Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
My wife thinks we are a rolling library. Our travel trailer reminds me of the “I Love Lucy” episode where she sneaks rocks into the trailer without Ricky knowing. I am an avid reader also, but I jettison books I have already finished. I donate them to libraries or thrift stores, or give them to friends. My wife thinks she might want to read them all again and stuffs them in every nook and cranny she can find. I think she is a literary packrat. She thinks this behavior is perfectly normal. Can you help me knock some common sense into her.
--Bookie Joint on Wheels in West Texas
First of all, “we don’t knock.” I would think in this day and age you can both have your way. Have you ever suggested she buy a Kindle or other such device for her reading pleasure? A lot of people say they do not like reading on a screen device, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. You can put hundreds of books on such a device, or add cloud service or memory and keep unlimited numbers. That will solve the storage problem. You can get free or reasonably priced ebooks from Amazon, BookBub, and even borrow from your library. Amazon also has the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library with over 500,000 free Kindle books available. This is a lending process so you will only be able to borrow the book, not keep it. You’ll need to be an Amazon Prime member to take advantage of it. I’m sure there are other sources I’ve never used. You can even share books with friends. You will also find many RV maintenance and campground directories downloadable online and search active.
Most RVers find being paperless with banking, taxes, manuals and all other reading materials saves time, helps organize and becomes a great convenience. In your case it is also going to save so much gas when you remove the Smithsonian Institute from your trailer.
Buy her a unit as a gift and get her hooked on Nook. It may take a little time, but my guess is she will wean her way off the hard copies pretty darn quick. She doesn’t have to go “cold turkey.” There are still a lot of good book deals at thrift stores. I just bought a great book in New Mexico at a thrift shop. It is the story of Butch Cassidy after his misspent youth. Supposedly he wasn’t killed in Bolivia. Anyway, it was a buck. They were having a special and knocked 40% off. Then they looked at me and gave me the automatic, you don’t even have to ask, 50% Senior Discount. They even had a deeper handicapped discount and I’m blind in one eye. I didn’t go there. I was happy with my thirty cent book. The secret is to get your wife to stop hoarding. If you can get her to take one load of books to Goodwill and she comes home with two loads, she may need more therapy than I am capable of administering.
--Keep Smilin’ Dr. R.V. Shrink