Tag Archives: Reading on Vacation

Picking a Vacation Book

28 Jan

My mom and I are going on vacation to Greece together next month. On top of being BEYOND excited, I’m already looking forward to picking a book to take with me!

For most book nerds, I know this is a hard choice and there are a lot of factors in play. Here are the factors I’m considering while picking my book.

  1. Book Club. My book club meets the week after I get back. Normally, that would mean taking a book club selection with me and getting it read before the meeting. However, both of my clubs are reading the same book since the author is coming to our area to speak, so I’ll have the book read well ahead of the meeting since the other group is reading it first.
  2. Book Shopping on Vacation. I know that I’ll be going to at least one English language bookshop while I’m away, but it will be at the beginning of the trip. Chances are, I won’t have finished whatever I’m reading before we get there. If it was at the end of the trip, I’d consider bringing a book I could sell second-hand or put toward buying a new one. I did that a few years ago and it worked great. I may stock up with a new book in anticipation of finishing the one I have.
  3. Book Exchanges. A lot of hostels and AirBNBs have books that a traveler can take and leave the one they’ve finished. I’m wondering if I’ll run into this with the places I’m staying in. I can’t count on it, but it seems like a strong possibility at the Airbnb we’re staying at in Athens so I’ll keep this option in the back of my mind.
  4. Owned vs. Borrowed. I will never take a borrowed or library book with me on vacation. Vacation involves too many opportunities for a book to be damaged or left behind. If I finish a book, I may be tempted to leave it and I couldn’t do that with a borrowed book. I’ll only take ones that I’m not responsible for returning undamaged.
  5. Paperback vs. Hardcover. I’ll only take paperbacks with me when I travel. They’re lighter and usually smaller. The margins are usually smaller and the print tiny which makes them ideal for shoving in a bag and bringing along for a beach visit.
  6. How Much I Want It. If it’s a book I’m excited about reading or that I want to add to my shelf along with other books by that author, I’m less inclined to take it. Again, I want the freedom to leave the book behind and if it’s one I want in my collection, I’ll want to bring it home with me.
  7. Signed Copies. I’m very particular about my signed books. I will hesitate to take them out of the house at all, let alone on vacation. I won’t loan them out either. There’s no way I’d take a signed book on vacation.
  8. Length. This one is tricky. Do I want a short book so I can finish it before I get to somewhere with a bookshop? Do I want a long one that will last until the plane ride home? There’s a balance with the size of the book, too, and how much I’m willing to lug it around with me. A long book might be good for a long vacation, but not for traveling light.
  9. Subject. I made this mistake before and took a historical non-fiction on my honeymoon. While it was fascinating, it wasn’t great for reading poolside. I’ve found I prefer fiction books while traveling, something that can suck me in for long plane rides or bus trips without me wanting to take a break.
  10. Controversy. This may sound silly, but I do take it into consideration. If there’s a book with a lot of controversies or a reputation surrounding it, I’m less likely to take it with me. Vacation reading is done in public a lot more and I don’t want to interrupt my reading with strangers commenting on the book or author I’ve selected. I’d like to get my pleasure reading done in peace without anyone wanting to butt in.

I think I have my book selected for Greece but everything is subject to change. I’m thinking of a long one for this trip because it will involve a lot of plane trips and ferry rides.

Until next time, write on.

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