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Vacation Batch

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Do your reading habits change when you’re on vacation? Do you read more? Do you indulge in lighter, fluffier books than you usually read? Do you save up special books so you’ll be able to spend real vacation time with them? Or do you just read the same old stuff, vacation or not?

I always make sure I have reading time when I’m on vacation, whether it’s the quiet beach resort in Kauai, the off-the-beaten path in Paris, or home alone in Hong Kong. As per the types of books for vacation, I adopt the “come what may” policy: whatever interests me and appeals to my whims will go on with my carry-ons. Every now and then, a novel comes along that is so masterful, so breathtaking in scope, that even the first pages completely draw me in—if I encounter such a book, I would put it in the vacation batch and save it for the trip. Of course, books of such allure do not come along very often, let alone at the perfect timing, so I would bring books that pertain to my destination. I read through Charles Higham’s Civilization of Angkor during my trip to Angkor Wat, Cambodia; and Edmund White’s The Flâneur in Paris. The Gentlemen in the Parlour, Somerset Maugham’s memoir and travelogue of Southeast Asia, accompanied me on the three-week tread through Malaysia, where I traced his footsteps.

In addition to books relevant to travel, I always like to bring meaty books—tomes or books that require longer attention span—to read because vacation usually affords more time. Anthony Trollope is always a good choice because I can read by the pool all day. If I go on a vacation now, Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, Somerset Maugham’s A Writer’s Notebook, and Alan Hollingburst’s latest, The Marriage Plot will go with me. These are meaty and thoughtful books that I would like to read by the pool or in a garden all afternoon.

6 Responses

  1. Anthony Trollope by the pool? That has style!
    I’ve read embarrassingly few of the classics.

    Here’s my BTT

  2. I read many different kinds of books when I am on vacation but mainly, I just read. I finally have time for hours of uninterrupted reading and I love that about vacations.

    • I devote a lot of time to reading when I’m on vacation. That is why I don’t mind traveling by myself because I don’t have to worry about a second opinion.

  3. I like this weeks question, I am actually on holidays at the moment in beautiful New Caledonia and I have definitely bought ‘light’ reads and re-reads with me. the LOTR books, an agatha christie, a jasper fforde – you get the drift. I love just losing myself with no effort required.

    • I’m so green with jealousy. I hope you enjoy beautiful New Caledonia! Re-reads always work fine with me for vacation because I know I’m in for good stories. Agatha Christie is great for any occasion. 🙂

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