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Why You Should Definitely Not Take Only One Book On Holiday

A photograph of a bag with Abubakar Adam Ibrahim's Season Of Crimson Blossoms resting against it

I should have taken more than the one book on holiday. That was my bookish thought as I unpacked once back home. I hadn’t read anything and although it was true I hadn’t had much time to do so – this is Hay we’re talking about, ironically – I do think I might have read more if there had been a choice. It wasn’t the book – I was enjoying Season Of Crimson Blossoms a lot and would recommend it – but something about there being no choice. There is a definite affect on mood when you go on holidays, as you kind of hope, and in these cases it pays to have a choice. And there’s something about knowing you’ve a fall-back book that gets you reading your first choice.

Not too much, but at least a choice of two. It doesn’t matter if you’re enjoying your book; there are a couple of reasons for taking a couple of books – that choice factor, and the possibility you may finish your book and need another. Because one book is a nice thought and easy on the luggage weight but if you find yourself disliking it and your accommodation doesn’t have a book shelf or, heaven forbid, there is nowhere to acquire books, you’ll be stuck. Just don’t take more than 3 at the most unless you’re in for a long haul flight and thus, likely, long holiday.

At the same time, and this is again somewhere I’ve failed, thinking that you can take your one epic-length book is no good unless you’re in a constant state of awe of it. There’s something about epic books and being far away from your bookcase, something that I’ve personally found almost always leads to regret and a sad, preventable, feeling that you want the holiday to be over because you’ve nothing you feel like reading.

I’ve taken two books and done well. I’ve taken more and read nothing. And I’ve taken one and read little.

What do you do when you go on holiday?


April Munday

December 12, 2016, 10:33 am

I take one physical book and a Kindle. That way I always have a choice, even if I’m, only away for the weekend.

Booker talk

December 12, 2016, 12:19 pm

Holidays throw me into a state of panic – i probably spend more time deciding what books to take than I do on deciding what clothes to pack. I couldnt confine myself to one book even with Kindle as a back up!


December 12, 2016, 7:32 pm

In reality, I rarely go on holiday… but when I do, I like to take my Kindle (therefore unlimited choices!). I normally carry any magazines I’m backed up on, too. They can easily be left behind for others to read (once I’ve removed my mailing label). Sometimes I take puzzle books, since I’m often too distracted by people watching, to concentrate on a book.


December 12, 2016, 8:15 pm

I take my Kobo (and the charger) loaded up with lots of book and one print book, just in case :)


December 13, 2016, 6:55 pm

I tend to take only one book and it tends to be a book that I’m not sure I’ll enjoy which gives me a good excuse to buy more books.


December 13, 2016, 8:26 pm

I take my Kindle on holiday – one book to pack/carry but hundreds to choose from to read :-)

Literary Feline (Wendy)

December 14, 2016, 3:48 pm

I used to pack loads of books when going on vacation. Now, we rarely go and I know I won’t get much, if any, reading done. So, I only take my Kindle (along with my charger). That way I have the variety built in.

I agree though, variety is important. I like having choices.

Jenny @ Reading the End

December 14, 2016, 9:03 pm

This is one area where having an e-reader has been everything. I know myself well enough to know that my reading moods while on holiday are totally unpredictable, so I try to pack my nook with a nice variety of types of books from the library, and then I’ll usually bring at least two physical books in case of power failure or something. Better safe than sorry, I always say!

(Oh, sometimes I’ll bring a book that I want to read but don’t want to keep? On purpose, as ballast, and then when I get to wherever I’m going I finish reading the book and abandon it on the bookshelves of wherever I’m staying. And that’s one more spot in my luggage for a book I buy while on holiday.)


January 10, 2017, 12:41 pm

April: Good idea. The only thing that would ‘get’ me with that (and it has, with my Kobo) is if you take the ereader does that mean you’ve too much choice?

Bookertalk: Yes, here, too! With clothes they are at least thin – even if you end up taking lots – but books require so much more space.

Kelly: Magazines are a good idea, puzzle books, too.

Stefanie: I’m liking this idea of ereader + one print book…

Tracy: Yes, there is that. Especially if there are book shops in the area.

Jessica: That’s true. It’s like a magic carpet bag.

Wendy: If you know in advance how much time you’ll have that’s very useful (though I know I can ‘know’ I’ll not have much time but wishful thinking takes over!)

Jenny: That is good to know, and thinking on it I may be the same – assuming what your mood would be like is nice but, for example, a beach day doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be up for the stereotypical beach read. Library is a good idea. A book you don’t want to keep – I suppose that could account sometimes for holiday home/hotel shelves being varied.



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