STACKS ON STACKS: Perfecting your Holiday Reading Pile

As a book-lover, holidays can be a double-edged sword. Sure, it’s nice to be away from work, lazing by a pool, hiking a beautiful mountain (or whatever floats your boat), but even before you start booking your hotel or flights, there is only one thing on your mind: what books to bring with you.


How can you possibly enjoy the romantic streets of Paris or the sweeping vistas of the Inca Trail when you aren’t safe in the knowledge that your Hermes Bag/Weathered Rucksack doesn’t hold a book for every occasion? Don’t worry, here at Avid Reader we care about your reading well-being. Here is your five-step plan to creating the perfect Holiday Reading Pile.


1. Throw out your e-Reader

Not only are eBooks deeply uncool, but the eBook sales are declining rapidly, and you don’t want to be seen with something as passe as a Kindle, do you? What’s that you say? But eReaders let me take as many books as I want! Try using one to shade your face while you’re catching some well-earned rest on the beach, mate. You’ll end up with a George Brandis forehead, and possibly fried batteries and melted plastic. Stay cool, and use a book.

don draper book

You never saw Don Draper reading an eBook, did you. That’s because he’s sophisticated (and had absolutely nothing to do with the fact they hadn’t been invented yet).


2. plan for every eventuality

There are two types of holiday book. The first are the books you intend to read, the second the books you will actually read. Pack that books you’ve ”always been meaning to get around to” but also pack that pulpy, page-turning thriller … just in case. If someone questions why you ”accidentally” left your copy of War and Peace wedged behind a towel rack in the hostel bathroom, just give them a withering look and say I thought the translation was a little sloppy. Just make sure you always have some Camus on hand to flip through nonchalantly when you’re trying to impress that mysterious stranger across the bar from you. Mysterious strangers are not impressed by crisp Lee Child titles with the airport bookshop sticker still attached.


War and Peace, acting as a bedside drinks coaster since 1869.


3. Mix up your DIET

Remember: variety is the spice of life (and Spice Up Your Life is an excellent travelling song). Pack some capital L literature to be sure, but make sure to diversify your diet  by adding a biography, some travel writing, a graphic novel, a romance or two and some great speculative fiction. For extra points, throw a cookbook into your suitcase (who really needs extra clothes anyway?). Remember, books are very low in calories. They might not all fit in carry-on, but they will fit into a Paleo Diet.

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Once you’ve finished a book, ya gotta pass it on to someone else! Firstly, it frees up space in your bag for more novelty snowglobes, and secondly, it’s a nice thing to do! Nothing says let me have the armrest now better than passing on a book to the person next to you on a plane. Indeed, occupying the hands and minds of people you meet while travelling can mean hours usually spent listening to personal life philosophies/bongo solos are now mercifully yours to spend how you want!


Yeah, that reminds me of a song I wrote about just trying to exist, you know. It’s pretty long, but … wait, is that a copy of ‘The Alchemist’?

5. Photograph that shiz

As we all know, the real reason we take books on holiday is to show them off beforehand. Make your friends jealous of your carefully-curated social media identity by artfully photographing your collection of classic literature, cult classics and obscure but impossibly cool poetry collections.

Decisions, decisions...

Decisions, decisions…

Happy reading and happy holidays!