Photo Friday: Reading in Rome

Reading "Colori" an Italian board book about colors
Reading "Colori" an Italian board book about colors

For me, almost any outing can be an excuse to buy new books. That's never more true than when we travel outside of the US. Hundreds of children's books I've never seen before almost literally call my name, and I find myself in search of a good independent bookstore on every trip. Wordless books and early readers work particularly well, but if the pictures are good enough, I can make up my own story to go with almost any book. My suitcase might start out light, but it ends up heavy by the time we return home.

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  1. Peter Carey

    April 24, 2009 at 12:28 a.m.

    I agree whole-heartedly, but I usually try to limit the amount of books that come back because of the weight!
    It's also cool to get foreign language books at your child's level if they aren't easily available in the US, like Nepali.

  2. Soulttravelers3

    April 24, 2009 at 3:35 a.m.

    Ah, kids books and travel, such a perfect combination.

    I'm like you and can not resist buying them and my daughter get's as excited about seeing a bookstore as she is about finding a chocolate shop!

    There are so many wonderful books about travel ( even for little kids) that it is also a great way to enhance the trip for a child ( before during and after).

    It gets even better as they get older. I don't have to plug my kid into a dvd player on our world tour, we just make sure we always have a book or two with us.

    We found award winning kids books about the potato famine in Ireland while touring there and tons of Pippi Longstocking books in Sweden that are not available else where.

    My child was reading Harry Potter while riding a double decker bus in London or floating in a boat in Cambridge. Reading the Odyssey while visiting Troy in Turkey and Mycenea in Greece!

    I gear her books to our travel, so she is learning while she does one of her most favorite things! Books have been key in our world tour and just seems fun to her.

    We often use the books as our itinerary focus which adds to the fun for her. We have been regulars at bookstores and libraries since she was born, so do the same on our travels.

    Books and travel...truly the best!

  3. Carolina

    April 24, 2009 at 7:34 a.m.

    I love, love, love buying books when I travel. They make for great souvenirs. And your little guy seems to enjoy your habit of buying books!

  4. Amy Whitley

    April 24, 2009 at 7:55 a.m.

    I love buying books from foreign countries. They're great souvenirs! (By the way, this is Amy, from, linking from my family blog!) I'm enjoying Photo Fridays!

  5. previously.bitten

    April 24, 2009 at 9:17 a.m.

    If only there was some way to get books back, without them adding so much to your weight. I, being an english teacher, have a great love of books. I try to pick up at least one from each place I visit.

  6. amida

    April 24, 2009 at 10:35 a.m.

    What a great idea for a travel souvenir! We love, love, love browsing bookstores and I find the ones offered at museums particularly tempting. It had never occurred to me to pick up foreign books but now I'll have to keep my eyes open when we travel abroad.

  7. Marina K. Villatoro

    April 24, 2009 at 11:22 a.m.

    My son loves books most when we're on the road. At home it's not his first choice since he's a ball of energy and prefers to climb book shelves rather than search through them. That's why I love book shops on the road, that's where he's inspired to read and I can find great books:)
    <a href="">Photo Friday - Banana Plantations In Action</a>

  8. Peace Mitchell (Australia)

    April 24, 2009 at 12:18 p.m.

    Reading to kids from an early age is so important, and such a great way to teach children about the different languages, cultures and customs of other places.

  9. Madonnalisa Chan

    April 24, 2009 at 3:33 p.m.

    I love foreign books as well. The illustrations and even the stories(when I can get someone to translate for me). I can't wait to take B on her first int'l trip. Hopefully Germany in June.

  10. Lorraine

    April 24, 2009 at 5:14 p.m.

    Your post reminded me of a wonderful set of books we brought back from a previous trip. The author is Lynley Dodd, from New Zealand, and the books have been a hit ever since we got home. Her rhymes and illustrations are a joy to read. Here is the link on Amazon: (favorite title, Hairy Maclary and Zachary Quack).

  11. Jen

    April 25, 2009 at 2:05 p.m.

    Great picture! We always buy books when we travel as well. It drives my husband nuts! I am an English teacher by trade and love to read so I try to instill this in my kids. We have books from all over the world!

  12. Dominique

    April 25, 2009 at 3:05 p.m.

    We are the worst at bringing home books from trips. When we went to Alaska, we ended up shipping our dirty laundry home in order to make room in our suitcases for the books we bought!

  13. Victoria Wallop

    April 27, 2009 at 2:29 a.m.

    we also love buying books abroad - I use them to practise my french and italian! this is a lovely book about rtw travel for kids that we have just discovered. the pics are really cute and it's full of facts too http://itsasmallworldafterallfamily.w...