Camino de Santiago

Kindle, iPad, or iPhone on the Camino?

February 15, 2014
Reading in the living room

Reading is my favorite pastime. I pick up a stack of books at the library about every two weeks. So I’m clear that bringing reading material on my Camino is a must. I’m not convinced I want be “connected” while I’m there by purchasing and bringing an iPad Mini. However, I’m clear that I won’t take actual books and when I think about spending $119 on a Kindle Paperwhite, my thoughts immediately go to, why not put that money toward the iPad, which has so many other uses, blogging at my convenience, being one.

In my past travels I was able to meet my Internet needs at Internet “cafés” but from what I understand, they are few and far between on the Camino Francés and, in this day and age, when just about everyone has a smart phone and/or tablet, I suspect that they are a dying breed. The benefits of using a public computer include not having to worry about one’s expensive device being damaged or stolen but of course they have their share of drawbacks as well, in particular, the lack of convenience.

Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” ―Lemony Snicket

Recently I’ve been using an old iPhone my friend Rebecca gave me as a tiny tablet. Despite being shattered in a couple of places, it works quite nicely and could work out as an eReader, come to think of it, although I’m not a huge fan of reading on such a tiny screen. The great thing about the iPhone is that I can also use it as an iPod, a camera, and can even insert a SIM card purchased in Spain should I wish to use it to phone or text other pilgrims.

As an aside, when I posted this “dilemma” on my Facebook page, one of my friends who has walked the Camino Frances immediately responded that there won’t be time to read! I laughed and responded that I read in the evenings to relax and unwind the way many people have a glass of wine or a beer. “In that case,” she wrote, “good luck with your decision.”

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