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Rick Steves' kindle books

I'm tempted to get kindle copies of our RS travel books but how are they to use when you're traveling? Is it easier to use the physical pages than the kindle?

Posted by
62 posts

RS Kindle books have been very useful for us traveling. Our family share an Amazon account so we each can have the Kindle book on our own phone/ipad to read. You download the book and can use it offline, so I often read and reread on the plane. I like the Kindle version more than paper when traveling (or even doing research) because I can just get to the links in the Kindle book easily.

One trip I brought both paper version and Kindle version, and I found the Kindle version works better when I’m doing research because of the links. Since then, I don’t even buy the paper version anymore (I do check out the paper version in Library if I’m thinking about visiting a place).

Posted by
9382 posts

I use only Kindle books where available to minimize weight. I figure I keep 3 to 6 pounds of weight out of my bag by using only e-books. That factor outweighs 😁 any ease-of-use issues I may have jumping around from page to page. I do use bookmarks and highlights extensively in my Kindle versions to make the things I want to reference easier to find.

Posted by
4776 posts

I use the RS books on Kindle, and they are fine. You can download them to multiple devices and they require no Data as long as they are fully downloaded. I suppose there might be a tactile difference between Kindle and a book, but for me, it has been no issue. I also will buy a physical book as a companion, not necessary, but I understand having something in hand.

Posted by
2500 posts

Another vote for ebooks. I can do heavy research on my iPad when in a hotel room and then use my iPhone while walking around. I wish that Rick would give the ebook option if you get a book on one of his tours.

Posted by
1366 posts

I will normally vote for anything electronic over paper. But in the case of guide books, I would rather carry and look at pages than my kindle. On my most recent trip, I bought used versions on eBay of the Rick Steves guide books that I wanted, so that I wouldn't be disinclined to slice out just the pages that I wanted to bring.

Posted by
4684 posts

I use the e-book versions too. I have an Amazon tablet but also put the e-book version on my Android phone - so I can have it on both of them. Sometimes when I don't want to drag around another device, I can just access the book from my phone.

Posted by
679 posts

I use a kindle version for our travel books. The only problem I have found is that I can't pass on the books to friends who are going to the places we have visited. I received several travel books for an Asian trip for Christmas. I will probably cut the pages out that I need. It will kill me to do so but to take 4 books plus a kindle on an one suitcase trip will also kill me. Such a dilemma, right?!

Posted by
337 posts

I am a huge ebook/e-reader fan -- about two-thirds of my reading is done on ebooks, the rest being on physical books I borrow from the library -- but guidebooks are among the rare kind of books I don't like in ebook form. (The other main genre is cookbooks; I'd rather get food splatters on a $20 cookbook instead of a $500+ iPad or $1000+ laptop!)

There are some advantages, such as of course weight/packing, easy find/search, maps that you can zoom in on and sometimes have more detail, sometimes color photography.

However, I find it's not as easy to browse or page back and forth, especially because at least for me guidebooks aren't the kind of books that I'm reading through in one order, and I'm often going back and forth being multiple sections to plan itineraries or compare options.

This is just my opinion/experience of course -- YMMV!

Posted by
882 posts

We've always used the kindle books on an iPad. Easy to carry and works better if you need to ask for directions from a local.

Posted by
653 posts

I like the e-books for RS Guide books but I find that they work much better on my iPad than my iPhone. The larger screen helps with the maps and generally just getting around from chapter to chapter.

Posted by
8482 posts

Why not just download a sample of the book and see if you like it.

Posted by
561 posts

I would vote for my iPad mini and the kindle app - also my magazine subscriptions and other reading material is right at hand. It is particularly useful when crossing borders where several guidebooks may be needed on a single trip. I usually photograph the maps of day's interest (RS and Google versions) so I can flip between the maps I want and the guidebook when desired.

Posted by
2919 posts

I have always been partial to printed books , but the bulk and weight of them has grown increasingly less desirable . I switched to kindle editions two years ago . Initially I found them far less convenient to navigate . Once I got the knack of using them , I found them very easy to work with . The key is to jump between the hyperlinks that are liberally peppered throughout the text . Considering that I carry guidebooks , as well as a number of books as reading material for my trips , everything on my tablet is a great way to go .

Posted by
484 posts

I think until you try it you’ll have clarification to what works best for you. Personally I’ve avoided
packing any electronics beyond my phone and simple camera. I designate the weight of a Kindle, I pad, other devices to hopefully ‘free weight’. Leaving me room and weight for what’s to come as I travel from the added weight of dirty shoes and clothes to trinkets, souvenirs, I buy for home or gifts.

I download his books to my phone and use wifi in hotel or bus to review information. I rip out pages needed and bind together by location. I put whatever I need in a ziplock and stow it in my shoulder purse with a pencil. It’s been useful when the tour guide adds information to the day from ‘location of group dinner’ to ‘best times to visit’ while we’re here. I just jot it down on the pages.

I’m hoping for an extended stay next time in Europe and believe I’ll try adding the additional device to my travel. I do want to test drive the experience to make the best decision for myself as a solo traveler.

Posted by
1024 posts

I think the Rick books work fine on Kindle and apps for iPhone and iPad, in particular the suggested tours. While I usually have a rough itinerary planned, the kindle guidebook can help if I need to make adjustments. Just a year ago today I was in the U.K. and got to see more of the British rain than I ever wanted to, so I had to adjust my plans to add more museums and indoor activities

I will already have hotels booked and I don’t use guidebooks for restaurant recommendations. They can be useful for letting me know that a particular part of town is known for Chinese restaurants or trendy cafes for people watching or studenty bars with cheap beer, but I tend not to look at the individual names as places come and go.