Reading on the Beach

Saturday, December 21, 2013
I have had this blog post in draft for the entire week, because I simply haven't had time to finish it. Isn't this a crazy time of  year. It's a fun time, but definitely very busy.

Now, with the huge list of Things To Do Before Christmas starting to whittle down, I'm beginning to turn my mind to long, sunny, days stretched out on the beach.

I can feel the hot sand between my toes and the hear the shouts and laughter of my kids as they swim and sail and sunbathe, and fish for shrimp. And I can feel the warmth of the sun, and the shadows reflecting through my straw hat onto the pages of my book.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about what to read while we are on holiday.
With my plan of writing full time in 2014, my mind is abuzz of ideas and stories and I want to do some of this while on holiday, but it's not the best idea to take the laptop onto the beach - in fact, I wouldn't do it!
So, for the times where I'm on 'duty' to watch the kids around the water, I'm taking some reading with me.
I enjoy three different types of reading.

Good old traditional - paper and ink. Audible - have a brilliant actor or actress read the book to me through my earplugs from my phone/ipad or MP3, and Kindle - the app I have on my iPad.

I have different loves about all three. Of course, the paper and ink is my favourite, but with life so busy these days, it is a rare chance when I can sit down with a book in hand, which is why Audio books are my number one way of reading these days. I strap my device to my arm, ear plugs in, and away I go, whether that's ironing, cooking, walking around the block, or just driving across town.
Kindle is my least-favourite way of reading, but the books are so cheap to buy and it's instant (I'm an instant kiwi and I hate waiting for stuff to arrive in the mail).

But this summer I'll be using all three methods.

Traditional Books I'll be reading:

Beyond the Microphone by Leighton Smith. I have been listening to Leighton (a New Zealand radio talkshow host) since I was about 20 years old when I discovered he loved radio (I was working at a radio station at the time), Willie Nelson and Texas - just like me! He kindly conspired with Rob this year to send one of his books, hot off the press, to me on my birthday, arriving on the doormat on the day, signed by himself. I've been saving this for the first book I'm going to read on the beach.


The second book I'm taking to the beach is one that has been sitting by my bed for months. 

I pick it up occasionally and read about a page before I get called away or have to go and do something else. It's such an interesting book and one of my children is showing an interest in a career in this field (forensic pathology), so I wanted to learn more about it anyway. And there's nothing nicer than a good mystery to read while you're on holiday.

It's the true account of a journalist who takes a job during the war as an assistant to a forensic pathologist in London.

My Audio book choices this Christmas are:

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien - as a recommendation from my brother-in-law and a personal challenge to myself because this is not my genre of choice! At all! I have zero interest in science fiction of this type, but there is so much hype around it, I'm really curious to find out if I like it.

And Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith. I started listening to this on a solo car journey up to Auckland, and found myself laughing out loud. Can't wait to finish this witty book. I love his writings.

As for Kindle, I have so many books on there to read, but there are two that are my top priority.

Smart but Scattered - a revolutionary "executive skills' approach to helping kids reach their potential by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare. This is for help with one of my kids who really struggles to focus and follow instructions. Hoping I can incorporate some of these strategies to help them succeed and reach their potential at school and home, and also help out Mum and Dad in managing them!

And I wouldn't be a self-employed writer if I didn't try and expand my knowledge on my craft. I have read rave reviews of this book, so I am looking forward to reading it.

The Naked Truth About Self Publishing - apparently very practical, according to some writing groups I belong to,  and practical is just what I need!

I wonder what I'll do more of this summer - writing or reading? Or maybe neither. Maybe the lure of sand and sea and summer warmth and watermelon might be the only temptations I succumb to.

What is on your reading list this summer?


Sammy said...

I am going to shamelessly copy some of these books! I haven't really got into kindle but ordering from book depository (sorry NZ! Books here are super expensive) means such a delay between ordering and receiving. Will give kindle a shot I think!

Rachel said...

You are so right about books being pricey here! I use book depository too. So glad you like some of my book list - I wondered if they would appeal to anyone - I'm not into fiction hugely, but I'm trying to broaden my taste, LOL!

Diane N. said...

Hi Rachel, I suggest that you start with "The Hobbit" rather than Lord of the Rings. I'm a big fan of Tolkien, but for those who are not, I think that "The Hobbit" is a better place to begin. It's an easier read and if you enjoy it, then move on to Lord of the Rings.

If you do start with Lord of the Rings though - I hope you enjoy it! It's more like reading historical fiction than fantasy in my opinion.

Julia said...

Hi Rachel. Reading sounds like the perfect way to enjoy the summer. I just need to "get over" my guilt associated with doing it LOL!

Enjoy your summer whether it be reading, writing or digging your toes in the sand contemplating the joys and pleasures in life.

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