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Monday, March 15, 2010

Vacation Reads

Spring Break is coming up for a lot of people and I am being inundated with questions from friends, family and patrons about what books they should take on their vacations. Then I figured there are a lot more of you out there with the same questions, so I will share my advice.

Vacations are always very tricky. When you begin a new book at home, if you are not enjoying it, you can simply close it and pick up another. However, with vacation, if you only bring one book and you don't like it, you are stuck. You have nothing to read. There is nothing that a reader fears more than being stuck without a book. I have heard of vacations ruined by just this problem, no joke.

So, then you think, I will bring a few books with me. But how much room can you really justify taking up in your suitcase with back up books?

My advice, before you go gather at least 7 books that you might want to read on vacation. To assemble your potential vacation  reads pile, look online at reviews and go to the library and talk to the staff about what you like to read to see what they suggest. Talk to friends, browse the library shelves, etc...Your goal is to gather a wide range of books that may interest you.

Now, take them home, sit down somewhere quiet and read the first chapter of each book.  Which ones grabbed your attention the most. Also consider how they feel in your hand as you hold them. Don't limit your self to a paperback; hardcovers are not that much bigger. Try to narrow it down to three. I always try to have three myself, that way I can switch back and forth if one is starting to drag a bit.

Know you are not alone. For a detailed description of how I helped an actual patron with just this vacation reading quandary, click here.  Also, if you want some more suggetions use this link or this link to get to more detailed reports on books I have read over the last three years. My students have also been posting about what they have read on their class blog, here. Finally, see what books the staff at the BPL is suggesting at the Browsers' Corner, including our growing repository of "Suggested Reading Lists."

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