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  • What`s your favourite summer beach or holiday read?
    by Anna Reynolds at 16:36 on 09 August 2004
    Just wondering- do you all read different books on holiday, whether that's a beach, a mountain, a city, a poolside etc... I find that every time i go away, I take some heavyweights with me and bring them back unread, resorting instead to buying lighter books that I wouldn't usually read. Maybe it's something to do with the heat, or just wanting not to have tragedy, analysis and despair (my usual taste in books) on holiday with me. is it just me?
  • Re: What`s your favourite summer beach or holiday read?
    by olebut at 17:05 on 09 August 2004
    Not being a sun worshipper I tend to spend my holidays in the more deserted areas and then walk a lot and watch and listen to the sound of the sea an Nature, enjoying the pictures regardless of the weather. During the walks I formulate ideas and images for my poems and stories or just use it as thinking time. relaxing and clearing my head from the garbage with which it gets filled form everyday life. I enjoy looking round and watching people as well. I guess I am a bloody boring holiday comapnion unless you enjoy the same as me.

    Thus I don't read much on holiday but if I do it is usually tripe fiction.

    I am off to wales in a few weeks anybody fancy coming with me
  • Re: What`s your favourite summer beach or holiday read?
    by Anna Reynolds at 17:34 on 09 August 2004
    That was my plan, too- to allow time on holiday to let new ideas flow, but even that seemed too much like hard work. I'm hoping all the unconcious activity that is generated in your brain when you're doing absolutely nothing will filter through at some point... Wales, lovely, unless these floods continue. Hope you're up a hill.
  • Re: What`s your favourite summer beach or holiday read?
    by olebut at 18:55 on 09 August 2004
    Anna I thought that is why Wales had valleys in order to allow the continual rain to flow easily to the sea.
  • Re: What`s your favourite summer beach or holiday read?
    by baroque at 19:00 on 09 August 2004
    When I am on holiday I try to follow a little rule of not doing anything I would do at home. I never cook. I always read non-fiction, for knowledge or enlightenment.
    Claire
  • Re: What`s your favourite summer beach or holiday read?
    by anisoara at 19:13 on 09 August 2004
    I was just on holiday on the Black Sea in Bulgaria, and while I did read loads of books - and they were my usual reading material! - I found that while lying on the beach, I had streams of ideas and constantly wrote in my notebook.

    Now that I am back home again, I want to find a beach to lie on with my notebook!

    Ani
  • Re: What`s your favourite summer beach or holiday read?
    by ginag at 08:09 on 10 August 2004
    I remember taking War and Peace on holiday once and only reading a couple of chapters. With all the heat I find I can't concentrate on complex plotlines.
    Now I have two young children finding the time to read a newspaper on holiday is hard, let alone a book. I did take my notebook and some research books away with me to Devon but got absolutely nothing done!

    Gina.
  • Re: What`s your favourite summer beach or holiday read?
    by Nell at 13:33 on 10 August 2004
    I like to take novels that are set in the places I go on holiday - mostly Dorset or East Anglia. I have two wonderful books - East Anglia, A Literary Pilgrimage, and its equivalent for the West Country - which are full of information about the writers and poets who lived and worked in these areas, as well as poems and extracts from their books. I like to walk a lot and find the places mentioned in the novels, as well as visit places that were important to the writers. Last year I managed to find Edward Fitzgerald's grave and recited the first stanza of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam over it. ('Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night/Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight...)I so wanted him to materialize, but he didn't - I don't think he was there.
  • Re: What`s your favourite summer beach or holiday read?
    by Anna Reynolds at 16:04 on 10 August 2004
    Nell, that's a nice idea- kind of rooting you in the place you're staying and maybe allowing your unconscious to mingle with the ghosts of writers past?
  • Re: What`s your favourite summer beach or holiday read?
    by Nell at 17:28 on 10 August 2004
    Anna, I have to confess that it's become almost compulsive, and the novels come alive when you visit the places where they were set - as if they're fact rather than fiction. I do feel close to some of those writers too, especially Fitzgerald since illustrating the Rubaiyat.
  • Re: What`s your favourite summer beach or holiday read?
    by eyeball at 19:15 on 10 August 2004
    My holidays this year seem to have reawakened my appetite for fiction, and I ploughed through a little pile: Curious incident of the dog in the nighttime, a couple of Terry Pratchets, Vernon God Little, The Flood by Maggie Gee(which I couldn't finish because it was so boring) and Finding Myself by Toby Litt. And since I came back, Girls by Nic Kelman, Transmission by Hari Kunzru and Pattern Recognition by Willaim Gibson. But I don't really know what my normal reading matter is. I do know I have a lot of trouble finding fiction that I really want to read, and I do have a big addiction to non fiction.
    Sharon
  • Re: What`s your favourite summer beach or holiday read?
    by Hamburger Yogi & PBW at 04:16 on 11 August 2004
    I am am always curious about what people are reading on the beach and peep at the titles. I also try to divine what is going on in that subjectivity - that private space of impressions and reactions - that selected the title. Often, I fear, it is only a partial surrender born of flippancy and coincidence. Am I being snooty?

    On holiday I take something with me to 'supplement' the place I am visiting. In Sri Lanka I had Leonard Woolf's book - population one third in his days - and in France I read Sartre and de Beauvoir, struggling with the original French. In the UK I read Theroux's The Kingdom by the Sea and found a lot of what he said was true.

    I'm going to India in October - anybody got any suggestions about the colonial period apart from Forster and Paul Scott?

    Hamburger Yogi
  • Re: What`s your favourite summer beach or holiday read?
    by SamMorris at 11:51 on 11 August 2004
    I usually take favorite books I have already read on holiday. It's nice to be able to read them from cover two or three sittings. I find that There's loads you notice that you never did first time around.

    Does anyone else think that spending hours reading on your holiday is a peculiarly English trait? I really donít want to upset anyone with national stereotypes, but you can usually have a good guess where people are from if you wander along any beach on the Med. People often group together into areas of the same nationality, which helps.

    The Dutch usually seem to be taking it easy, by mostly dozing happily in the sun and watching other people coming and going. The Germans are often chatting, and can spend hours at a time in the sea swimming up and down, up and down. The French & Italians rarely make an appearance, unless the beach is on home soil. They do have fantastic beaches of their own. Even if they do pay a visit they are never seem to be there for long. They come, have a swim, have a chat, and move on.

    And the English; we are very often to be found reading. A couple of times I have got into conversation with local bar owners on the beaches, and they always comment on the English and their reading. They canít understand traveling hundreds of miles to sit still and read a book. Iíve tried to explain it, but itís not easy. I suppose itís not usually possible to get the chance to read for hours on end with so few distractions.

    Has anyone else noticed this?
  • Re: What`s your favourite summer beach or holiday read?
    by hsl at 13:50 on 11 August 2004
    Anna - Oddly,I don't think in those terms at all.I make no distinction in reading material for holidays or elsewhere.Moreover,I'm surprised you only refer to books - I have innumerable periodicals,analyses,research to read which I just combine in a mish mash with books.

    The big problem is working out an interesting combination of books to take.I absolutely never take any fat hardbacks -unless I can take a sherpa to accompany me - you're supposed to be relaxing,not undertaking a weight training session.

    I've got around 3,000 books and,though a number are plainly unsuitable for the beach,choosing the best selection can be a painstaking process.Packing my clothes etc is a routine affair by contrast!

    Howard
  • Re: What`s your favourite summer beach or holiday read?
    by hsl at 14:09 on 11 August 2004
    Sam - I'm amazed you want to reread titles with such frequency.There is simply so much out there that I haven't read that the thought of revisiting a familiar title is anathema to me.I can't think of a single book I have reread - on the other hand,one of my daughters thinks nothing of doing so and,indeed,read "The Lord of the Rings" three times no less!Evidently,it's horses for courses.

    As for national stereotypes,I can confirm that I will happily sit and read in solitude on the beach or wherever.Why ruin book and view by engaging in conversation?

    Howard
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