Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Vacation Reading Thoughts

I'm on stay-cation this week, which basically means I don't have to get dressed and rush off anywhere in the morning. Dressing and rushing off in the early afternoon (to the grocery store, the hardware store, the salon, and the garden store) is something totally different and entirely compatible with vacation laziness requirements.

I have also been doing a ton of reading, most of it in the decidedly light category. It is not typical of my usual pattern that I have been hooked on the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series for years. I still marvel at Alexander McCall Smith's talent for holding my interest, book after book, when there is hardly any plot whatsoever. The characters and the Botswana atmosphere have a hypnotic effect on me. Is there such a thing as comfort reading? If so, this is it.

This week I have branched out into Smith's Sunday Philosophy Club series, which is very much the same except in Edinburgh, Scotland. Cats instead of cows, rain instead of heat, white wine instead of red bush tea. Like the best comfort food, it's the same, only different.

I'll be the first to admit this is not great literature, and it has given me a little pause to reflect whether I am squandering precious reading time by deviating from my customary life list of Great Books and challenge reading. Every book I read means another book goes unread. So would my time be better spent on, say, The Brothers Karamazov? On the other hand, I ask you: Who wants to read Dostoevsky while they're on vacation? If you're someone who does, hooray for you. I admire your single-mindedness, even if I don't want to emulate it.

Not this week, anyway.


  1. Staycation or not, vacation require beach like reading! Enjoy the ligght read....:)

  2. Dostoyovsky is definitely NOT vacation reading. Go Go Go Go Go!

    Everyone needs change and variation. It's all good.

  3. OF COURSE there's such a think as comfort reading! And thank goodness for it. I am on a staycation of sorts myself right now so may put Vanity Fair aside for a bit and do some comfort reading myself. :)

  4. McCall Smith was my comfort reading for several years. I was actually just thinking yesterday that he might be a much-needed injection of literary mac & cheese pretty soon. I have just the same feelings about the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency as you--hypnotically relaxing.

  5. Sometimes I think we highly underestimate the benefits of reading something simply because it makes us smile. It's kind of like watching a crappy TV show just because it's really funny and we need a good laugh. It just feels good, and there's nothing wrong with that. As long as you still read and watch the good stuff, too. LOL.

  6. A little light reading is the joy of a vacation -- at home or on the road. Enjoy!

    Non Voyage!


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