I don’t carry books on trips any more. There is  too much bulk, weight and trouble for a person my age. I want to share alternate reading solutions with you.

Indian Rocks Beach, Florida has a number of free mini libraries. Take one/leave one. I have seen them in other places including  Albuquerque, New Mexico and Waynesville, North Carolina.

If a mini-library is not available, consider the following:

  1. Kindle – I have downloaded thousands of books, including a number of free ones from Amazon to my I-pad or my Kindle. You can also subscribe to magazines.
  2. Kindle via your library. Your library may allow you to download e-books to your pad or computer for several  weeks. You will probably need a library card, but I can download from the Albuquerque Public Library anywhere I can find Wi-Fi. And, no waiting. It is instant gratification. You will need a library card. And, of course, since you are old,  don’t forget “large print” books. Especially if it is a popular book with a long waiting list. Usually the “large print” waiting list is much shorter. And, they are easier to read.
  3. Libraries. Every library has a room where they sell old books and magazines cheap. Usually $1 to $2 for a hardback and a fourth that for paperbacks; frequently best sellers.

4. Senior Centers – You can find donated books for free. An additional advantage is their bulletin boards which tell you about trips, programs, etc. A cheap tour may be available as well as a computer center with an expert. You can also get cheap meals and a 25 cent cup of coffee.

5. YMCA’s – When you finish your Silver Sneakers work-out, you can take a book from their shelves of donated books. You can also leave books there.

6. Foreign Countries – Check out the bars where ex-pats hang out. You will frequently find shelves of take-one/leave-one books; in English.


THINK OLD! READ FOR FREE! Reduce the weight of your suitcase.



Most old people prefer books; not electronic readers like Kindle. There is a learning curve, like most things, before you are comfortable with an electronic gadget. If you are old, the learning is worth the effort. You will be out of your comfort zone for a while, but will soon find a new comfort zone that will suit you.

With a Kindle from Amazon there are  9 things that you can do that you can’t do with a hardcover book.

  1. You can check out books from many libraries at home and receive the book on your Kindle. All you need is a library card, no trip to the library required.
  2. You can change the size of the type; always good given old eyes. See below.
  3. Kindle books are cheaper on Amazon than the hard bound editions.
  4. A Kindle reader weighs less than most hard bound books. It can be the size and weight of a paperback or it can be incorporated into your i-Pad.
  5. A Kindle reader holds thousands of books.
  6. You can subscribe to magazines on Kindle.
  7. You can subscribe to newspapers on Kindle.
  8. You can get a lot of free books on Kindle, including the classics that you always meant to read.
  9. You have one book size gadget to carry around, not a lot of books. This is great for travel.


regular Kindle text

Smaller Text From Kindle Book as the geezer would see it.

Enlarged Kindle Text

Kindle Text enlarged so that the geezer could read it.