Reading - New Zealand books
I had read very little about New Zealand before the trip: several books about the Polynesian settlement of the Pacific, including the Maoris in New Zealand, and a book Kea: Bird of Paradox - that was about it.
I took with me Keith Sinclair's A History of New Zealand and Mary Renault's The Last of the Wine (a aging and battered paperback from an op-shop). While in New Zealand I bought and read John Steinbeck's The Short Reign of Pippin IV (an op-shop find for 20c), Sándor Márai's Embers, and Alfred Duggan's Elephants and Castles.
For later reading I bought Melanie Nolan's Breadwinning: New Zealand Women and the State and The Shaping of History: Essays from The New Zealand Journal of History.
The hostels I stayed in had varying selections of books: Greymouth and Lake Tekapo YHAs the biggest ones. I read an entire trashy war novel while in Greymouth, and a couple of stories from Monsarrat's collection The Ship that Died of Shame while in Tekapo. Readers Digest abridgements were rather common, both in hostels and op-shops - as they used to be in Australia before everyone realised they were junk.