If you're a bibliophile like me, packing books for vacation can be a daunting task - particularly if you prefer traveling with print books instead of one of those flashy, newfangled e-readers. (I own one, and love it, but don't take it on resort vacations.) I have taken to posting my options online so my book group can help me decide or spreading the books out on the bed and letting my husband voice his opinion on my intended reading material. Weight, size of books, number of books, and content are all things to consider, especially if you're a packing hero traveling with a carry-on only. (This is something I will contend with on our upcoming vacation, and I am already stressed out about it.)
My vacation reading primarily happens while en route to our vacation destination and on the return trip home - my husband and I are not ones to lie on the beach or next to a pool, and I am usually too sleepy on vacation evenings to read before bed. (Although at home I usually read each night before bed!) We prefer to be active, particularly on cruise ships where so many fun activities happen all day, but have recently discovered the bliss of relaxing poolside at an all-inclusive resort.
For our November 2013 cruise on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, I knew we would be relaxing by the pool quite a bit, so I tossed two library books into my suitcase. I plowed through Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple (lots of fun) and then started The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb (too depressing to read while listening to steel drums). Wally Lamb tells good stories, but after a couple of his books on vacation, I know I won't be packing another one in the future.
On our recent visit to an all-inclusive in Riviera Maya, Mexico I packed the first book in the Game of Thrones series, thinking I would become completely engulfed by the fantasy world of George R.R. Martin before beginning the critically-acclaimed HBO television series with my husband. Nope. While the book is incredibly well written, I spent most of that vacation staring at the Caribbean Sea trying to decompress from months of working long hours. This was our first vacation together with substantial time spent relaxing, and I probably would have read much more if I had packed something a tad lighter. I plan on finishing this one at home...eventually. Okay, what I mean is that I plan on watching the tv series soon.
My husband reads only occasionally but had his nose buried in a book for most of this vacation, so consider this is an honest-to-goodness endorsement, readers. A couple of years ago, I wrote out a list of books for my husband that I thought he would enjoy, so he has been working his way through both fiction and nonfiction slowly but surely. On this trip, he went completely rogue and packed a book my mom had purchased for him as a Christmas gift - Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell. He could not wait to get to the pool to read each morning, and he spent most of our rainy resort day burrowed in the Dreams Riviera Cancun lobby, alternating between beers and coffee drinks from the CoCo Cafe.
For those of you who pack print books on vacation, how do you decide what you will take with you? What sorts of books do you like to read on vacation? What are some of your favorite vacation reads? Share your comments below or on the Facebook page, and let's get a discussion going and help bookworms experience literary joy while out and about in the world.
Next to travel, reading is my greatest pleasure. When I can combine the two...even better.