I am writing this blog post while in the middle of whirlwind last-minute packing for a trip. That's right, folks, I'm off on holiday for three weeks - to exotic, hopefully book-filled shores. I've packed my Kindle, my precious preview copy of David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks (out September, but already long-listed for this year's Man Booker Prize), and a nose for hunting out good bookshops.
So today, with my trip foremost in mind, I thought I'd talk about holiday reading.
Holidays are to readers what catnip are to cats. Most avid readers are inveterately curious, which is why they often escape into the adventures of others through the pages of books. Travel also fits this category.
Getting away from it all also means that we're often left with a long stretch of time not filled by work and if we're lucky, family and other obligations. It's a golden opportunity to catch up on some much-needed reading, recharge and emerge feeling refreshed and ready to face the world again.
I don't know about you, but I tend to get restless and irritable if I don't get much reading done. It's probably the same sensation that runners get when they haven't been for their morning run in a couple of weeks. I feel as if my imagination hasn't been stretched, and my world becomes that tiny bit narrower and less colourful.
I'm not much of a list person, but I have loosely assembled a few titles for the trip. I don't foresee myself spending a lot of time lying around with my nose buried in my Kindle, but there will be days when I feel like snatching a few hours' down time here and there.
On to genre, oh-so-important to readers in many ways. I have friends who want to read nothing but light, fanciful stuff while on holiday. Mills & Boon romances, Marian Keyes, fashion magazines. Others will forge on grimly through terrifying non-fiction accounts of kidnappings in the Middle East, or collections of writing by respectable journalists. Still others love to wade their way through crime and thriller, biting their fingernails to the quick under the burn of the inflight reading lamp.
Me? Well, I've got my new David Mitchell (hello, old friend) and a Caitlin Moran book to finish. I've also got some Murakami and room for more new literary loves if I happen to stumble across some during my travels.
So it's with a light heart and even lighter feet that I say goodbye for three weeks. See you on the other side and till then, happy reading!
What sort of holiday reading do you like?
* Please feel free to leave your suggestions for great bookstores in London and Paris in the comments, or tweet me.