Friday 10 May 2024

Don't let a bad book ruin your trip - how to find the perfect book for holiday reading

This is a collaborative post

I love sitting back and relaxing with a good book while on holiday. I love sitting on a peaceful beach listening to the waves lapping, relaxing on the deck of a cruise ship and enjoying some sunshine, or whiling away the time while travelling by train or plane. But I'm very particular about my reading material, and I spend a lot of time making sure that I've packed the right books to take away with me. 

Whether boarding a cruise or embarking on a different type of holiday, it's essential to pick the best holiday reading. So in this article I'll be looking at some tried and tested strategies for choosing the best books for reading on your travels.

Choose a book that complements your destination

A perfect holiday read is one that matches the destination. I often like to choose books that will take me away to a similar setting. For example if you are going to be enjoying a cruise holiday then you might want to find a book that will take you on an adventure on the seas. If you are visiting a historic destination look for a book set in that place during a period that interests you. I love reading a book that it set in the place that I'm currently visiting and it can give you inspiration for places to visit and sights to keep an eye out for.

Pick a book that sparks your interest

Think about your own interests and the genres or themes that most appeal to you. That might be historical fiction, fantasy or romance, or perhaps a non-fiction book on a subject that you want to learn more about. 

How to pick the perfect book for holiday reading
Photo credit Link Hoang via Unsplash

Find a book which will get you in the right mood

Consider the type of reading experience you want while you are away. Maybe a light beach read to enjoy while you're soaking up the sun on a pristine shore, or perhaps you need a more thought-provoking novel to distract you from the more mundane aspects of travel. 

I tend to choose a book for my holiday reading which isn't too complicated and that I can easily pick up and put down. If I'm on a cruise holiday, for example boarding an eastern Caribbean cruise, I want something relaxing that I can fit in around daily cruise stops and activities on board. I need a book that I can easily get stuck into when I have the time to sit and relax.

Check reviews and recommendations for the perfect match

To help me choose my next book I look for reviews on social media and shopping sites, or from blogs that I trust. I like to know what a book is about, the style in which it is written, and whether it's similar to other books that I've enjoyed. I also chat with friends that have similar reading tastes to see what they've enjoyed recently, and I'm very careful before purchasing a book so that I don't waste my money and time. 

Travel light with an e-reader or by passing on books when finished

Books can be heavy and awkward to pack, so I love my e-reader which means that I can take a huge library of books and I always have the perfect book at my fingers. I also look for bookshelves in hotels and on cruise ships where people have left behind books that they've enjoyed. I like to browse through and swap a new book for one that I've finished. 

Try something new and embracing unexpected delights

While you want to find the perfect book, going on holiday is also a great opportunity to try out some new literary genres. Maybe that might be a book that you spot in the library on a cruise ship or on a bookshelf in the hotel reception and pick up just on the off chance that you might enjoy it. You might also have the chance to visit a bookshop or two and pick up something new to read.

Seeing what other people are reading on the beach is also a great way to find new reading material, you can ask people what they think of a book and whether they would recommend it.

But if you do start a book and it fails to ignite your interest don't be afraid to stop reading - there are far too many books in the world to waste time on one that doesn't grab you! 


I really enjoy spending the time before I go away choosing the perfect book to enjoy on my holiday. In fact it's just as important to me as packing clothes and toiletries. I love unpacking into a hotel room or cruise stateroom and placing my pile of books by the bed, it makes me feel as though the holiday has really started. 

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