We’re fast approaching the time of year when we pack our suitcases and carryon bags and travel to our favorite vacation spots. Whether we’re cruising to exotic locales, pitching a tent by a mountain stream or loading up the station wagon for a family reunion, we’re all focused on the same objective: to escape from life’s worries and stresses, if only for a short time. And books fill the bill soooo well.
I recently returned from a sun-filled, sand-between-the-toes kind of getaway. In the six days we were gone, I achieved that objective. Ahhh. In that time, I finished two books and started two more.
The first book was The Scarlet Pimpernel. I found this classic at Target for $2.99. It was so different from my normal type of read - a rakish rogue saves innocents from the guillotine in the nick of time, with style and the love of a beautiful lady. I decided to save it for vacation. (For awhile, I fought the impulse to read ‘P-P-P-Pumpernickel’ instead of ‘Pimpernel,’ thanks to Daffy Duck’s telling of the tale.) The book was a page turner and I will probably watch the movie (Leslie Howard, Merle Oberon) if it ever comes to Netflicks. This story was the perfect escape, but I’m a sucker for characters like Robin Hood and Zorro.
From plot-driven to character-driven, the second book couldn’t have been more different: Sense and Sensibility. I enjoyed this one, but Jane (Austen) made me work for it. It’s amazing how much action she can create in her stories when you consider the lifestyle of her characters. Basically, their options for activity are walking in the lanes and fields, working needlepoint, visiting with neighbors, reading aloud and occasionally going to dances. But their futures are at stake, and she uses these largely sedentary activities to create tension between characters through dialogue, misinterpretation, expectations and misunderstanding. I’ll admit, I did skim a teensy bit, but I was anxious to find out who the sisters ended up with.
Vacations give you permission to read something out of the norm. To read a book in a flash, because you can. With nothing pressing on the horizon, no job to interfere, no responsibilities to break up the flow, you can completely immerse yourself in the time period or the story world or the chain of events that make for great stories.
What books are in your summer reading carryon or loaded on your Kindle? Do vacations give you ‘permission’ to change-up your reading choices? We’d love to hear.