Vacation time is here and for many of us that means a chance to read the books we haven't had time for all year. Unfortunately, too many of those books go unfinished and forgotten for a variety of reasons. Here is a quick guide for choosing the vacation book that right for you.
Keep It Fun
Vacations are about fun and you're reading choices should be to. If you don't have time to read much during the year you may be tempted to use this time to read an “important” book that you've been hearing about in the news or from your friends. While this is a noble endeavor, a vacation can be a bad time to try and tackle anything too serious. How you connect with a book depends a lot on the atmosphere in which you read it. When you're surrounded by fun and friends a serious book can feel like a chore and will most likely end up being forgotten after the first day.
Choosing a fun book doesn't necessarily means a frivolous book, a beach can be a great place to read a biography or a murder mystery, it just means picking a book that interests you, not one that you feel obligated to read.
Check Out The First Chapter
Planning for a vacation can be a stressful time, but don't make your book choice an afterthought. You don't want to be stuck on a plane or in a car with a boring book. When making your reading choice don't just check out the descriptions on the back cover, take time and read the first few pages. A book's plot can seem interesting on the back, but if you don't enjoy the writers style you can loose interest quickly. Also, reading the first part of the book draws you into the story and makes you more interested in picking it up again once your vacation begins.
Keep It Portable
If you have a Kindle or other e-reader this part will not apply to you. For those of us who still get our books the old fashioned way, the size of the book itself can affect how you read it on vacation. The latest 500 page hardcover thriller may be fine on your nightstand, but it will be a huge pain to pack in a carry-on or lug to the beach. Make sure you choose something small enough to fit in a bag or purse, preferably a paperback.
Get Something Easy To Follow
Vacations are a hectic time, filled with lots of interruptions. A good vacation book should be something that you can put down and pick back up numerous time throughout the day without getting lost. When you're checking out the first chapter look for books centered around a single character or small group with a straightforward plot. A sprawling fantasy epic or complicated spy novel can be great reading, but if you don't have the time to remember all the details it can become confusing and end up being forgotten.
You may also want to consider a book of short stories. Many popular authors have written short story books and there are numerous collections of short stories from multiple authors. Because a short story is, well...short, it usually remains focused on a narrow series of characters or events. A collection of stories also gives you variety, if one is a dud you can simply move on to something you find more interesting.
Connect It To Your Vacation
The best way to enjoy your vacation book is to make it part of the experience. If you are traveling for your vacation, consider a book set in your destination. This can make you feel more connected to the story and the location as well as give you some sightseeing ideas.
If you are traveling with a group of friends or family it can be fun to choose a book for some of the group to read together. This can give you an opportunity to discuss the story with other people as you read and you may even get other members of the group interested. If you do plan to do this be sure to connect ahead of time and make sure everyone is on board and has time to prepare. Also, be sure that everyone wants to be involved. Everyone may not want to read the same book or read at all. Respect their wishes and let everyone enjoy their vacation as much as you are enjoying yours.
Following these steps will help you have a great vacation read and assure that a good book is part of your vacation for years to come.