The other day, as we got into the car to drive home from her karate lesson, my daughter remarked "Oh! I wish I had a book to read for the drive home." And then she realized: "But it's ok, we can listen to my audiobook." Which we did.
The drive home from karate is less than two miles, and having something to read isn't really pressing, but I certainly appreciated the sentiment. When I was a child I would never have considered undertaking the 15-20 minute drive to my grandparents' house with a book to read. For longer trips I would carefully plan out which books I was going to take.
Alas, thanks to motion sickness I am not able to read in the car anymore (with the wonderful exception of audiobooks). But it gives me great pleasure to know that my daughter can, and wants to.
She'll still choose her tablet when she can (and the tablet was necessary on a recent cross-country plane trip). But I made a rule a while back that she is not allowed to use the tablet for drives less than 30 minutes. That rule is paying off now, as she starts to think before every outing "What book should I bring?"
When she was younger I tried keeping picture books in the car at various points, but it never worked all that well. My daughter had only limited interest in looking at picture books by herself. She wanted someone to read to her. [Perhaps because she was so accustomed to having someone read to her.] Now that she can read to herself, however, it's a whole new world.
You may be able to hear my sigh of contentment from wherever you are.