Beach Reading Strategy Revisited
Last week, I made a mistake.
My wife and I celebrated our anniversary by going on a Caribbean vacation that we’ve been planning for awhile. Obviously, that wasn’t the mistake.
Despite meticulously planning this trip for more than a year, I completely ignored one of my cardinal rules of beach reading—a subject we have discussed on this blog before.
I ignored the fact that some books simply aren’t beach reading material. Instead of looking for another book on the list, I took my current read, Under The Volcano, with me. And there was my mistake.
You see, Under The Volcano is a good book. But it’s a dense, flowery book with long, comma-ridden sentences. The novel plods along in places. That’s not a knock on it because that was Lowry’s intention. He’s covering the span of 24 hours in 400 pages, so it pretty much has to develop slowly.
But, on the beach, I want something entertaining, something fast-moving, something that can hold my attention over the crash of waves, the high-pitched cries of seagulls, and the reverberations from the old guy snoring a couple of beach chairs down. I want a book that compliments my beverage of choice.
In six days of reading, I only covered about 250 pages. So I’m still not finished with this novel. Compare that to my wife, who read 4 books in that time span!
But maybe it wasn’t the book. Maybe it was just me. Maybe I’m a beach reading slacker. I don’t know.
All that to say I’m not suggesting Under The Volcano is a bad novel. I haven’t finished it, and I’ll hold that judgment until my review. But I’ll simply say that maybe, just maybe, it isn’t a good fit for reading on the beach. The book didn’t fit the environment.
What type of books do you like to read on the beach…or on vacation anywhere?