(Photo by Sean O’Flaherty courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
Vacation season is upon us and many folks will be going to the beach or just lazing around and in need of a summer read or ‘beach book’ to take along. Traditionally, many librarians recommend lighter reading–romance, thrillers, lengthy family sagas–but I have a different take on beach reading.
Vacation is about the only time that I have uninterrupted time–no laundry or extra work calling me–and so I have been known to take along a classic, a ‘difficult’ title that I have been meaning to read, but haven’t gotten around to yet. For instance, once when I went with my family to Myrtle Beach, I took Middlemarch by George Eliot. I had been meaning to read it, but I would get distracted by a magazine or the news or dinner. I actually finished the book between naps and trips to the beach and I enjoyed it. This was also aided by the fact that I didn’t take anything else along to read and, being inveterately lazy, didn’t have the energy or wherewithal to go get something else. Even so, I was glad to have read it.
One of my other tricks is to take along something that I have tried, unsuccessfully, to work my way through either because I wasn’t in the right mood when I tried it or, once again, didn’t have enough time. I took Hoeg’s Borderliners along as a backup in case I finished one of Minette Walters’ books (I don’t remember the title–hmmm…wonder what that means). I finished the Walters book and started the Hoeg and loved it the second time around. You never know. (I’ve also done this with long movies that require that you pay attention–Dune, for instance).
Can this backfire? Sure–you might be left with nothing at all to read, which would necessitate a trip to a bookstore (if you’re a rabid reader like me). But how bad could that be? Give it a try and see if it works for you.
Click on the titles above if you want to give my picks a try and enjoy.