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My Latest Dilemma

August 16, 2011

reading at the cottageSome people tie themselves in knots about what clothes to pack when they go on vacation. Others debate what gear and equipment they will need. Me, I fret over what books to take with me!

In the near future we will be going away to a chalet in cottage country for a week with my extended family. We’ve never taken a family vacation together before, and I anticipate that there might be some moments when quiet, solitary contemplation will be needed. Therefore, some reading material will be required.

As I have mentioned before, I don’t usually plan my reading in advance. I prefer to go with the flow and pick up whatever I’m moved to read at the time. Nevertheless, I have a feeling I might want to read something light and fun.  That rules out The Bell Jar, and The Jungle among others on Mt.  TBR. I’ve been keen to read The Information and The Long Goodbye, but the copies I have are really nice and I don’t want to wreck them by dropping them in the lake or getting them covered with molten marshmallow debris. That rationale also rules out library books despite having The Uncommon Reader on hold.

After some hand-wringing I have narrowed it down to a short list. For kicks, let’s make it into a poll. Please vote for the book you think I should take on vacation:

13 Comments leave one →
  1. August 17, 2011 07:10

    I think it depends a lot on how quickly you read. IIRC, Connecticut Yankee isn’t all that long. But then, I always pack at least two more books than I could physically get through even if I read nonstop my entire trip, so maybe I’m a bad judge in the first place. 🙂

    Personally, I thought Lake Wobegon Days was boring, but if you enjoy Keillor, you’ll probably like it. I haven’t read the others, and given my dislike of maritime fiction I probably wouldn’t like Kidnapped or Master and Commander.

    Okay, yeah, I’m definitely the worst person to vote in this poll, so maybe I should just wrap up this comment and be done with it. 🙂

    • August 17, 2011 09:12

      LOL, thanks for your thoughts. I don’t even have a position on maritime fiction yet, so it could be a risk taking a bunch of it on holiday. I have a sneaking suspicion that I might find Lake Woebegon Days a rather dull, but it’s been lying around on our couch for weeks on end so I’ve been feeling inclined to read it and get it out of my sight. Decline and Fall is looking rather appealing.

      I’ll probably take three books with me. Odds are that I will read maybe one of them. As much as I love reading, I usually find myself too distracted on vacation to really plough through the books like I would at home.

  2. August 18, 2011 08:43


    I’m completely blown away by your drive to do this! I love reading, but if I said to myself that I had to read 1,000 books from a list, I’d probably rip my hair out and punch myself in the privates. That being said, I have a ton of respect for your mission and from looking back at your old posts, it looks like you’ve got the heart to do it!

    I subscribed to your blog so I can keep updated on your progress. I’m excited to see what you think of the books! (I specifically voted for “Master and Commander” — I loved it, but will you?)

    Have a great time on your vacation!

    – Rance

    • August 18, 2011 21:12

      LOL, there are times when I wonder what I was thinking when I decided to do this! Thanks so much for for your support. I’ve noticed that Master and Commander has surged in the poll today, so we might soon see whether or not I love it. I’m willing to keep an open mind despite the offputting presence of Russell Crowe’s mug on the cover 😉

  3. Anabelle permalink
    August 18, 2011 23:46

    And that is why you need a Kindle 🙂 You can take them ALL with you!

    • August 19, 2011 08:34

      Ha ha, I was wondering how long it would take for someone to chime in with that suggestion.

  4. August 25, 2011 11:10

    Have you gone on vacation yet? And what did you take? I voted for Woman in White 🙂 What books to have while on vacation is a perpetucal dilemma for bookworms!

    • September 4, 2011 22:40

      I’m baaack! I just put up a new post about Vacation Reading that you can check out to read the full scoop.

  5. September 2, 2011 09:54

    I once knew a couple who took month-long vacations every summer. They packed one suitcase for clothes, one for books. 30 books in 30 days was their mantra. It sounded both overwhelming and heavenly.

    I’m of the opinion that family vacations, while fun, aren’t entirely vacations. So, I agree that you should take some down time to curl up with a good book.

    • September 4, 2011 22:34

      Sounds idyllic! I used to read a book a day back when I began my career and lived in a tiny apartment. I didn’t have space to pursue many other interests so most nights I would come home from work and read a book. It helped that the library was half a block away. Nowadays there are more demands on my time, but I try to read at least 52 books a year.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • September 4, 2011 22:45

      Although, having taken several book-related vacations, I recommend mixing books with clothes and spreading them evenly throughout one’s luggage. It’s so tempting to pack all of the books neatly onto one suitcase, but then you try to carry them and realize that the book-laden suitcase feels like it’s full of bricks. It can also look suspicious on the luggage scanner, and I generally prefer not to discuss my reading habits with the Department of Homeland Security I can avoid it. 🙂

  6. September 6, 2011 21:37

    I loved “A woman in white” and I am glad to see it did well! I hope you read and enjoyed it!


  1. Vacation Reading « One Thousand Novels – reading 1,000 books in one lifetime

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