Travelling Light with Books

Here’s a quote from A Thousand Miles by the Rob Roy Canoe (available online), by John MacGregor, on what literary kit to bring on a long canoe trip:

Guide books and pleasant evening reading book. You should cut off covers and all useless pages of books, and every page as read; no needless weight should be carried hundreds of miles; even a fly settling on the boat must be refused a free passage.

Horrors! If he was backpacking I could (perhaps) understand this, but in a canoe? He would probably be horrified by the heavy load of creature comforts modern canoeists lug about. Though carrying a fly (or flyleaf) was too much for Mr. MacGregor, he didn’t mind transporting a stock of:

Illustrated papers, tracts, and anecdotes in French and German for Sunday reading and daily distribution (far too few had been taken, they were always well received).

I suppose that at that time (1865) and in the rural areas he was visiting, any reading material would be of interest, but these days I don’t think handing out religious pamphlets would be met with much enthusiasm!


6 comments on “Travelling Light with Books

  1. Stefanie says:

    He needed a Kindle 😉

  2. Sylvia says:

    Heh. I think he did better to write than read on his trip, though. 150 years later and his book is still in print and will soon be available to read free on your Kindle!

  3. Stefanie says:

    Yay! Hurry up and finishing proofreading so I can download it 😉

  4. Sylvia says:

    I'll let you know when it's ready. It has to go through one more proofing stage, then formatting and final conversion to the various electronic formats. They could always use more volunteers… 😉

  5. Stefanie says:

    My last day of library school is June 6th 2011. After that I'll have so much free time I'll happily be volunteering for Distributed Proofreaders. Until then I just live vicariously through others 🙂

  6. Sylvia says:

    That's good because they'll need someone to take up the slack while I watch the World Cup… 😉

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