I have spent the last month or more resting while my brain was busy doing its own thing. I have spent a lot of time reading trying to make up for five years of not being able to read. With that in mind, I thought I would talk about taking a reading vacation, without leaving home.
This is the most important part of a reading vacation. There should be plenty of books in a variety of genres and varying age levels. Books should be carefully chosen and then organized by reader, preference, age and priority.
The proper atmosphere is important for the enjoyment of any book. Just the right amount of light, sound and social interaction. While some of us prefer absolute quiet and isolation for a good read, there are many of us who like to be socially anti-social. We like to have people around us that we can comfortable ignore. (This is a whole other post.) In our family we often congregate in the same room and even snuggle with the younger readers while being engrossed in our individual books.
This is an often overlooked aspect of a reading vacation. While most grownups just need comfortable seating and maybe a pillow or two, younger readers enjoy having reading buddies. Sometimes it is grandparents, parents, siblings or friends. There are times though when silent and patient reading buddies are best. I know that my favorite reading buddy was a very large (48″) teddy bear that sat in my room. I loved sitting in his lap while I explored the world through my books.
My youngest daughter received a new reading buddy from santa this year. It is a 53″, very soft, very snuggly teddy bear. She uses him as a pillow, sits in his lap, lies on top of him or whatever her mood at that moment in time. It is fun watching her enjoy her buddy as much as I enjoyed mine.
We also do a lot of reading books aloud as a family. My adult children still love to sit and listen to me read their favorite books. This allows us to talk about what we were reading. There are snide comments about the intelligence of the characters and groans of frustration when stupidity or unforseen events happen. There is also a lot of discussions about our favorite characters. What we like best about them, how we relate to them and what we think about their personality characteristics.
When I was growing up we were always excited when the power went out (which it did almost every time there was any sort of storm). That meant Granny’s Wonderful Chair and bread cooked in the dutch oven in the fireplace. If the lights came on before we were done we just ran and turn them off.
Every summer I would pick a series of books to read to my children. We read The Belgariad, The Mallorean, The Elenium, The Tamuli, Red Wall, Unicorns of Balinor and many others. We didn’t always get through the whole series in a summer, but we would read as much as we could. All the children would lounge around the livingroom and listen. The little ones played quietly sometimes asking what different words meant or clarification of what happened in the story. The older ones would have their eyes closed or just relaxed. They have their favorite books and I even went so far as to record myself reading one whole five book series onto CD’s for Christmas one year. They were all excited because they could put on the CD’s and drift back to those lazy Summer days filled with good memories.
Some of the books we read to the smaller children have become memorized over the years. The favorite book of all is the Berenstain Bears “B” Book. All of my siblings and I can quote the whole book verbatim. Some of my own children can also. It was one of those books that was read over and over and over. It was great when I was doing dishes or folding laundry because the child could hold the book in their lap and I could “read” while I completed my project.
This was always one of my favorite vacation activities. We could go anywhere without having to drive, fly, make reservations, pack or unpack. We could go together or individually.