting, but there are a few of us who love the feel of a book, and have even been known to haul out our pens and use them as notebooks and address books. It's entirely irrational, but if we were entirely rational beings, we might not be stomping through the backwoods of Spain....
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
I carried a guide book and also had a 6 inch Kindle. At that time I did not have a smart phone so used the Kindle for email, maps, etc. when I had wifi. I did not have time to read for pleasure, but used these to help guide my journey.
 

Martyduc

Hunter Valley,Australia
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 15,Portuguese 16,Finisterre Muxia 16,Ingles16,, Almeria to Muxia,Finesterre 18,,Via Serrana
A
I agree with you in theory, and electronic readers have the very real advantages of being able to adjust font size and provide their own lighting, but there are a few of us who love the feel of a book, and have even been known to haul out our pens and use them as notebooks and address books. It's entirely irrational, but if we were entirely rational beings, we might not be stomping through the backwoods of Spain....
and I too agree in theory, ,,but after walking today on the Camino de San Salvador,, across the pass to Pajares,,,, I'm happy not to be carrying any extra weight!!!
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
How about Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, a good trip in more ways than one. If only because the author does a very good job of pointing out that "it's the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top".
How about Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, a good trip in more ways than one. If only because the author does a very good job of pointing out that "it's the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top".
I was halfway through reading it when somebody told me what happened to Chris (in real life) and I never finished it.
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Reality is frequently inaccurate
I was halfway through reading it when somebody told me what happened to Chris (in real life) and I never finished it.
It was indeed a shame what happened to Chris, but that took place about five years after publication of the book, and for me didn't 'spoil' it. On the contrary, I had to read it about four times to finally figure out what Pirsig was on about. I'm a bit slow on the uptake, I'm afraid...
 

Letsgocamino

Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2013 Ponferrada to Santiago de Compostela.
Camino Portuguese Porto to SdeC May 31 2017.
Hello! I plan on starting my first Camino in September 2019: any thoughts on a book that you felt was worth its weight to carry? I am not interested in taking a kindle, or reading from my phone. I was thinking about something from John O'Donohue; or maybe the Pilgrimage book by Phil Cousineau? I would love to hear if anyone really felt the book they carried was enlightening and not just extra weight. Thanks!
On both Caminos I took a paperback AND my kindle. I LOVE to read so for me it was worth it. This August when I'm on St.Cuthberts Way I will only be taking my phone to read from....or maybe a paperback! Not THAT much weight to worry about.
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata (2013/2014)
Via Podiensis, Camino Francés (2015)
Camino del Norte (2017)
The last few Caminos I took one paperback with me and used to switch it for another book in an albergue on the way.
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
I did not want to bother with an expensive item like a tablet or a kindle. I had my phone and accessed my library book on tapes a sorry now my audio files or my listening library when I liked some night bed time stories for canceling out the night time snorers. Plus itibitty little print on cell no good for me. That way I relax with soothing voices.
If you are a Napolionic war the peninsular campaign buff the Sharp series from Cornwell is great.
 
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NorthernLight

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
A copy of War and Peace would last the entire camino ... and the next two caminos too.

I'm a fan of reading classics while travelling. Great Expectations? Moby Dick? Both lighter than W&P.
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
A copy of War and Peace would last the entire camino ... and the next two caminos too.

I'm a fan of reading classics while travelling. Great Expectations? Moby Dick? Both lighter than W&P.
Oh a fellow Napoleonic times fan. War and peace and can double as a pillow to or self defense device. I one threatened a intruder with hitting him over the head with my Britannica, but than it just was my better half having forgotten the back door key.
 

jkb122

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Fall (2019)
I agree with you in theory, and electronic readers have the very real advantages of being able to adjust font size and provide their own lighting, but there are a few of us who love the feel of a book, and have even been known to haul out our pens and use them as notebooks and address books. It's entirely irrational, but if we were entirely rational beings, we might not be stomping through the backwoods of Spain....
Thank you for this reply! Also, I don't seem to retain what I read on a screen...it is just different, and I try to avoid it
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016)
Thank you for this reply! Also, I don't seem to retain what I read on a screen...it is just different, and I try to avoid it
My original plan was to read Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle from the Kindle app on my phone, but I found, as others above, that I had little interest in reading at the end of the day's walk. So, I changed up and downloaded the Audible version of it and listened as I walked. I found that, as my undistracted Camino-mind slowed down, I was able to listen deeply to the nuance of text in a way that I normally couldn't if reading with my multi-tasking everyday-mind. I might only listen to a chapter and then ponder for an hour or two, or resume after a cafe stop or friendly chat with someone else along the way. On my next Camino, I walked to the audio text of Imitation of Christ to the same delightful, focused awareness of nuance and otherwise easily missed meaning. I can't imagine any book that I'd haul with me for my next Camino than can compare to walking with a good audiobook.

I use guidebook apps or Kindle versions on the phone. I can't justify the weight of a physical guidebook.

On the other hand, I'll take my breviary, which is odd because I'll use a breviary app at home more than the physical books, but something in my soul cries for the tangibility of the book when I'm walking. Odd, but there it is.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis SJPP
April 2016, August 2017, May 2018
Camino PortuGUESE
May 2019
Hello! I plan on starting my first Camino in September 2019: any thoughts on a book that you felt was worth its weight to carry? I am not interested in taking a kindle, or reading from my phone. I was thinking about something from John O'Donohue; or maybe the Pilgrimage book by Phil Cousineau? I would love to hear if anyone really felt the book they carried was enlightening and not just extra weight. Thanks!
Be the book you want others to read....
Love
 

Sho

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, 2019
I'm going to be in Europe for awhile before the Camino, so I'll have an iPod with some relevant audiobooks with me--Don Quixote, Orlando Furioso.... And a paper pocket book of the birds of Spain.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
More to come
I'm also on the "I love to read, but not on Camino" side of the spectrum.
Maybe take a cheap paperback copy with you, and if you think it's too heavy, just donate it to another pilgrim or albergue after a few days :)
 

jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (1994)
Camino Francés (2013 - 2018)
Camino Portugués (2015 - 2018)
Hello! I plan on starting my first Camino in September 2019: any thoughts on a book that you felt was worth its weight to carry? I am not interested in taking a kindle, or reading from my phone. I was thinking about something from John O'Donohue; or maybe the Pilgrimage book by Phil Cousineau? I would love to hear if anyone really felt the book they carried was enlightening and not just extra weight. Thanks!
A Journey to the West by Domenico Laffi
(Diary of a 17th century Italian priest and pilgrim to Santiago)
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
If you could just get over your aversion to reading on your phone just for the weeks while you’re walking then you could take every single suggestion - and even if you didn’t read a page of them you’d have lost nothing!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lourdes/Burgos/SdeC 77; Frances 12,15,17; Finisterre 17; Lourdes/Aragones18; Logrono-Leon 19.
Only on the Way for a few weeks this time, so can't read anything too demanding...... My choice? San Manuel Bueno, Martir, by Unamuno. Read it many years ago. Time to read it again.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Pamploma (April/May 2014)
VDLP March 2019 Sanabres April 2019
Finisterre/Muxia April 2019
I'm read 'The Unnamed' by Joshua Ferris, about a man who has a mysterious condition in which he is compelled to walk.
Megg
 

AnaRosario

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pomplano to Santiago (March 29-May 6 2018)
Hello! I plan on starting my first Camino in September 2019: any thoughts on a book that you felt was worth its weight to carry? I am not interested in taking a kindle, or reading from my phone. I was thinking about something from John O'Donohue; or maybe the Pilgrimage book by Phil Cousineau? I would love to hear if anyone really felt the book they carried was enlightening and not just extra weight. Thanks!
I would say.. the purpose driven life by Rick warren
 

Sharonn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015
Camino Portugues 2017
Robinson Crusoe or a similar classic adventure, a small new testament with psalms and proverbs, and a lightweight journal.
 

KariC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho portugûes (2016)
I'd urge you to reconsider your "no kindle" position. That was my lifesaver - I could read at night in the albergues without bothering other pilgrims with a light; I could read on the plane, and what I got through between airports, planes, and reading myself to sleep at night would have added several pounds to my pack, had I brought them on paper!
 

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