If there is one thing I lament in life, it’s the absence of sufficient free reading time. I love to read, but by the time I get all my work done, and chores done, and finish all the other things I have to do, there is precious little time left over for anything else. I read, sure, 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there, but it’s not the luxuriant hour upon gorgeous hour that I crave. So on those rare occasions when I get to take a vacation, I am always excited to finally get caught up on some reading.
What to read? If I have something that I am actively reading, and really enjoying it, I will bring that along. Because vacation reading should be fun reading.
If I have anything new that I have been wanting to read, but haven’t had a chance to start yet, I will bring that too, because vacation seems like the perfect time to try something new and get a fresh start/perspective.
Portability is nice, so I will usually bring along a collection of poetry or short stories, to make good use of small chunks of time that may present themselves. Plus, books can get heavy in a hurry, and I do, unfortunately, need room for other essentials. Like my swimsuit. Toothbrush. And chocolate. Yep, that pretty much covers it.
A few places I have traveled have book exchanges, a “take a book, leave a book”-type setup. So I like to bring along a book I am almost finished with to either exchange or give to a stranger as any such opportunities present themselves.
I always bring my Kindle, and there are several books on there. They do in a pinch, but between you and me, I still haven’t acquired a love for reading off an electronic device, and the books I am really excited about I have hard copies of anyway.
If I have library books coming due, I will bring those along as well. Might as well finish them off while I’m at it, right?
Before I had kids, I would sometimes bring along books on CD or tape to listen to in the car. We do bring books on CD for them, but what portions of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series I can hear over their incessant screaming I can’t exactly count as quality reading.
All told, I usually bring about 10 or 15 books with me, not including those downloaded on my Kindle. And I sometimes pick up some new ones on vacation. Basically, there is a whole bag just for books and writing materials.
I bring 10 or 15, planning to complete 2 or 3, and get a good start on 2 or 3 more. How do you think that turns out for me?
You guessed it. If I’m lucky, over the course of say 5 days of vacation, I’ll read a good portion of maybe one book, and a small segment of another one. If I’m lucky. (You don’t even want to know how little writing I get done). I bring my books, I fight for their space in the car/overhead compartment, I suffer mocking and scorn for even bringing them, and yet every time, I hardly open them at all, and don’t end up reading that much more (if any) than I would have over the same period at home.
“So stop bringing them,” you say, and I hear you. But I keep thinking/hoping something will change. Plus, I do get some reading in, and I don’t know in advance what I will be in the mood for. Plus, I like having books around, even if I am not going to read them. Their presence soothes me. They are like cats, only less demanding. I love books.
Anyone else have any greater success at vacation reading? Any tips? I’ve got another small one coming up. Please let me know!