Some of us want our holidays to be non-stop fun and adventure, but others need the downtime to recharge our batteries before getting back to reality. Many people talk about how they can’t wait to go on holiday so that they can catch up on their reading, and I am most definitely one of those people! I got back from Florida in the early hours of Saturday morning so I thought it’d be good to write a thoughtful guide for anyone who wants to take their holiday reading to the next level and plan the perfect reading holiday. Unfortunately I didn’t even get that much of a chance to read this holiday, despite being 4 books behind on my Goodreads challenge (eek!) and buying lots of new books – because we had friends with us during the holiday, it meant downtime was often social time too so reading was very limited! I’ll be writing about the books I read soon though.
Choose Your Location Carefully
Planning a holiday can be a fun part of the whole experience – especially if you do it with a friend or partner. Sit down and make a list of the qualities you’d like your holiday destination to have and make a different list of the destinations you’re most interested in. You can then start working out which destination has the most of your ideal qualities.
If your resort only has one pool area, then it will probably have too many people (and kids) splashing around to provide you with the peace and quiet necessary for reading. When look at resorts, look for one that offers a quiet or tranquil pool as well as the main pool. This second pool is usually smaller and off limits for kids. You’ll be able to relax on a sun lounger and read to your heart’s content. And if you decide you want to splash about and have some fun, you can always go to the main pool. It’s also a good idea to invest in a good set of ear plugs in case you really need silence in order to read.
It’s also worth considering whether you want to go to a very warm country at all. Most of us like going to warm countries and soaking up the sun, but extreme heat is often not conducive to reading as it has a soporific effect (makes you fall asleep). So, if you’re trying to choose between two destinations, it’s perhaps a good idea to give the edge to the cooler place. It can still be warmer than home – but a very warm place might just put you to sleep before you finish the first chapter!
Invest in an E-Reader
E-readers are much more divisive than they ought to be. Some avid readers hold them on high as the greatest gadgets on the planet, and others are repulsed by the idea of a book without pages. But there’s nothing to be afraid of; E-readers don’t have to replace books. In fact, everyone who predicted they would has been proven wrong as book reading – real paper books – doesn’t seem to have harmed by the increase of e-readers over the years.
There are three big reasons why an e-reader, such as a Nook or a Kindle, is the perfect option for a reading holiday:
- They allow you to bring a lot of books without taking up luggage space. E-readers can hold thousands of books and they are significantly thinner and lighter than most books. This is perfect if you plan to read several books whilst on holiday and don’t want to give up half of your luggage space to paper books. Being able to bring a lot of books is also ideal because it’s good to have a range to choose from in case you realise you don’t like the one you’ve started. Without other options to choose from, you’re stuck with the book you aren’t enjoying – this is a fate worse than death for a reader on holiday – especially if you’re somewhere where buying an English book might be very difficult.
- They usually have an anti-glare screen, making them perfect for reading when you’re out in the sun. Glare is the annoying effect caused when light reflects off a shiny surface such as water, glass, or a white page. Depending on how crisp and white a page is, the sun will glare back into the reader’s eyes, causing them to squint. This can damage your eyes over time and cause your face to scrunched up for hours at a time. Many e-readers have anti-glare screens that absorb the light instead of reflecting it.
- E-readers are designed to be as light and easy-to-hold as possible. This is perfect for older people or anyone who suffers from chronic join pain as they aren’t going to do their wrists damage by holding a heavy book in place for several hours at a time.
If you’re not sure which e-reader to buy, PC advisor has written a great up-to-date comparison article, here.
Bring Prescription Glasses AND Sunglasses
If you require corrective lenses in order to read, then it’s important that you bring both prescription glasses and prescription sunglasses. Not only are glasses essential for reading, they’re also essential for protecting your eyes from the sun. The ultra-violet rays that can cause sunburn and skin cancer can do a lot of damage to your eyes as well. Our eyes are one of our most delicate, finely-tuned organs, so exposing them to UV radiation can cause a range of different problems, such as cancer, cataracts (clouding of the lens), macular degeneration (loss of vision over time), photokeratitis (sunburn of your cornea), and much more.
Getting a good pair of sunglasses can help protect your eyes from the sun by blocking UV rays before they reach your eyes. This is especially important if you spend most of your time reading on a sun lounger while on holiday. It’s also a good idea to look for sunglasses with polarised lenses, as this filters out glare bouncing off water (the pool), glass, and white surfaces (your book’s pages). This will obviously be less of a problem if you choose to take the advice from the last section and buy an e-reader.
If you’re trying to save a little money, then the best place to buy sunglasses and reading glasses is online as online businesses save a lot of money by avoiding the property premiums and sales staff required to run a high-street store. With lower overheads, they tend to charge much less. Online stores also tend to offer wider selections than physical stores too. Foster Grant, for example, has a large range of reading glasses to choose from, including some specifically designed for e-readers and for reading in the sun.
Pack Lots of Sunscreen
The last thing to remember is sun screen as all that reading in the sun could be dangerous if you don’t protect your skin as well as your eyes. It’s a good idea to change reading position over time as we often stay still for very long periods when we read, and this can expose certain parts of us to the sun for too long. So try reading on your tummy at some point – if it’s not too uncomfortable. And try turning your sun lounger at the end of a chapter or moving spot. It’s also a good idea to swap between sunlight and shade every hour or so.
If you take care of yourself and spend a little longer planning the perfect trip, then you’re sure to have a fantastic reading holiday. Bon voyage!