What type of book do you take on vacation?

Recently, I tagged along on a business trip with my husband to Waikiki, Hawaii. Before leaving I perused my bookcases to see what books would be appropriate for the four day vacation. What ended up coming with me were complete opposites on the literary spectrum. One was Seat Of The Soul by Gary Zukav, a very thought provoking book that explores our ability to move beyond the five senses. The second book was The Grass Is Always Greener Over The Septic Tank by Erma Bombeck, a hilarious read about moving the family from the city to suburbs.

At first, I was thinking Hawaii…palm trees…tropical breezes…the sound of ocean waves…becoming one with nature…ahhh, lets delve into the soul. However, after several attempts to center myself, I quickly learned this was no book to immerse myself in with all the loud people, construction, sirens, traffic and helicopters. Out comes Erma and her travels to the suburbs instead. Yes, that is just what I needed, a humorous look at life and a giggle or two between the pages.

I’m not a person who can read amidst any noise, I get easily distracted. It truly has to be the right setting for the right book, otherwise I’m re-reading the same chapter over and over again. I realized all the banter between Bombeck’s family and the emergence of characters eager to sell her a house, insurance and a whole host of things that come with suburban living, was the perfect insanity to accompany my visit to Waikiki. In fact, at times it appeared that some people around me could have been the characters I was reading about.

When I was in Kona, I read Joseph Campbell’s, The Power of Myth from cover to cover, but that was easy amongst the tranquility we had found ourselves in. Waikiki was far from tranquil. It is the hub of action, which is fine, if that is what you are searching for on your trip. Adapting reading to the setting is just something I have to do. Others, (maybe even like yourself) may feel quite comfortable to pick up any book and begin the journey into the authors world; I’m envious of that. I’ve always wished I could just read without being like a dog that has just seen a squirrel. ‘Concentrate Jennifer, concentrate!‘ Our relationship with our books is personal and it is about carving out the right space, time and genre to capture our attention.

What type of books do you take on your vacation? Is there any change depending on the location of your travel?


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