Book against the sea on holidays
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How to decide which books to pick up over the summer holidays

Holidays are often the only time busy students get the chance to read something of their own choice. But what sort of books are the best to take on holiday?

Firstly, an obvious kind of book to read on holiday is a travel guide, since it’ll give you some ideas of attractions to visit and inform you of any useful travel tips. They can lay out the etiquette that you should know about so you can be a knowledgeable and respectful traveller.

Travel writing can also provide some interesting and more personal insights into the country you are visiting. If we want to stick with fiction, then books set in the country you’re jetting off to are always enjoyable to read. After all, many successful books describe the setting so vividly that you wish you were there, so why not enhance both your reading and holiday experience with a book set in the place you’re visiting.

A book with an overly complicated plot and many characters is only going to get confusing when you read it in such a disjointed way

Books that have a less intricate plot are better for a very busy holiday when you’re only going to be reading a few quick pages in between all the activities you have planned. A book with an overly complicated plot and many characters is only going to get confusing when you read it in such a disjointed way. Short story collections may be good to read: for example, A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Ellen Oh, which is a collection of short stories inspired by East and South East Asian folklore and myths.

Alternatively, returning to non-fiction reads, The Good Immigrant is a collection of informal, yet thought-provoking essays which are good for a quick but interesting read. Autobiographies are also nice for dipping into whilst on your holidays. Michelle Obama’s Becoming, which I have started to read and will hopefully finish during the summer, is a good choice.

An autobiography that I read when I was a bit younger but would definitely enjoy reading again on holiday is Jaqueline Wilson’s autobiography, Jacky Daydream. Whilst her books are generally for readers younger than the average university student, her autobiography offers an insight to her childhood, and can be enjoyed by both younger and older readers.

They might be a satisfying read if you’re going on a beach holiday as you’ll have the mind space to play the guessing game along with the detective

On the other hand, crime novels are probably best not to be read whilst travelling alone – it certainly won’t make you feel any safer. However, they might be a satisfying read if you’re going on a beach holiday as you’ll have the mind space to play the guessing game along with the detective.

Two genres that I would say are suitable for all types of holidays are comedy and romance – they fit the chilled mood when your holiday is going to plan and distracts you when things are not running so smoothly.

This might also be the time you try web comics

Finally, although we may have a very typical image of someone filling their suitcase with books, reading digitally can be a more convenient option. Digital reading means you can read whatever you fancy, rather than whatever you felt like reading at the time of packing.

It can also allow for easy bookmarking and obviously save a lot more room. This might also be the time you try web comics. Although I personally have not tried doing so, I’m interested in trying this medium, as I know that many Korean and Chinese dramas (which I love watching) are based off webtoons.

Reading on holiday is a staple activity for so many of us and half the battle is knowing which books to take along. The great thing is that the variety of options available means you’ll always find something to enjoy poolside on your holidays as you destress from a frantic year.

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