Books Stories

Holiday! or: The Downside of Being a Bookworm

I love going on holiday, and this year I felt like I really deserved it. But which books should you bring?

Nothing is more challenging for a bookworm than packing for the holidays. I have been called both a fashionista (I am not sure I agree; I just want to look good!) and an overpreparer (if that’s a word – also, I am not sure I agree; I just want to make sure everything goes according to plan!) and therefore packing my suitcase takes a huge amount of time. However, being bookworm (I am sure you would agree) is worse than these two afflictions combined. Want to know why? Read on!

I had been looking forward to our holiday to Sicily, Italy, for months. Even though we weren’t sure whether we would actually be allowed to leave the country due to the pandemic (read this post if you find yourself unable to leave your house), we had booked our accommodation and ticket very early, pretending that this would influence our chances of going. It had been a stressful year, so we needed a break, and we needed it now.

One of the best ways to really relax is by reading. And that’s where the trouble starts. Usually we travel by car, but this time we would fly to our destination. It’s fast and it’s exciting, but it means you can’t take too much with you. I managed to cram four pairs of shoes and ten different outfits in my suitcase, as well as five maps (nope, I still don’t think I’m obsessed with clothes and planning), all the while making sure there was enough space for all the books I wanted to read. But how do you decide which books you want to bring? Here’s my selection:

  • Holiday reading – easy books that won’t demand too much of your intelligence but are still fun to read. Taylor Jenkins Reid’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is such a perfect book to bring with you;
  • Science fiction – I made sure to pick two of them, both of which aren’t too long and offer some great insights into the human psyche, such as Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Olaf Stapledon’s Star Maker, which are perfect for a post-holiday read, since your brain cells will have completely recharged by the time you’ve finished the former;
  • Crime(ish) books – I must admit I am not really a crime fiction fan, so I brought what I considered kind of part of the genre. They’re fun to read, and you can sprint through them when you put your mind to them. Walter Tevis’s The Hustler isn’t really crime fiction, but it’s about a criminal, so that counts, right? Oh, and you have to read Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy, which I think is one of the best books I’ve ever read and which completely defies the rules of crime fiction;
  • Modern classics – everyone must have them: books you’ve wanted to read for ages but never really got around to. I love Zadie Smith, and I really wanted to read Swing Time, and I decided that now was the perfect opportunity for it;
  • Big Books – literally. One of the best ways to make sure you’ve got plenty to read is by bringing really long books with you. They weigh a lot, but it’ll also take you a long time to finish them. I decided to bring Pat Barker’s Regeneration Trilogy (I cleverly brought three books in one edition, ha!) and David Mitchell’s latest novel Utopia Avenue.

Eight books. My boyfriend declared me insane, and I kind of see where he’s coming from, but I’m glad I decided to bring all of them. I only finished six (and I somehow feel like I have to apologise to the books I failed to finish – but I’ll just tell them that at least they saw more of the world than those who had to stay at home to hold the fort), but that’s because we actually did lots of fun things, too. Things that didn’t involve reading. Can you believe it?

Which books are you bringing with you on your holiday? Which items would you sacrifice in order to bring as many books as you like? What’s your favourite holiday read? Please do let me know in the comments! I’m already planning next year’s trip, you see, and I want to make sure I bring just the right books…


  1. I have been known to deliberately choose a coat with deep pockets – and stuff them with things including books, to help keep the luggage weight down rather than sacrifice other items lol. #overpacker 📚

    Liked by 1 person

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