10 Years of Blog Archive

Friday, August 28, 2015

4 Ways to Bring Your Favorite Books to Ecuador with You

Someone emailed and asked a really important question because it entails how we get information, learn about things and entertain ourselves. Call some of us old-fashioned but some people still want to have the physical book, whether it is a softback or hardback in their hands. 

But what do you do when you move clear across the US and into another land? What do you do about all of your books? And notice I said "favorite" books because book enthusiasts and avid readers simply cannot ship all their books to Ecuador (it would cost more than the worth of the books) unless they get a huge shipping container.

Hi, I'm wondering if you have any tips about how to most frugally ship books to Ecuador. I have a few hundred, but I don't really want to pay an arm and a leg to get them to Ecuador. Thanks.

Unfortunately, there is no frugal way to ship to Ecuador. Between Frank and I, we also had several hundred books and it was difficult not having them here with us, especially on rainy days when you get kind of bored; back in the US we’d simply go to our library and pick up a book but here, well, you read on your computer, iPad or kindle.

Some of our books were valuable, historical books and so heavy we couldn’t possibly have them shipped without it costing more than if we were to purchase them again. We gave some of our big and heavy books to friends; some we sold; and the lesser books, although no book is really lesser, we gave to the Good Will; and the rest (favorite) books…well, here’s what Frank did.

1. You can do like Frank did and scan your favorite books onto your laptop and then store them in the cloud, just in case something happens to your computer. This is with only your favorite books because it is a very tedious and time consuming operation. Frank spent weeks and days scanning his favorite books in, but he has them now and when he feels like reading one of them they are conveniently on his computer and it cost nothing but time.

2. You can bite the bullet and have your favorite books shipped abroad to Ecuador but it will cost you. Shipping to any South American/Central American country is going to be expensive.

After four years we’re still talking about our library of books we left behind because you cannot possibly scan every single book you own. And well, it’s not the same thing as having the book to hold in your hands either. The 21st Century has made some great advances in technology and that's fine, but some of those advances come with a mixed bag. A friend gave me her Kindle because she upgraded to a newer one, but I never used it and subsequently I gave it to one of my sons; he loves it. e-readers are not for everyone.

3.  Another thing you can do is bring only a handful of your favorite books in your suitcase and then buy a handheld book reader such as Kindle and buy the eBooks and read on Kindle or other favorite e-reader. Although, not all books are available on Kindle or other e-readers; that is a drawback about that.
We wish we could give you a better solution.

When we were packing, we each had two suitcases and I would slip in a few of my favorite 'natural health books' into a suitcase, a couple of  my favorite 'cookbooks' into another suitcase, and a book or two on my carry-on, but as you know, ALL US based international airlines and most of the internationally based airlines have a weight limit. For us it was 50lbs per suitcase and that was with Lan Ecuador (this was back in 2011 so check for any changes).

Before we left we weighed our suitcases on a bathroom scale to get approximate weight values because we didn’t want any surprises at the airport check-in and I had to take some books out of my suitcases because they weighed in over the limit; you’ll pay something like $70 more for anything over the 50lbs. Just a few books can easily weigh 5lbs or more...it's terrible!

4. We do know of a family that brought boxes (2 boxes per person) and they were held in the cargo bay with the other luggage and apparently they did not charge more for them, as long as they are packaged properly according to that airlines rule. So, you might want to check into that as well, however, we’re sure there is also a weight limit there as well. 

It seems that we old fashioned folks have to get with the program and start resorting to a handheld e-reader such as Kindle just so we can continue reading some of our favorite books. 

Until next time we write, everyone take care and have a great day! If you liked this article, you might like these too! 

 We're an Expat Family of Five, Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy Abroad. We live in Cuenca, Ecuador and travel the Ecuador coast whenever we get a chance. We just adventured throughout the country of Panama for five weeks! Come along and enjoy some of our experiences with us!

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