Friday, November 23, 2012

Electronic Books for Christmas

If you hate the frenzy of Black Friday shopping at the mall, consider buying your travelling friends and family members some ebooks instead. Specifically, buy my ebook of Budget Travel Tips for Russia, which is crammed with good advice forindependent travellers to this fascinating country.
It is available for only $1.99 on my Website, In a compact form, it brings together information not available elsewhere on how to visit Russia at reasonable cost--tips on where to stay, visas, where to eat, how to get around and where to learn the Russian language. It is possible to visit Russia without knowing a word of Russian, but in that case a tour is the way to go. For independent travel, you should have at least a smattering of the language.
While I really hope you will buy my book, a lot of other travel books are also available now in electronic form, and if you want to save space when packing you may prefer electronic guidebooks over hard copies, which can be cumbersome. Some of my favourite guidebook series are Rough Guides and Bradt Guides, both from the U.K. They publish guides to a lot of out-of-the-way places that make fascinating reading evne if you never plan to go there.
Incidentally, if you ever wondered why the biggest shopping day in the U.S. is called Black Friday, it's not because it's something negative, like the Black Death (though if you were caught in mall traffic you might think so.) The term for the Friday after U.S. Thanksgiving refers to the day of the year when, traditionally, retailer financial accounts moved from the red for loss to the black for profit. These days, of course, with shopping creeping even into Thanksgiving Day itself, Black Friday may be coming a little earlier.
Thanksgiving is a huge holiday in the U.S., with most stores closed so that people can get together with family and friends to celebrate, usually with a turkey dinner. It's not such a great day for turkeys. Although I grew up in the U.S. I kind of missed out on Thanksgiving as a big deal because my father was never at home that day--his employer chose Thanksgiving weekend for the annual meeting, which usually took place in another city. When I was older I sometimes went to join my parents at this event, once in Mexico City and once in Los Angeles.


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