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Vacation Reading

September 4, 2011

Mr. ToadA big thanks to everyone who participated in the poll from my last post. It was entertaining to watch the books seemingly compete with one another as the results changed over time. Thanks to your input my dilemma was solved without further angst.  In addition to the book I had in progress, packed A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court The Woman in White, and Master and Commander. The forecast called for rain, so I threw in Decline and Fall as well, since it’s a relatively slim volume.

See, here’s the thing. I’m feeling rather sheepish as I write this because, after all my neurotic analysis of what to take on vacation, the entire time I was away I didn’t even get through the book I already had in progress when I left. I was about a quarter of the way through The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay upon departure, and although I was reading it fairly steadily, I still had a few pages to go when I got home. I was enjoying it too much to set it aside, even temporarily, in favour of any of the books from the poll. It’s an engrossing book which I plan to post a review about fairly soon.

The poll has also helped me feel better about not being terribly eager to read Lake Wobegon Days. I have a ragged copy that I picked up at the library’s book sale months ago, and have started to read it on several occasions but thus far it hasn’t grabbed me. It met my vacation book criteria from the standpoint of being a book I wouldn’t care much if one of the clumsy calamities I’m prone to happened to befall it, and thematically it was a perfect fit for the kind of holiday we took, but I’m just not that into it. Thank you for saving me from my own good intentions, as I was planning to take it because I seemed like something I should read at that juncture, rather than a book I wanted to read.

family vacation on Georgian BayThis trip, the main objective was to spend time with my family, especially my nieces and nephews who are getting to an age when they will soon have lives of their own and probably won’t have much time to spend with their goofy old aunt anymore. We got a lot of visiting in. My nieces had great fun braiding my hair in many imaginative ways, I suitably impressed everyone with my prowess at trivia games, tried our hand at ukulele and salsa dancing lessons, and we took several outings. I went to the beach for the first time in years (decades even) and actually enjoyed it (being able to read at the beach probably helped.)

I didn’t get tons of reading time on vacation, but a decent amount. There was more reading toward the end of the week as we began to run out of things to say to each other, and some of us grew a bit tired and in need of relaxation. As the week wound down there were several long stretches when a few of us made ourselves comfortable on the chalet’s couches and read silently in each other’s presence. I was engrossed in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, while Dad had his nose in Grisham’s The Appeal, and my brother was ploughing through a Jeffrey Archer novel before having to give it back to Mom.

This brings me to today’s topic for discussion: Do you consider time spent reading with someone to be quality time together?

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. gregorypaquin permalink
    September 5, 2011 00:44

    Now that’s a good question. I would have to consider who’s reading, what’s being read, and if both people want to be there. But regardless of those things, time spent reading together is far more fruitful than time spent not getting along. But if reading together is a technique of avoidance..

    • September 5, 2011 18:34

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. What if it’s just neither. What if everyone is content to be together without interaction. Is interaction inherently more legitimate than simply being together?

      Whoa, this is getting deep! 🙂

  2. September 5, 2011 22:21

    I have friends who love to come by and just sit on the couch. We can sit for a couple of hours and never say a word. Being together is being together, and there should be times when you can share space and not share the same breath.
    Sometimes, if I cam reading a really great book, I will read part of it to hubby.

    • September 7, 2011 18:53

      Good point. I think it’s a sign of being comfortable around each other to be able to do this. Hubby and I like to read the good bits to each other too, especially the funniest ones. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your perspective.

  3. September 6, 2011 02:37

    I’m a big fan of social reading, but it doesn’t work with just anyone. I think it’s a sign of a strong relationship (whatever kind it might be) that you can be so comfortable together without having to fill the silences, so I’d say indulging in that would count as quality time every time.

    • September 7, 2011 18:56

      Thanks for adding your perspective. You’re so right. Ironically, some of the chattiest people I know are in my book club. I don’t think social reading with them would ever work.

  4. James permalink
    September 9, 2011 09:24

    I think reading together is definitely quality time, if that’s what everyone involved likes to do. Some years ago when I worked at a restaurant, there was a couple who would come in regularly for a meal and just sit and read quietly to themselves. I began talking to them and found out they would recommend books to each other, or not recommend because they knew each others taste in books. Also, it was a common interest they both loved, and reading the same books always gave them things to talk about. They seemed very happy together!

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