This article on packing books is timely, as I've just started considering what to read on my own upcoming trip (but as Bookninja points out, the woman is nuts).
You need this respite: without books, on a trip you'd be trapped inside your head with only your own thoughts, assaulted by strangeness, doomed to awareness. Traveling bookless is like Sartre's hell — a place without eyelids. No blinking, no sleep.
Umm, ya, awareness. Personally, I thought that was the whole point of traveling. Books should be chosen to enhance the experience, not escape it.
She packs eight books for two weeks. That's insane!
I've always chosen my vacation reading material very deliberately, a key factor being weight and considering the page count per days away. Better to take two small books than one big one, in case you don't like what you got yourself into.
Hotel rooms in Spain featured collections of short stories in their bedside tables. Too bad for me they were in Spanish.
My best ever book-to-place match-up: Perfume, by Patrick Suskind, while spending an otherwise restful week in Provence.