Choosing a Vacation Book

WildflowersHow do you choose a book for vacation?  Do you choose one specifically for your vacation type: road trip, beach trip, family trip? Some years, my read matches my trip.  Other years, I have no ideas so I go to the bookstore and wander around until I find something that strikes my fancy.  Are any of these choice likely to be great works of erudite literature?  No!  Most likely my choice will be escapist, easy reading. It is summer after all!

Thinking about choosing a book for vacation reminds me of my friend, Nan. There was nothing haphazard about Nan’s system for selecting her vacation read.  It was deliberate.  The selection was laid out like a campaign.  She wanted to read the best new work of classic literature.  No quick summer reading fling for her.  She would pour over the New York Times best sellers list.  She would read reviews.  What did that review in the New York Times Magazine say? With careful consideration she chose the PERFECT book for her vacation.  One year she chose Cider House Rules by John Irving.  I benefited from this choice as she loaned me the book.  From that book I went on to read The World According to Garp.  Both were wonderful books that I might never have selected for myself.

This year on vacation, I am going to hike a small piece of the Appalachian Trail.  Keeping that in mind, I decided to revisit A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. I read this a number of years ago, when I was searching for a humorous book. It was funny, touching, informative and inspirational.  According to the back of my new copy it “has become a modern classic of travel literature.”  This year, I am celebrating my friend, Nan and reading the classics for vacation.

Do you need help deciding, which books to buy or which books to pack for your vacation? You can visit your local library for suggestions.  Many of them maintain summer reading lists for adults. If you can’t get to your local library, here are a few websites dedicated to helping you decide.




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