The following is a guest post by Vice President of Sales and Marketing Rosemary Carlough on vacation reading.
People do take their iPads to the beach!
Since the least expensive iPad is $499 I find this amazing. There is all that sand. It gets into everything, especially if it’s windy. You don’t even need to drop the device to have sand attach itself onto the expensive tool. And I say this as a confirmed beach and book lover. But I just got back from a mini-vacation and I did see iPads on the beach and by the pool. And of course lots of Kindles, Nooks, and other eReaders.
Myself – I took old fashioned books made from dead trees. And while I read a lot of books from my local library, I didn’t want to worry about sand and water harming those, so I went to my local bookstore. I know the owners and enjoy chatting with them. It’s a real small town store. The selection is not huge, but it’s well curated and they have staff comments on a variety of titles.
If you check my Goodreads page you’ll notice that I’m already “reading” two books. But one of them I’ve been “reading” since last fall, so I suppose I should admit defeat or lack of interest. The other one, The Beauty and the Sorrow, I am reading, but slowly. And I am very close to finishing it. Really. This week for sure. They are both nonfiction, and while I find some nonfiction compelling reading, neither of these falls into that category.
For me a beach read is different. Instead of feeling like I should weed the garden, do the laundry, or clean the garage, on vacation I READ! No distractions other than some swimming and applying more suntan lotion. One could argue that it’s a good time to take on a longer more challenging read. I thought about downloading Robert Caro’s newest volume on Lyndon Johnson, but even that sounded pretty ambitious for the beach. The New Yorker excerpt had me hooked…but no.
So what did I read? Well at the bookstore I went for the cover with the golden retriever. And yes, we used to have one. (RIP Ginger.) The Art of Racing in the Rain is told in the voice of the dog. I enjoyed it, although not as much as Dog on It, which is part of the very amusing “Chet and Bernie” mystery series.
I also took along Old Filth by Jane Gardam, which a friend had passed along to me. It was the only beach read that I later gave five stars to on Goodreads, proof perhaps that the best choices are books recommended by friends with similar reading interests. I am definitely going to read other books by this British novelist who has twice won the Whitbread. Apparently I’ve missed a lot of good reading.
I also read The Family Fang. I’m usually a bit cynical about testimonials from other authors, but the jacket of this one had a quote from an author I admire. And I’m not going to say who, because I didn’t love the book. I finished it. Parts were amusing. But overall not my cup of tea. Or, since I was at the beach, another Rum Swizzle please!
Here are some summer reading questions:
- Do you read more in the summer?
- Do you read more on vacation?
- Do you read different things in the summer?
- Do you ever deliberately leave books behind on a vacation for another person to discover and enjoy? (I read a good John Irving book that I found that way and left The Family Fang at my hotel for another person to enjoy on the beach.)
Thank you Rosemary!
Readers, tell us about your summer reading habits in the comments!