Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Common Dilemma: Choosing Vacation Reads

We all have had this dilemma at one time or another -- which books do we bring with us on vacation? How many books for how many days? Do we choose ARCs that are due for reading or use our time away for "fun" books? Short books versus long books, paperbacks versus hardcovers -- there are just so many factors that it is not a quick decision. I've been thinking about this for weeks so far!

I'm taking a ten day trip (about six hours of flight each way) and I am trying to decide on my books. The ones I'm currently considering are

The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones (ARC)
The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter (ARC)

A River in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

The Prestige by Christopher Priest
The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

There are a couple others that I might consider but I'm leaning toward three or four of these (Jones, Pratchett, Peters and Willis). As you can see, I'm going for fun reads with the ARCs being fun ones as well, even if they are required reading. They're all paperbacks though the ARCs are oversized. But now I have to decide if four books is enough ...

Packing the essentials,


  1. Wait wait wait--Doomsday Book, much though I love it, is not fun. It is sad and tragic and sad. The fun one is To Say Nothing of the Dog, which is a great book to take on vacation. NOT Doomsday Book--read that before you go if you want, but it's not essential to understanding TSNotD.

  2. Whoa. You have an ARC of a Terry Pratchett book? I did not know such things existed. And also, you haven't read it yet? You have the restraint. Totally take it. I can't think of anything that could make a flight more fun than some Pratchett. I haven't read any of these, but they all sound good. Except maybe the Doomsday book, after reading Jean's comment. What are you taking for the kiddo?

  3. Have fun on your vacation! I admit, I never really bring more than a book or two on vacation with me, but I do bring my ipad which has tons of choices. I read so much at home that I don't tend to read a lot on vacation. I tend to be up and doing other things. On the other hand, I stock up on audiobooks like mad! :D

  4. Jean - I meant fun as in "non-obligation" -- books that I just really want to read. I've already read TSNotD and Blackout/All Clear so Doomsday is one I know I can get lost in. I know after B/AC what I'm in for!

    Heather - I've only had it a couple of days and had another book that I had to read first. :) And that one is a definite for the trip -- probably on the trip over because it will make the time fly! Still deciding what to take for Z too -- for the flights I am doing activity/sticker books because he loves those. Then I was thinking about The Mysterious Benedict Society for our new bedtime book (we should finish the one we're reading before we go). Other than that, I'll probably let him pick two or three books that he wants to take for himself.

    Amanda - That's my biggest dilemma. I like to read on the plane trips but then I usually just get in a little bit of reading here and there with a half hour to an hour at bedtime. So I don't need tons of books, just a couple to get me through. And I think we're going to try and go computer-less this trip (which includes the ipad) -- just iphones. Of course, I do have plenty of books on there too. ;)

  5. Oh, whew! By all means, take it along then, as long as you're forewarned!

  6. TERRY PRATCHETT HAS A NEW BOOK?! What?! How didn't I know? I am shocked and jealous.

    I think the book choices you have are great! Do you have a Kindle, too? I would recommend a download of Bab: A Sub-Deb by Mary Roberts Rineheart- SO MUCH FUN.

  7. Jean - Thanks for the warning though! It would have been quite a shock if I had thought it was a madcap adventure like TSNotD. :P

    Aarti - It's a standalone too so I'm pretty excited about it. I was shocked to see it on an ARC list (Harper Collins). I don't have a Kindle but I do use the app on my phone so I will download that book for sure. Thanks!

  8. I try to stick to paperbacks. I also try and use this as a reason to take unread books off my own shelves instead of library books, unless I have to finish something for a book group. It forces me to make a dent in the TBR shelves.

    I read The Prestige a few months ago and I don't know if I'd call it a fun read. Interesting, but not one of my favorites. I actually preferred the movie, which is unusual. I haven't read any of the other books on your list but The Looking Glass Wars is on my TBR shelf as well.

  9. Oh, very jealous about the Terry Pratchett ARC! I hadn't known about this new collaboration: it sounds fascinating! I'll add it to my most anticipated book list.

    I've been rereading Connie Willis recently, and Domesday Book is next on my list. Be sure to try Passages, too. Also a sad one, but I think it's brilliant.

  10. Karen - Paperbacks are almost a given. I was so upset once when I took a large hardcover and then didn't even get to it! And reading from your own shelves is a plus too.

    Kim - Doomsday book is my last of the time travel books and then I have a couple of Willis' other novels to try out. I have a feeling that I'm going to love the time travel ones the best of all though. :)

  11. I've been looking for good book blogs to follow along with, and found yours. I like your taste. I'm going to put you in my google reader, and I hope you don't mind me following along!

    Also, I vote for Terry Pratchett. I've not read all of his books, but every one I have read (I just reviewed one at my book blog) has been excellent reading, and excellent for travelling. Enjoy your vacation!

  12. This is where an e-reader comes in handy!!! You can bring all types with you (even ARCS from NetGalley.) On vacation, I like to read books I'm looking forward to because, well, I'm on vacation!! HAVE FUN!

  13. Neal - Thanks for following! I have only read a few of his books too but I'm really excited about this new one. I think I'll be reading it on the first flight!

    Jenners - I know. But I don't have one because I have so darn many paper books unread. One day I will catch up a bit and then feel justified in getting an e-reader. :)

  14. Elizabeth Peters is so fun! I usually end up taking personal or "no obligation" books with me on trips. That way if I don't bother to take notes or read while I'm distracted, I don't feel bad if I write a review later that is sort of general. Taking review books always feels like work, which is not good reading for vacation!

  15. Kim - Peters is definitely a go-to fun read for me! And I normally probably wouldn't consider review books but I'm a bit behind at the moment. :)