Choosing books to take on holiday

Holiday time. Time for sunshine, and sand in uncomfortable places. Time to crack open a book, or crack into a stack if you’re feeling ambitious (and/or unthreatened by luggage weight limits).

So how do you decide what to take? Guess what’s coming. IT’S A BUNCH OF TIPS.

Don’t go overboard on virtue

Don’t pack five man bookers that you hate but you WILL read. This is the literary equivalent of courgetti and crossfit #readclean #intellectualRIGOUR.

Just take one (per week). One solid, wholesome officially endorsed Good Book™. The kind of book that provokes long essays, maybe a ‘classic’. This book is your rewarding struggle, and better to struggle on a beach or by the pool than rammed in someone’s armpit on the tube.

Balance out the Good Book™ 

If you’re risking a mental beating by the Good Book™, you might want an easier read to hand. This doesn’t mean trashy romance – take a book that has a good old-fashioned story (hello Agatha Christie, Daphne Du Maurier).

Explore the back catalogue of so and so 

Got one book you love and you’ve never had chance to read more by the author? This is your chance. Make them your travel companion.

Use a Kindle

I’m usually a committed fan of paper, but a Kindle means freedom to take more books and download more books if you run out. Just don’t drop it in the pool, you won’t get that nice crinkly effect you get with books.


Here are the books I’m taking away:

Holiday-books

  • The Riders (Tim Winton = Aussie genius, lots of scorched earth, rolling seas and complex relationships)
  • Music for Torching (A.M.Homes = good at describing tortured souls, sharp, (darkly) funny writing)
  • To the Lighthouse (The Good Book™)
  • The Rendezvous (The good old-fashioned story)

Not this time –

  • The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood (I love it, I love her, I love that people are loving it at the moment, but I’ve read it several times)
  • Romantic Outlaws, Charlotte Gordon (it’s MASSIVE, saving it for when there’s no weight limits)
  • The American Future, Simon Schama (having a non-fiction break)

Anyone got any holiday reading recommendations? Got your own strategy for picking books? Comment!

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