A WEEK OF E-READING For Travelers
Three people who run travel blogs/websites that I read regularly have published e-books. And if you haven’t seen an e-book recently, forget about the old days when they looked like poorly formatted Word documents. The e-books I’m going to be talking about this week are full of photography and graphics to make them appealing and easy on the eye.
My apologies for those of you who think I’ve gone over to the dark side (you know who you are) but e-books are a reality and the three I discuss this week show how practical, entertaining AND beautiful they can be. We open with travel tips from the author of a web site for adventurous baby boomer travelers, proceed to a small town on Cape Cod and finish with a look at a new way to make travel accommodations affordable. I hope you’ll stay around all week, because these are three worthwhile books for the traveler’s electronic library.
An Interview with Donna L Hull
It is always exciting when a friend publishes a book. I have enjoyed my friend Donna’s travel website for adventurous baby boomers, My Itchy Travel Feet, ever since she started it. I was delighted to learn she had put together an e-book that consolidates some of her most popular material. Her new book not only tells about her travels but she packs it with trip planning advice for you. Plan a trip to Hawaii, book your flight to Italy, gas up for a road trip to the West–this book will help you plan travel to those destinations and more.
The book, My Itchy Travel Feet: Breathtaking Travel Adventure Ideas is as beautiful as it is useful, because Donna and her husband Alan (photographer-in-chief) have liberally adorned it with their similarly breathtaking photos.
A Traveler’s Library: Donna, how many years have you been writing My Itchy Travel Feet?
Donna L. Hull: I’ve been writing My Itchy Travel Feet for a little over 4 years. The initial publication date was May 1, 2008.
ATL: Your book is a somewhat new concept of making a book from material on a web magazine. How many articles from My Itchy Travel Feet were you able to use in this new book? And how many individual destinations do they cover?
DLH : My Itchy Travel Feet: Breathtaking Adventure Vacation Ideas includes 70 articles from our site. The individual destinations that the book covers include:
- Northern Italy;
- Coastal California from Paso Robles to Menodicno and Sonoma;
- The West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island.
- Readers will discover a large Hawaiian section with trip reports for Kauai, the Big Island, Moloka’i and Oahu.
- There’s also a chapter on U.S. Western National parks including Grand Tetons, Glacier, Grand Canyon, Canyonlands and Arches plus the Canadian Rockies.
- Coverage from Asia includes articles about Siberia, Beijing and Vietnam.
- And, there’s a hefty section on Alaska.
ATL: With several years worth of blogs to choose from, it must have been difficult to pick what would go in the book. Would you like to share what criteria you used? And since your husband Alan’s photography plays a big role, did he get a vote?
DHL: To decide what would go into the book, I took a look at Google Analytics to determine the most popular content at My Itchy Travel Feet. I already knew that Italy, Hawaii and U.S. National Parks are very popular with my boomer audience. Another part of my criteria was to choose a series of articles on selected destinations that would allow the reader to plan the same trip – sort of mini-guidebooks rolled into one larger book. And, of course, Alan wanted to be sure that his article on driving a Ferrari in Italy was included. As far as photos, Alan trusted my judgment as to what would be included
ATL: Who do you see as the perfect reader for Breathtaking Adventure Vacation Ideas? That title might make some people think that it is a bit to challenging for them.
DLH: The perfect reader for My Itchy Travel Feet: Breathtaking Adventure Vacation Ideas is any traveler who is open-minded and willing to try something new. I realize the term “adventure” might put some readers off. But, it is such a subjective term. After all, what seems like adventure to me might not meet your definition at all. And, the word “vacation” hopefully softens the expectations that the book is filled with hard-core experiences that most of us can’t do.
ATL: You could have chosen to go the paper and ink route, but instead chose the newest technology and went with an e-book. What advantages are there for readers in getting an e-book as opposed to a printed book?
DHL: I appreciate the immediacy of an E-book. With a couple of clicks, the book is downloaded on my reading device and I’m ready to go. I especially like that My Itchy Travel Feet: Breathtaking Adventure Vacation Ideas is filled with live links that offer the reader immediate access to resources. Going the E-book route also allowed for more of Alan’s wonderful photography to be included.
ATL: As you know, the readers of A Traveler’s Library are readers as well as travelers, and always looking for new inspirations. Can you recommend books to read that have inspired your own travel?
DHL: I have a thing about mountains, whether that means hiking a scenic trail or putting my feet up on the deck of a mountain cabin to take in the view. It’s one of the reasons that Alan and I relocated to the Bitterroot Valley of Montana. When I think back to books that influenced this love, some reads from earlier years come to mind. Of course there was Heidi. And then there’s the book that’s graced my bookshelves since my teenage days: Lost Horizon (Hardback)by James Hilton. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson is a more recent influence. I laugh every time I pick it up.
ATL: Finally, is there anything I didn’t ask that you wish I had?
DHL: No, you covered it all. Thanks for interviewing me and telling your audience about My Itchy Travel Feet: Breathtaking Adventure Vacation Ideas.
Donna and Alan’s book is available wherever you usually buy your e-books, but if you want a single source, go the web site of the publisher, Hyperlink. From there you can get the book in whatever form you like. And remember, even if you don’t have an e-reader, you can still read e-books with a FREE Kindle ap for your computer, or for your smart phone.
Disclaimers and Warnings. Donna gave me a book for the purpose of review, but I don’t praise what I don’t like. All of the photos used here are the property of Donna and Alan Hull. Please respect their copyright. And you should know that some of the links to book titles lead to Amazon. I hope you appreciate the convenience, and I hope you’ll do your Amazon shopping from A Traveler’s Library links, because although it costs you no more, it helps keep us running. THANKS!