In less than forty-eight hours (because you’d better believe I’m counting), our little family of four will hop on a plane and fly to the middle of the Pacific Ocean. We will embrace sunshine and time together, grilled fish every evening for dinner and shaved ice in the afternoons. We will hike and rest, play and laugh, visit friends and family and relish in being.
And we will read.
Frodo will stare at the same page of his current favorite book, Curious George’s ABCs because he’s a simple man, and he doesn’t need more than a single page to occupy his budding literary mind. Cancan will likely pack his larger-than-life backpack full of books, blocks, cars and swim goggles, or so he told me this morning as we discussed the topic of vacation over scrambled eggs, strawberries and milk. As the HBH (Hot Black Husband) finished packing last week, his Kindle is loaded up already.
And me? Well, apparently I’m hoping for a generous sprinkling of pixie dust and my very own fairy godmother to wave her magic wand and grant me a full-time nanny, because people, I’ve got books to read.
First, this is the stack:
I’m most excited to read Orphan Train and Desmond Tutu’s book on forgiveness – I’ve heard great things about the former, and the latter, well, he’s the holiest of geniuses. I anticipate giddiness if I have the chance to listen to The Girl With All the Gifts, and since I tend to pound out books on Kindle, Astonish Me is at the top of my list.
But here’s the deal: As the likelihood of pixie dust and fairy godmother wishes remains slim to none, I have to be open to where the Spirit of Vacation might take me (and my reading).
So, second, here are my vacation-reading rules:
- Always read with a view. Just do it. Sometimes the best reading is spent not staring at the text on the page, but embracing the more-than-word-filled story in front of you.
- Bring back-ups. I think I’ll really like Rules of Civility, but if it’s not the book I’m to read on this trip, back in the suitcase it goes.
- Bring the charger. For it all: the phone, the Kindle, and any other electronics you’re toting along. (Note: you can, as I prefer to do, completely turn off all online technology while you’re sitting in that tropical sun. Who cares what the world is doing in the land of Facebook? You’re on vacation. Live and lean into it).
- Do the Marie Kondo before you pack your bags. I started choosing my books for vacation about a month ago …because I’m just that nerdy and just that desperate for a six-hour flight with a three-year-old and an eleven-month old. But the other night, I took each of the eight (paperback) books I originally intended to take with me, and I held them in my hands. “Does this give me vacation joy?” I asked of each one of the books. And by Jove I think it worked!
- Don’t read for work. Read for you. My worst vacation reading ever involved assigned reading for my last seminary class, “An Introduction to the Anglican Church.” While the class itself was terribly fascinating, do yourself a favor and take a needed separation from your work, from that which you have to do. That’s why it’s called vacation.
- Share a nugget of your reading with your honey. I’ll never forget reading Bittersweet on my honeymoon, sharing a paragraph here or there with the HBH and then watching him consume Shauna’s book as soon as I finished it.
- Put the book down. Does your son want you to build a sandcastle with him? Put the book down. Is your almost one-year-old itching to go down the pirate slip slide for the 40th time this morning? Put the book down. Does your honey want you to sit on the porch and sip mint mojitos with you while the sun goes down? Put the book down. Real Live People trump books, every time.
- Don’t follow any of the aforementioned rules. This is vacation, after all, and if you’re anything like me, the last thing you need or want while on vacation is another to-do list. So, please, ignore all of the above post.
Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m going to start an hour by hour countdown. Saturday morning, you can’t get here soon enough.
So, what other rules that aren’t rules would you add to the list? As per summer or vacation reading, what are some of your favorites from the past couple months? Also, this post was written before Wild in the Hollow arrived in the mail from my friend, Holly – I am most excited to sit with Amber’s words. Otherwise, but for guests posts it’ll be pretty quiet around here …see you after Labor Day!
*Amazon Affiliate links, yo.0