Vacation Reading

The first thing I do when we plan a vacation is pick out the books I’m going to take along. Then I change them about a dozen times before settling on a final collection.

I don’t have a particular style of book I want to read when on holiday — I’ve taken everything from Fielding’s Tom Jones to Lee Child thrillers along for the ride. In fact, I like to really mix up my genres. But I do have a fear of not having something on hand to read, so for a two-week trip I’ll usually pack seven books. And I’m often on that very last book on the way home. I sure wish I had that much time to read at home!

My vacation books all fall in the read-and-release category, however. After I finish a book I leave it at the B&B or on the cruise ship or in the airport or wherever. That means I never carry books that I think I might want to add to my permanent library.

Most of my vacation books come from Friends-of-the-Library sales or estate sales. FOTL sales are a great resource for gently used books at bargain prices. I stumbled across my first one in Hot Springs, Arkansas and came away with three boxes filled with books.

What makes these sales extra wonderful is that all the folks there — both volunteers and shoppers — are avid book lovers. That means you can get great recommendations on new authors with ease. The books themselves are usually a combination of library discards and books donated by library patrons. And, since the funds raised go to support the library, you’re doing good while doing pretty well for yourself.

Of course, I’ve gone overboard with these sales and now have a closet literally filled with books to chose from come vacation time. It’s an embarrassment of riches, but when someone recommends a book (and it’s a bargain) I can’t resist picking it up.

Fortunately, one of the best thing about books is that they never, ever go stale.

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