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The One Thing I Could Not Live in Bali Without

Bring to Bali

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Before I moved to Bali, I used to love browsing in bookstores. Even if I didn’t buy anything, I just enjoyed flipping through books. I loved looking at travel guidebooks, thinking about where I would go on my next holiday. Even though I am a bit of a computer geek, I always liked reading real, physical books. I think since I spent so much time looking at a computer, I didn’t want to read books looking at a screen.

There are some bookstores in Bali, like Periplus and Ganesha, but nothing close to where I live. The range can also be quite limited and you often see Periplus taken over by whatever is in fashion at the time, vampire books for example.

So I went online and ordered books from Amazon. The downside was that I would then have to wait two weeks or more for the books to be delivered to Bali. Sometimes during the time between when I ordered the books and they finally arrived, I lost interest in the book and not even finish it! As much as I enjoy reading, I do have a bad habit of starting a new book before finishing the previous one.

One day, I found something I wanted to read on Amazon and there was a message, “Read it now on your computer.” Now, I have read books and pdfs in the past on my laptop, I didn’t enjoy the experience much at all. I was dubious, but since I really wanted to read the book straight away, I downloaded the app on my laptop and bought the book. It was there instantaneously – no need to wait two weeks for it to be delivered.

I was surprised how good the PC Kindle app was, nothing like reading a PDF in Adobe reader. I had noticed more tourists reading on e-readers, so I ordered a Kindle from Amazon. Since they didn’t deliver to Indonesia, I had it sent to Australia to wait for someone to bring it over.

When I eventually got it, I didn’t like the form factor at all. It was definitely not something Apple would have designed. I got the cheapest one available, but I was buying a new one I would buy the new “paper white” model.

I did though get used to reading on it though, and in some ways I enjoy reading on it more. For some reason, I seem to read books faster on the Kindle. I have no idea why. It could be psychological. For example, I bought the book “Shantaram”, which has over 900 pages, and I didn’t even read it to the end. I recently read it again on the Kindle I seemed to breeze right through it.

A Kindle is good because you can pull it out anytime and it is easy to carry around – perfect for waiting in immigration offices! They also have a feature where it remembers the page you are reading, so if you pick up another device, like a smart phone, you can continue exactly where you left off.

I believe now you can get products other than books sent to Indonesia from Amazon, but I am yet to try it. I would probably be concerned about what customs will charge. If anyone has tried this yet, please let me know if the comments.

So I will leave it over to you, what is the one thing you would recommend people bring to Bali?



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5 Responses to The One Thing I Could Not Live in Bali Without

  1. Judi September 1, 2014 at 11:09 am #

    I use audio books etc. Librivox is free, and has old time radio programs also, and audible books are great. Visual problems. mae audio a God send. Readers are leaders.

    • Michael Henry September 1, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

      “Readers are leaders”, I like that. I do like podcasts, but for some reason I don’t like listening to audible books. Not sure why. Maybe I just need to give them more of a chance.

  2. Ann Wilcox September 8, 2014 at 4:18 am #

    I could not agree more about holding a book in my hand. It’s like my best friend at the moment I start reading. My library is quite extensive and no matter where I finally end up moving to I would be so torn if I could not take my books.
    Namaste, Ann

  3. Kev Foster September 9, 2014 at 4:49 am #

    Books, books & more books! There is something about the hard bound printed medium, an addiction I have had for longer than I care to remember. I have not, as yet, made the transition to the electronic medium but it would sure save a lot of space !

  4. Becky September 10, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

    I can’t travel without my iPad. It’s my newspaper, book, magazine, TV, rate converter, alarm clock, music player, movie player, map, compass, weather forecast, calculator, game, writing pad, language translator all in one and it lets me stay connected with my friends and my family when I miss them on the road. And If I need an instant recipe, there’s always my favourite Google.

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