Ah, the beach. The sun, the sand, the ocean, the boardwalk. What’s not to love? One of the things I enjoy most about this blue planet of ours is taking about ten books to the seaside and reading them with the power of a young puppy playing tug of war with his siblings. It’s a wonderful time to lie under the warmth of the sun as the gentle waves roll off the ocean while having adventures beyond my reach due to time or circumstances. Or, back at the beach house, to curl up on the couch with my weather-worn novel, gripping me tight to the sweet end. Unfortunately, not everything about this existence is as great as it seems. There are advantages, and certainly disadvantages, to this beautiful hobby of mine.
A few drawbacks….
Sand. Everywhere. That’s right, we’ll get the obvious out of the way first. Sand the pages, sand the cover, sand all over my hands. Only. Sand. It’s soft and beautiful and great to look at, but when I try to turn my pages, it’s my worst enemy.
In fact, water is my worst enemy. Ocean water specifically. I can handle some pure, salt-free water mottled on a page, but just one drop of seawater on a page seems to turn it over and dry it out in the worst way. When the water finally dries evenly, a layer of salt from the offal remains on the words. And you can’t wash it off because you’ll just ruin the poor pages even more. I am sure many a book has been lost to this cruel twist of fate.
Ah, and then there’s the sunlight. So bright, so beautiful, so warm and such a huge help with my golden tan. But braving the coast without sunglasses or floppy hats in tow will literally give you a headache. Squeezing the brightness gets old after a while when you try to live in another fantasy world.
Then, the constant pull of “Do I really have to participate in life?” If you glance up from your book, you’ll see kids and family playing, laughing, splashing, building sandcastles, and you’ll think “hmmm” before closing your book (mid-sentence, of course) or returning to your current adventure. It’s a difficult decision to make. When will you have time to read again? Ah, but when will this day ever happen again? It’s up to you what you choose. But keep in mind that the wee hours of the morning are always open to adventure.
The totally worth pro…
Here you have the perfect timer for your tanning changes in your hand. You know your own reading pace; you can feel the book; you know how long a chapter is. Oh, I’ve made 30 more pages of it, time to flip. It keeps your tan much more even than you might think.
If it rains, who cares? I have enough stories to live through in this house! I like to play “How many places can I read in?” and “Will I ever find a comfortable one?” these games can keep you amused for hours if your literary choices aren’t as exciting, or if you just get restless like I often do.
And of course you read along! Who wouldn’t love to do nothing but read for a whole week? (I know quite a few people who actually wouldn’t, but that’s not my point here). That summer reading list that has been piling up in the back of your mind will finally be attacked with all the ferocity it deserves. Books want nothing more to be read; stories to be told; lives to love. Who am I to object? I will read; I will tell; I will love. And all that on the simple coast.