As a part of travelling I made the conscious choice to carry no paper books with me except a single travel book per region and to use my Kindle for all reading - it is smaller and lighter than the smallest paperback and holds many more books than I can read in a year.
It has worked really well and I've been slowly working my way through various books, mostly from the recommendations people gave me before I left.
It just isn't the same as a paper book. It doesn't look the same or feel the same; the kindle is just another lump of plastic with some electronics inside, but a book is a book. Dead trees just feel better.
This is why whilst wondering around Beijing tonight (near the night market, for those interested) finding an English language book shop was exciting - the prospect of a real book and just in time for the 30+ hour train journey to Mongolia. Perfect.
Cue getting sucked-in to the shop, losing all track of time.
The first hit was the Lonely Planet guide to Mongolia, as my Silk Road book doesn't cover it. The China one Shaun has on his phone has been very useful, so spending the money to get it was a reasonably easy choice.
After that is the hard decision - what to get. After much wandering around the shop I settled for 2 George Orwell books (Burmese Days and Homage to Catalonia), both of which I've wanted to read for a while, where the train journey I start on Wednesday should give me the time to kickback, relax and read. And catch-up with blog posts and all the emails I've not replied to yet.
Hopefully I can swap the books with someone on our new truck in Mongolia, where I must remember to register them with Book Crossing.