Reading Holiday Recap

As I mentioned in the Reading in 2023 post, I decided to take a reading vacation just a few days after getting back from our winter vacation.

What I Read

What Went Well

  • I got really lucky and enjoyed all the books I read. My favorite was probably Iris Kelly Doesn’t Date followed by Loki’s Ring.
  • I really liked having a goal of reading a different genre each day.
  • On the first day I got a massage in the early afternoon. This was a great way to emphasize the vacation was suppose to be relaxing and fun. The early afternoon time was also good because it gave me plenty of time to do some reading in the morning and drop by the library to pick up even more books before going to the appointment.
  • It was really nice to schedule this when the kids didn’t have school so I could just sleep in as long as I wanted.
  • It was fantastic having supper options made ahead of time. I basically didn’t have to spend any time on supper at all, just grabbed things from the freezer and heated them up.
  • During the day I read in the purple chair in the sunroom. Jaeger got this chair off Craigslist when he first moved to San Francisco and it is the perfect reading chair. You can lean back and put your legs up on an ottoman or lounge sideways equally well. In one of our moves it lost a rear leg but we propped it up on a short plastic stool and it works fine.
  • I ordered a winter tea sample pack from Friday Afternoon and started each reading session with a pot of tea. The whole setup was very cozy.

Lessons Learned

  • I think having one of the genres being Science Fiction or Fantasy was a mistake, at least with the goal of only reading new authors. It was a little stressful to try to find a new author that I was fairly certain I would enjoy. Instead, it might have been nice to set aside the last day of the reading vacation for a re-read of something comforting.
  • I tried to do too many things on Saturday. In addition to reading a book, I also tried to play a long board game with the family and then go out to dinner with Jaeger. Next time I should probably try to do no more than one non-reading thing a day.
  • Because I knew Saturday would be full, I stared Saturday’s book on Friday. That was necessary to finish the book by Saturday evening but I didn’t find it as satisfying.
  • I was planning to do a little bit of exercise first thing in the morning, before reading, and then going on a short afternoon walk. I felt it would be good for my body to get at least some movement each day. I did well the first two days but less well once I hit the weekend. Though, I didn’t get any weird aches from sitting too long each day so maybe it turned out ok regardless.
  • I do not know why but I kept wanting to snack. This was not something I had anticipated. Next time, I think I should spend a bit more time thinking about reasonable but fun snack options.
  • I didn’t have a plan for what to do when I was done with my book of the day. I purposely picked relatively short books but that meant I was done reading them in 4-6 hours. Because I allowed myself such leisurely mornings this was a pretty good length to finish before supper. However, I usually read in the evening too and wasn’t sure if I should start a new book or do something else.

Other Ideas

  • One of my initial thoughts was to also watch TV/Movie book adaptations. I was thinking things like Jane Austen movies, Agatha Christie episodes, maybe some Shakespeare adaptations. However, we don’t have a great setup for that right now. We have one TV in the living room, which I didn’t feel like monopolizing, and I find it hard to lounge when watching on an iPad or computer. I still like the idea but don’t really know how to make it work.

Ideas for Next Time
Overall, this was an ideal vacation for me and something I would like to repeat. I really liked the one-genre-a-day format. However, some other things I might consider for the future (or not):

  • Book with movie pairings
  • Books I keep meaning to read but haven’t — slightly worried this might make it less fun but maybe not
  • One long book
  • Reading books around a theme, perhaps in different genres.
  • Potentially schedule around an author event
  • Just read books I’ve read before
  • Just read classics