For book lovers, holidays are the perfect time to curl up in the sunshine with a stack of books and get some reading done.
I can quite happily spend two weeks on a sun lounger, with a book in one hand and a cocktail in the other. It’s the perfect way to relax. I only wish I could squeeze more of these days into my everyday life.
But there are a few things you can do to make the most of that unbroken reading time.
Don’t debate devices
Nowadays, many readers will take an e-reader away with them. It’s small and portable, and gives you the option to carry plenty of reading material without having to worry about a baggage penalty at the airport.
But if you can, take both. E-readers are great, but there are times when a physical book might be a better option. If you enjoy reading on your flight, there’s usually that chunk of time where the cabin crew will ask you to switch off your devices. Or if you’re going out on a day trip snorkelling or quad biking, or something a bit more action packed, you might not want to take an expensive device.
It’s always good to have the option.
Read a big book
We’ve all got them, those giant tomes that sit on our shelves for months as we tell ourselves we’ll get round to them soon. Holiday is the perfect time to crack open that book – whether it’s The Luminaries or Crime and Punishment – you can dedicate your full attention to it.
Read a series
If you’re in the middle of a series of novels that are being published over several years, you might not always want to reread the previous instalments whenever a new book comes out. But this can be one of my favourite things to do on holiday.
I’ve usually got a pile of new books to go through, but on holiday I don’t feel guilty about rereading something. It gives me the perfect opportunity to dive back into a story from the very beginning, reliving all the twists and turns in the story that I’d forgotten about.
Share books with your travelling companion
I always hate it when I’ve had strong feelings about a book, but nobody else has read it. I want to discuss the ideas, the characters and the story, and whether I loved or hated it.
If you swap books with your friends or your other half, you can spend hours in the sunshine, talking about them as you enjoy a drink or watch the sunset on the beach.
Before you travel, read something about your destination
This is a great way to build anticipation. You can read a travel book if that’s your thing, or choose a novel set in the place you’re about to visit.
It’ll give you a feel for the place and get you even more excited about the trip.
Visit a non-tourist spot you’ve read about
Once you’ve finished the book, make a list of places mentioned in the story that you’d like to visit. Chances are the novel might mention the sort of places that don’t make it into a guidebook: neighbourhood parks and cafes, bars beloved by locals, or stunning vantage points.
If you make the book a part of your holiday, whenever you reread it those memories will be much more vivid and the story will come alive, as you picture what it was like to walk along the same streets and see the same sights.
After you travel, read something about your destination
As with the last point, reading new books about the place you’ve visited will remind you of how it felt to be there and give you a new perspective on things you might have seen or experienced.
Plus it’s a nice way to stretch out that holiday feeling.
Discover your next destination through reading
Have you ever decided to visit a country because you’ve read something about it that captured your imagination?
Think back over the books you’ve enjoyed recently: what stands out? Did you swoon over descriptions of Caribbean beaches or rolling Italian countryside?
There’s nothing to stop you from visiting those places, even if they aren’t a common holiday destination. Plenty of places even offer book related tours that will guide you around the locations you’ve read about.
Whilst not the first destination that might pop into your mind, the Swedish town of Ystad receives a lot of visitors thanks to the hugely popular Kurt Wallander detective stories and there are plenty of other examples.
So what do you think; do you have any tips for reading on holiday?