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.



I am always looking for new and interesting places to eat; and, as you know, I am a fan of libraries wherever I travel. I have frequently eaten, or had coffee, at libraries in Tucson, Albuquerque, Largo, FL and other places, but these were simple snacks.

This week my granddaughter started college in Massachusetts and on her way, she and her parents went to the Tea Room at the Boston Public Library.

I urge you to expand your view of libraries on your trips to include any eating places. This one looks as good, or better than, the restaurants in major museums around the world.

Tea Room at the Boston Public Library.





Seniors have eye problems. Thus large print books, e-readers and tapes are a great free source. Especially for best sellers, where the waiting list may be, 291st of the first 3 copies returned. You may want to turn to the large print shelf, which may have a much shorter wait. These books are also much easier for old eyes to read.

In addition, take a look at free e-readers, in a variety of brands, such as Kindle. You  can usually check them out from a distance for a few weeks with a library card. There are a limited number, so you may have to wait here to, but usually the wait is not so long. E-readers also have the additional advantage that you can make the type larger.