What Books to Bring on the Road

Deciding what books to bring on this trip has been one of the harder decision concerning our journey.

We are book lovers and own some of the most amazing texts.  Our library in our old home was huge.  The reference books and historical fiction books filled the shelves.  There were so many I could use to reinforce what we were learning and give us more information about where we would be traveling at different times and locations.

As I began to chose which books to bring, I realized that I had way too many!  There were stacks upon stacks sitting on the floor of our camper.  My plan was to cram them on every shelf and empty spot possible.

My wonderful husband walked into the camper and said, "You know we can't bring all of these."

That is the exact opposite of what I wanted to hear.  He began to inform me that weight in our camper is a real issue that we can't ignore.  If the camper is too heavy, our tires can blow, bend axles, and even tear our camper apart as it goes down the road!  (This actually happened to a couple)

Tears came to my eyes.  How could I leave even one of these books behind? 

I did not know this.  How could I not know this?  I just didn't understand.  I had dreams of finally being able to read some of these wonderful books that we owned at the actual places they were written about!

Over the next few days, I slowly picked through my piles deciding which books were the best for our trip and which ones we would have to live without for the next year or two, or three.

I kept a couple really good history encyclopedia reference books.  I do wish I had kept my Kingfisher encyclopedias in the camper.

I chose to keep all of our animal and plant reference books so we could use them to identify them in the different climates and regions we have gone to.  I put them all in a box or bag with sketch pencils, paper, baggies for interesting objects we might find, and we tote it along in the van when we go on field trips.  There are also first aid supplies in it, bear spray, whistles, flash lights, granola bars, space blankets, and other misc. survival items.

My dream was to finally read some of the wonderful "woman" books that had begun to pile up in the house.  I chose the ones I needed most; ones on conflict, joy, womanhood.  Sorry to say, after two years on the road, I have not finished one, but I have skimmed over many of them.  Having sweet pea baby has made me put a lot of those things on the back burner, which I do gladly.

We kept in:
  • bibles for all of the kids
  • devotions for everyone
  • good chapter books for all ages
  • character training books
  • historical books
  • travel books
  • history curriculum
  • grammar curriculum
  • science curriculum
  • journals
  • notebooks
  • Royal Ranger and Missionettes curriculum
  • first readers
  • health books
  • building houses books, for the future
I did buy the GA Henty books on cd for Christmas this year.  I couldn't find our collection of them in the storage trailer we own, so I spent $100 and bought the whole series on cd.  We are all so excited about that!

Still, there are way too many books in the camper.  But, I have gotten it down enough to be able to drive safely.

I hope.


  1. Great Post! A very good guide on what to keep and the primary reason why we created the Fulltime Families Lending Libraries (coming to a campground near you:)

  2. I felt your pain as I read of your needing to choose the essential books for your trip. When we left for a year in Moçambique in the summer of '09, I had a very difficult time deciding which books to take. It was such a joy to be reunited with our home library six months ago, but we have fewer shelves in this house than in our old one. Finding places to stash them has been a (welcome!) challenge.

    I'm looking forward to reading more about how you manage life on the road.


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