If you’re a bookworm and a story junkie like myself, then you know that summer can be the best and worst of times. There is so much more time to read and so much less to do. There is nothing like sitting in the sun, on a beach, reading a good book while feeling the sand in between your toes (unless, you’re like me, and prefer sitting in your room on your bed, sipping hot chocolate and watching the snow build outside of your window- winter vs. summer reading, where do you stand?). HOWEVER, with all these pros, many cons come up, and one of them is something that book nerds have struggled with since the beginning of time: How do I choose a book to take on my journey? It is certain that you cannot fill one suitcase with books for your travels, because you will most likely be chided by your friends, your significant other, or your parents. So, here is some advice from me to you: why you should bring the book, how you should bring the book, and when to enjoy the book on your summer travels and trips.
- When choosing between a paperback and a hardback, ALWAYS take the paperback. The hardback, as wonderful as it is, takes up space, has the ability to drop out of your hands and injure you for the remainder of your trip, and is not as comfortable. As I always say, hardbacks are for serious reading and paperbacks are for relaxing.
- Never read a Stockholm travel guide while sunbathing in Florida. This may seem obvious, but to those who sincerely enjoy reading Fodor’s guides in their free time, it may seem like a good idea. However, I promise you, it has the chance to ruin your trip. As you read, you will notice the sun doesn’t feel as nice and the grass doesn’t look as green where you are. This is more of a life lesson: live in the present, enjoy the specific rays that are hitting your body and don’t wish for another kind (and remember sun block!)
- That being said…travel fiction is totally okay! I recently finished The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler, which was an enjoyable read primarily because it allowed me to dream of other places. Travel fiction still too close to home? Switch it up and read an awesome supernatural thriller or a book of fantasy short stories. A journey out of this world is a valid option as well.
- Choose one old friend and one new friend. It is impossible to bring just one! So, in times of trouble always bring an old favorite and a shiny, new possibility. If the possibility disappoints you, then at least you have the old friend to satisfy you for the rest of the trip.
- When buying books while on vacation, proceed with caution. It is very easy to do what people do with Pringles- just one more, just one more. Every time I take a trip to New York, I find myself at the Strand Book Store, JUST BROWSING I SWEAR, and then I end up on the train holding two bags of books. There are treasures in your room! Those books you haven’t touched but found intriguing when you first picked them up. Go back to those!
- The rule of three…don’t bring more than three! Just don’t. That is a lot of space for clothes wasted, and chances are, you won’t get around to them anyway.
- Don’t forget your pen and highlighter. Is it just me? I always forget a highlighter when going on a trip, and then when I read something beautiful, I can never respond, which drives me crazy. Definitely pack your pen and highlighter as soon as possible.
- Experience the trip, then read on downtime. Don’t be that reader who neglects her family, friends, and surroundings to enter the world of a book. Experience the world first, and I promise you will bring back so much more to your reading. There is nothing like reading a book about love unless you have acquired some strong feelings about it over time. Readers who live life to the fullest often are the ones who close the book after reading a page and go “YES, THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT IT’S LIKE.” Allow yourself to get there.
- Okay, okay…you can get a Nook or eReader at your nearest store. Just go, while I’m not watching! No, but seriously, this sometimes seems like the best option. If you’re okay with swiping instead of turning the page, this is a totally valid option. You have the ability to take all the books you want without even making any decisions. In this case, you can now ignore this article.
By: Tiara DeGuzman