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Update - March 2017 - Barry Williamson

Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe by Kapka Kassabova

The Guardian reviewer wrote: “This is a marvellous, personal account of the border zone between Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece, from the Ottomans to cold war menace and beyond.”

Not very far from Camping Sakar Hills in southeast Bulgaria, this is an area we know well, cycling and walking in the Rhodope Mountains. This well-written book gives a fresh, insightful and very informative account from an author who grew up in southeast Bulgaria in the days of the communist regime.

The book is available in paperback from the Guardian Bookshop or from Amazon which also sells a Kindle edition.

Update – February 2016 – Margaret Williamson

These days there are far fewer books on our motorhome shelves, since the advent of e-books. With a Kindle e-book reader each, we can carry literally thousands of titles, fiction and non-fiction, some bought, some freely downloaded, taking up no space and adding no weight at all! What a gift for the traveller.

Reference Books: Of course, we still have a selection of road atlases, pocket dictionaries, guide books (mainly Lonely Planet or Rough Guide) and a field guide to the birds of Britain and Europe. For campsites we use the current 'Camping Card ACSI' book (as well as referring to the ACSI website at www.eurocampings.co.uk).  

We also carry the Britstops Guide www.britstops.com, Camperstop Europe www.camperstop.com and the 3-volume (German) Bordatlas www.bordatlas.de.  These (and many other titles) are also available from Vicarious Books at www.vicarious-shop.com.

Non-fiction: Only three printed books are always with us: 'The God Delusion' and 'The Selfish Gene' by Richard Dawkins, and Francis Wheen's biography of Karl Marx.

On the Kindle: Far too many e-books to list, bought (or sometimes free) from www.amazon.co.uk, or freely downloaded from www.free-ebooks.net and www.gutenberg.org, form a library biased towards history and travel.

For novels, recent favourites are C J Sansom's Tudor mysteries featuring the lawyer/sleuth Shardlake; Andrea Camilleri's Montalbano series discovered when we were on the fictional detective's home turf in Sicily; Hilary Mantel's award-winning 'Wolf Hall' and 'Bring up the Bodies'; and – for light relief and a good read – the thrillers written by our friend Joe McNally, starring the racing jockey/sleuth Eddie Malloy. I am eagerly awaiting the next one!

Introduction – July 2010 – Barry and Margaret Williamson

Books present motorhomers with a dilemma; more so perhaps than for other travellers. Cyclists, backpackers, motorists, even caravanners, are limited in the weight that they can carry, so books are few and sometimes completely absent. Motorhomers can carry quite a few books (as we demonstrate), but what to do with a book that has been read? Sometimes, when the book won't be missed, it can be exchanged with another motorhomer or at the small library that some campsites kindly maintain. Some books remain in the motorhome for reference. Other books are carried back to England and replaced on their bookshelf, or put into storage, because they have become part of the life of the owner. We have many, perhaps too many, such books.

A sadness, for us, is that DVDs appear to be replacing books for many motorhomers. They take up little space, require little effort to watch, can often be obtained free or for very little money in the UK, and are easily exchanged. Admittedly, we do have a DVD player (as well as laptops that play DVDs) and we carry a few disks with us. We try to find films and documentaries that need several viewings for analysis and full understanding. 'King Lear' and 'Macbeth', which came free with a UK newspaper, are prime examples and still require much work. The 'Life of Birds' and 'Wild Australia' are informative as well as a perpetual pleasure.

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