A good book is critical to a good travel experience. It makes flights feel shorter and signals that you might actually have some downtime to relax. It is everything.
But with millions of books out there, it can feel overwhelming to pack the perfect book, or in many cases books, for a trip.
There are four distinct categories of books I gravitate towards when preparing for a trip:
These can be found last minute at the airport or easily accessed on Amazon.com for purchase or immediate download. From Gone Girl to Fifty Shades of Grey, these are the books your friends and coworkers are already talking about, you might as well be able to join the conversation when you get back from your trip. They are easy, culturally relevant, and often a safe bet. My favorites include:
Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train: commuter train rider gets a little too involved in the lives of a family she sees while riding the train.
Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me: Mindy is hilarious and her short, relatable essays will keep you laughing through your entire trip.
Grab your favorite book off the shelf and go. The pages are well worn, well-loved, and you know exactly what is going to happen next, but it is exactly what you need when transitioning from working nine to fiver to vacationer. My favorites include:
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter: for obvious reasons.
Sophie Kinsella’s Can You Keep a Secret: a woman spills her deepest, darkest secrets while sitting next to a stranger on a flight to London. The stranger ends up being her boss.
The Tea Cozy Mystery
There are few things I enjoy more than a good book series. You find a set of characters that you love and follow them through their journey. These cozy mysteries are also tend to follow a formula, but if you invest in good characters, it doesn’t tend to matter. My favorites include:
Charlaine Harris’ Aurora Teagarden Series: a real murders mystery club gets out of hand when bodies start showing up.
Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swensen series: a small town baker can’t help but solve murders in her small Midwest town.
The Trashy Romance
Who says smart girls can’t read smut? Romance novels are easy to read, like candy, and don’t require a whole lot of brainpower. The typical, easy to read formula make romance novels a great beach read. Or mountain read. Basically, wherever you go, the romance novel will work. And now that we have iPads, Kindles, Nooks, etc. you can feel a little less embarrassed by the silly titles and cover art. My favorites include:
- Nora Roberts’ The Villa: strong, professional woman needs to take over her family’s winery.
J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood: paranormal romance series of vampire warriors who live together and defend their race against de-souled humans.
So whether you are working with a Kindle, iPad, or keeping it classic with a physical book, there are a lot of options to choose from when you travel. Hopefully narrowing it down by types of books you like to read will make the selection process easier, giving you time to focus on other things, like packing clothes and getting to the airport on time.