Why ‘holiday reads’ are the literary equivalent of listening to Coldplay

I have never understood the concept of a ‘holiday read’. The easy-to-read, page-turner, don’t-have-to-think-too-much-about kind of books that come free with magazines or are endorsed by Richard and Judy.

‘Holiday reads’ are clever ways for publishers to shift crap books to people who only read on holiday.
You know…the person who claims to love books but is too busy to read the rest of the year. It’s a bit like saying you love music (everyone loves music) but only buying one middle of the road album a year.

The publishing industry has caught on to the ‘holiday reader’ and now markets books as ‘holiday reads’ with the assumption that the only thing people have the capacity to process on holiday is a romance novel or crime thriller.

In fact the opposite is true. When you’re not at work or studying or doing whatever you do, you suddenly have all this time and headspace to fill with all sorts of new and exciting stuff.

Travel is about seeing and experiencing different things and I think books should be a part of that.

So I urge you do to buy or download something out of your comfort zone for your next trip.

Two weeks on beach with nothing to do is the perfect time to delve into War and Peace. Slip a copy of Wolf Hall into your hand luggage. Or download some Dickens.

Still not sure where to start? The BBC has put together a list of the 100 best loved novels. It includes some classics as well as some childhood favourites.


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