Daydreaming about Beach Reading

May 23, 2007 at 9:32 pm | Posted in Beach, Books, LIfe, Reading | Leave a comment


Danny has wanted to take a vacation at the beach since I moved to Virginia 11 years ago.  Since my family is in Michigan area, our vacations inevitably take place someplace to the North West.  Danny’s long wait is about to come to an end.  We are headed to Myrtle Beach on Memorial Day and I cannot tell you how excited we all are.  The girls are excited to hunt for shells and play on the beach.  Danny and I are excited to get away from the every day and to be alone on a vacation as a family.  It’s going to be great.

Today I bought some noodle floaters, swim rings, swimmies, and sand toys for the girls at the dollar store and Wal-Mart.  I’ve bought Danny and me some bigger beach towels and have expanded my wardrobe accordingly.  Danny made the plans for lodging and we’re going to be stocking the refrigerator in our suite when we get there Monday afternoon.  Other than packing, there is only one thing left for me to plan – the books I plan on taking with me.

As the beach hasn’t been a frequent destination, it’s been a long time since I’ve needed some beach reading.  Usually, I don’t differentiate what I take to read on a trip; but, I want the entire beach experience.  When people talk about beach reading, they are talking about fun, happy, frolicking, quick books.  They definitely don’t bring intense, morose, or complicated books.  For example, I’m going to hold off on starting The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai.  This book won the Man Booker prize.  I am also excited to read that book because Ms. Desai is a fellow Hollins graduate.  Still, when I’m at the beach, I don’t want to read anything that has the word “loss” in the title.

Weeding out books that won’t be acceptable as beach reads helps to narrow down the field of contenders a great deal.  It doesn’t make my choices obvious, though.  I have had Memoirs of a Geisha for a long time now.  I haven’t seen the movie or read any reviews of the book.  My hope is that it is saucy and sensual.  To me, that would qualify as something to read on a vacation at the beach.  However, this book could also veer in the direction of Snowflower and the Secret Fan.  I loved that book.  It gave me a lot to think about.  It made me mad how women perpetuate male fantasies of female inferiority to the next generation, regardless of how painful or deadly living up to that ideal was.  I don’t want to upset myself on my vacation.  So, are the Geishas in or out?  I’m not sure.

Once I fully compare my stash of books against the fun, happy, frolicking, quick criteria, I need to figure out how many to bring.  How much time is a mother of a 4.5 and a 2.5 year old daughters going to have to read?  Do I need to even bring more than one book?  Taking only one with me might invite the girls to place safely, peacefully, and quietly play while Danny and I lay on the beach.  Hmmm…  A compromise would be to bring one huge book.  There is The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers that I’ve been dying to read.  Now that I’ve read books about all of his wives with the exception of Jane Seymour, I’m ready for his version of things.  What if that book rots?  It’s unlikely, but it could happen.  I’ll definitely bring more than one book.  Do I stick with one type of genre or bring choices from many?  Etc….

What have you enjoyed reading at the beach?  I’m always open to suggestions.

Do you have any beach reading experiences to share?  I’d love for you to share.

Also, don’t forget to enter my free book giveaway.

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