Monday 30 August 2021

Packing books to take on holiday

Recently I was doing some packing for a week away, and it occurred to me that amongst the chaos of packing, many people probably don't spend as long as I do thinking about which books to take. It certainly doesn't cross my husband's mind! But almost as soon as a holiday is booked I'm thinking about its potential for reading opportunities.

Different types of holiday have different requirements. In our mid-twenties we embarked on a fantastic around the world trip and were tight on packing space. Despite all the long haul flights I packed just one book which I managed to make last for the entire trip. Granted it was a thick one - Anna Karenina by Tolstoy - but even though the battered paperback is long gone whenever I see the book title it brings back great memories of our holiday.

A week away with the family usually offers much more time for reading so I always pack at least five or six books. When we went away just before Christmas last year I raided the seasonal shelf in the library for Christmas themed books full of cosy fireside romances, hot chocolate and gingerbread. For a long flight I'll bring something easy to read and gripping enough to keep me distracted, and for a beach or pool holiday I want a cheap paperback that I don't mind getting wet!

In addition, regardless of the physical books, these days I always have my Kindle along with me (oh how I would have loved a Kindle on my round the world trip!) I pop over to Amazon and download some books from the Prime Reading Library as well as looking through the free Kindle books to see if any catch my eye. Of course it's already stuffed full of both favourites and classic books that I want to read, so I'll never be short of reading material. 

When packing I'm also busy thinking about books for the children as well. One of my fondest childhood holiday memories is the book box that my Mum used to put together to bring along in the car with us. She would collect second hand books at the library book sale and charity shops which were only brought out when we had arrived. I still remember the excitement of all those new books! 

Books piled up on suitcase ready to take on holiday

Above are the books that I packed for our most recent trip. The current read (Atonement), a non-fiction book to dip in and out of (Quiet), a book I haven't read before (The Flight of the Falcon), a nice big book so that I don't run out of things to read (Gone With The Wind) and my Kindle on top!

Choosing which books to pack for a holiday certainly makes the chore of packing much more fun, and of course sitting down and getting on with all that reading is something to look forward to as well!

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