Vacation Reading:Trashy Novel Time?

Nothing brings out my desire for a trashy novel like being on vacation.  On Saturday morning, I left my home on the coast of NJ and drove straight through the day and night to my parents’ house on the west coast of Florida.  The drive was 1,238 miles and took me 18 hours and 55 minutes.

I brought a suitcase, toiletries bag, cooler bag of PB&J sandwiches, my purse, and a giant canvas tote bag positively brimming with BOOKS–34 in all–but none of them trashy! 

bag-books My only excuse for such literary selections is that visiting my parents isn’t technically a vacation–not in the frozen margarita, hammock on the beach type of trip.

Do your reading choices or genres change with the seasons, weather, or while you’re on vacation?

29 Comments

  • At 2009.04.09 06:04, Molly said:

    Oh wow! Just look at that bag of books waiting to be read on the nice warm beach. I am jealous!

    • At 2009.04.09 06:54, Susan from Reading Upside Down said:

      I don’t think my reading preferences change particularly throughout the year. I usually have a few books going at once, so I can pick up the one that suits my mood, level of alertness, ability to concentrate etc.

      I will confess (only because I am protected by the relative anonymity of the internet) that when I really need to take a mental break, I visit a local library and pick up a couple of trashy bodice ripper romance novels. Even chick lit has the potential for a meaningful theme or thought provoking dialogue. With a Thrills and Swoon you’re guaranteed the kind of predictability that means you can turn your brain off (but still be reading).

      Must go now and read some classic literature to compensate for my taudry romance novel confession…

      nat says: oh, a few bodice rippers never hurt anyone…

      • At 2009.04.09 07:12, Planet Books said:

        My dear, you are in need of a Kindle! That is a huge amount of books for a trip. How long will you be putting your feet up for?

        My reading tastes don’t change with the seasons. I just read what ends up in my hands. When we were in Hong Kong last month I read THE READER. Not exactly light!
        nat says: hey, amazon– do you hear this? send me a complimentary kindle and I’ll be your advertising ‘ho. I’ll pimp the kindle for the rest of my days.

        • At 2009.04.09 07:52, bermudaonion said:

          34 books! How long are you staying? I have been known to read some lighter fare when I’m on vacation.

          nat say: well, i’m being optimistic here…and i’m staying until the parental units toss me out. (actually, i have to be back at work on the 20th…so i guess i should leave on the 19th or so.)

          • At 2009.04.09 07:57, Tammy said:

            Now I don’t feel so bad about the 10 books I have set aside for our vacation next week! How long will this bag last for you? My reading selections don’t change much for vacations or with the seasons. I generally try to mix things up as I go along — I’ll read three or four chunksters and then throw in something light and fluffy just to keep it interesting.

            nat says: the bag should last a bit–but i actually finished a few of the books at home and brought them for my mum to read. i haven’t been reading as much as i planned–i was having too much fun with my little nephew; he and my sis went back to new jersey last night, so now i’ll get serious. 🙂

            • At 2009.04.09 08:36, thewordjar said:

              I’m so glad I’m not alone in bringing an inordinate amount of books on vacation. I could bring a whole suitcase devoted to books if left to my own devices! I visited family last week for a few days and brought five books, even though I knew I’d have virtually no time for reading. I don’t want to not have a book available (double negative and all!). It’s a disease!

              Back to the original reason for my post…moods…yes! My reading mood definitely changes with the seasons. I generally prefer heavy literary works/classics in winter, lighter fare in spring, non-fiction (especially travelogues) in summer, and I really enjoy suspense/horror/mystery in the fall. Of course there are always books that shake things up and must be read immediately, but I’ve found that those are generally the categories I gravitate toward in those seasons. Weird, right?

              • At 2009.04.09 08:45, Connie said:

                I always read a variety of books…I do select some of the “Christmas” feel good books during the season and so forth. I always take extra books any where I go…do not want to run out of things to read.

                • At 2009.04.09 08:50, Hermie's Mom said:

                  You have helped me find a positive in being such a slloooowww reader. Two books per vacation is about all I need. I will be sure to use this point when my husband tells me I pack too much stuff 🙂

                  • At 2009.04.09 10:15, Lisa said:

                    It depends on if we’re driving or flying. Driving vacations I tend to take about a book a day, even though I won’t possible read them. Flying I take 2 or 3, and I ALWAYS buy a book during my layover. Always.

                    • At 2009.04.09 10:23, Valerie said:

                      I don’t bring too many books on vacation. It gives me an excuse to stop at a local bookstore if I run out of reading material ;-). Hope you have a good one and get a lot of good reading done!

                      • At 2009.04.09 11:28, vivienne said:

                        How long are you staying for ? I am glad you are not flying as that would probably be all your luggage allowance. You are not planning on socialising on this trip then.LOL. I hope you are having a fab time and get lots of reading done. How many do you really think you will read? When I was a kid, I used to pack my suitcase completely with books, so there was never enough room for clothes. I was not popular with my parents!

                        • At 2009.04.09 12:03, Emily said:

                          I would say that I tend to read “lighter” books when on vacation (or just up at the lake for a weekend during the summer) just because it’s easier to get back into the book after I fall asleep in the sun 🙂 But I do like to bring a couple different genres with me so I have options depending on my mood. The last vacation I went on I read a historical fiction book (The Master Butchers Singing Club), Harry Potter #4, and #6 of the Sookie Stackhouse series. Nothing too heavy.

                          • At 2009.04.09 12:51, Megan said:

                            Nat, first let me give you kudos (do people still give kudos? I give kudos!) for driving 18 hours. YIKES!

                            And I’d say my reading tastes definitely change with the seasons! Now that the weather is getting nicer, I’m squirreling away all those giant Russian classics over which I’ve been pouring for months (and by “Russian classics,” I mean contemporary American fiction) for YA fiction and books that are pink. I don’t like reading “serious” books when the weather is nice… and I know that’s kind dumb and nonsensical. But I like fun!

                            At the beach last year, I took the two Stephenie Meyer Twilight series books I hadn’t yet read — New Moon and Eclipse. And, yes, every photo from that vacation has me in the corner carrying a tell-tale black book!

                            • At 2009.04.09 15:25, Literary Feline said:

                              My reading choices don’t really change with the seasons. I do go through phases where I read more of one type of book than another, but that can’t be marked on a calendar and has no discernable pattern. Although, for the most part, I do try and mix up my reading so as not to wear myself out on one type of book.

                              The last time I went away on vacation, I decided to take books I’d bought myself rather than review books I’d been sent. It was a combination vacation from work and reviewing (although I still reviewed the books on my blog). The type of books themselves really didn’t vary though.

                              I hope you have a wonderful vacation!

                              • At 2009.04.09 20:17, Hayden Tompkins said:

                                Um. No. Basically science fiction, fantasy, or romance.

                                Are you trying to say I should switch it up??? Bite me.

                                • At 2009.04.09 20:19, claire said:

                                  That’s also one reason a Kindle would be nice. Imagine having 34 books on it without need for a whole tote! I don’t bring a lot of books on vacation, though. Depends on how long. If, say, a week, I’ll bring just two, and then make sure to drop by a bookshop somewhere. I always need to bring something new (or used) back home after a trip, lol.

                                  My reading preferences don’t really change with the seasons. I would read stuff in the summer that I also would in winter. Enjoy your vacation and your 34 books! 😀

                                  • At 2009.04.09 22:11, Karen said:

                                    My reading preferences are definitely affected by many things – the season, my mood, what’s going on in my life at the time etc… If we are g0ing on a holiday and we are driving I will always take a huge stack of different reading material with me – so I don’t get caught out! I hate leaving home and leaving behind my huge bookshelves with endless choices!

                                    • At 2009.04.09 23:08, mari said:

                                      WOW! 34 books. Can’t wait to hear how many you read while there. 🙂

                                      I do tend to mix up my reading, or at least try to. Easy, fast and fun reads for vacations. Bigger and more literary tomes for the cooler months.

                                      • At 2009.04.10 09:42, Steph said:

                                        Wow! 34 books?!? How long exactly is this vacation? 😉

                                        I don’t have any hard set rules for vacation reading. It is hard for me to plan my reading in advance, so I might err on the side of easier/more briskly paced novels to increase the likelihood of becoming absorbed in a novel… but of course there’s no reason why a literary, decidedly un-trashy novel can’t fit that bill. The last vacation I took, I read a few mysteries and brought along Great Expectations… which still remains unread! Oh, Dickens! Will you forever be my albatross?

                                        • At 2009.04.10 11:06, Care said:

                                          Yes, my mood and the seasons influence my reading. I’m thinking about putting off my current read because it’s somewhat set in the fall and it just doesn’t fit my sunny need for spring! however, on travel reads, I bounce between light fun fare (beach, anyone?) and wanting to tackle the heavy stuff when I know I’m trapped on a plane and thus will not be distracted.

                                          • At 2009.04.10 11:14, thedailydish said:

                                            DAMN girl, I can’t even get through 1 book on vacation. Okay, well, not two. Prop me up w/ something less cerebral. And make sure I have a good eyeline of that hot stud in the speedo. JUST KIDDING JOHHHN!!!

                                            • At 2009.04.10 18:16, emma said:

                                              Oh, I absolutely dedicate vacation time to trashy novel reading. I can’t read anything that requires real concentration while on an airplane, but I get bored with magazines, so that’s when the real junk comes out. Just can’t be too hot cause, you know, I’m on a plane and all…

                                              • At 2009.04.10 19:21, Jenners said:

                                                Hey — I’m an NJ girl myself. You made great time …my husband and I keep saying maybe we should try driving to Florida but I’m a notorious car sleeper so my husband decided not to chance it.

                                                And I definitely read different books for vacation. I definitely want lighter, funner, easier books … it is a vacation after all. And if I am flying, I tend to choose short, easy to pick up and put down books (essays by David Sedaris for example). But that is because I am flying with a small child and there isn’t a lot of quiet time on the plane!

                                                Enjoy your vacation … and your vacation reading.

                                                • At 2009.04.10 23:28, Biblio Brat said:

                                                  Books is books is books is..wait…shouldnt’ it be: Books are books are books?

                                                  Oh well. The gist of it is, if it has a cover and paper in between then it doesn’t matter when, where, how, or what season.

                                                  I think the only thing that would curtail me at all is having to pay for overweight bags when I fly and books can be heavy.

                                                  • At 2009.04.12 03:20, Amy @ My Friend Amy said:

                                                    Hmm…I like page turners for when I’m on the plane, so thrillers or romantic suspense. But when I’m actually at the destination, I guess it doesn’t matter as much.

                                                    • At 2009.04.12 13:03, Diane said:

                                                      I just came across you blog today. I like it a lot. For me the best part of our annual beach vacations is choosing the bag of books to bring LOL, so I totally understand your logic 🙂

                                                      • At 2009.04.15 13:59, Ramya said:

                                                        Every time I go to India to visit family, I HAVE to pack a bunch of chick lits. There’s something about the 20-odd hour flight journey that makes me hate everything except for light reads. But anywhere else I go, I pack up the books that are on top of my TBR pile.. no specific genres..

                                                        • At 2011.01.16 16:11, LuAnn Zettle said:

                                                          Kindle and ereaders are nice. But there is something about opening a book for the first time. Holding a book. Its a pleasure thing. Not to be had with the ebook readers. I am sure as time goes on we will see an entire generation of ebookers. But for me, I love books. I love a wide variety of reads, from trashy novels to non-fiction history, from adult erotic reads to how-to books. I am pretty open to anything. When I travel? I pack the books first. More by car, fewer by train and fewest by plane.

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