What do you like to read on vacations? Some #Observations

I had a lot of time at the pool and beach daily for two months while on vacation this past winter in Mexico. The writer in me always likes to socialize and at the same time, observe. People-watching and information magnet, that’s me. I decided to look around and take notes on what genres and books people were reading while at the pool. I also noted that most readers were reading paperbacks, not on Ereaders. This is most likely a generational thing as the majority age group were fifty and over.

The Maid, by Nita Prose, seemed to be popular with a few women. And naturally. I was curious to see why so many were reading the same book, so I visited Amazon to have a look and was gobsmacked to see over 30K reviews! Most couples were reading thrillers and swapping books with other people after reading. I didn’t notice many books that weren’t written by popular trad published authors namely, Michael Connelly, Dean Koontz, Nora Roberts, Maeve Binchy and James Patterson. While there wasn’t too much nonfiction reading going on, I also noticed not nearly as many readers as in past years reading political books. Maybe everyone had had enough of doom and gloom and just preferred to stay with fantasy.

People: Scanning around the pool of average age 50 and up, but mainly 60s and 70s, these readers almost all, read paperbacks – thrillers. When I questioned a few if they prefer paper to ebook, most said they prefer holding physical books and paying for something tangible. Some with readers enjoyed reading on a step in the pool. And two people I discovered, read two of my books. I didn’t know them, but apparently, some other people previously had told them I was an author. I thought that was so cool because it wasn’t like I was pushing my books on anyone. In passing conversation, a few through the years asked if I worked. I told them I was a writer and author. They asked where they could look at my books, and, the rest was history!

What kind of books do you like to read while on vacation?

©DGKaye2022

72 thoughts on “What do you like to read on vacations? Some #Observations

  1. Interesting observations. And kudos on the book reads, Debby! Woohoo 🎉. I don’t have fixed preferences for holiday reading and go with what’s around at the time. Usually, I avoid anything I’m likely to review, so I can relax and just read. 💕🙂

    Like

  2. I like to read something a bit lighter on vacation. Once I took a copy of The Wings of a Dove by Henry James along with me to Mexico. Big mistake! It’s a good book but way too heavy for a beach holiday. Just about everyone here reads on an e-reader or on their phone around the pool. Although I read both, I take paperbacks to the pool as I fear getting my electronics wet. Once the book I was reading blew into the pool. It took days to dry out and was twice the size after! I have sold many books while at the pool. There are often kids and grandkids around, and adults who enjoy a good kid’s book. My Swedish neighbour reads them to improve her English. Like you, it just comes up in conversation.

    Like

    1. Thanks for sharing what you see in your neck of the woods Darlene. No doubts your books are perfect for teaching and entertaining the younger folk. I too prefer paperback at the pool. And I had to laugh at your ‘book blew away and blew up in size’, lol. But interesting More reading outdoors on ereaders as opposed to what I see at the pool with paperback. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. it is quite interesting to people watch. I’ve learned lots from doing that.

    While age may play a part, I think people on vacation in general like physical books. I might be wrong, but it feels right.

    Personally, I love reading fantasy and/or adventure books while on vacation. Since I’m often outdoors, outdoorsy books are best and feed into what I’m doing. And it’s always in paperback.

    Like

    1. I think us writers use observation of people as a tool. And I agree, most like a ‘lighter’ read outdoors, or from what I saw, a good thriller to keep them engaged. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Those are some interesting observations, Debby. I haven’t had a holiday on which I get to (or make time to) read for ages. Generally I am pretty busy with other activities when on holidays. It’s a bit sad, isn’t it?
    How wonderful to have others recommend and read your books in your proximity. How nice to get to meet your appreciative audience in person.

    Like

    1. Thanks for sharing your take Norah. I love reading while lounging at the pool, although there are usually numerous interruptions like conversation and sweating and having to dive in the pool, lol. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, well done on new readers finding you there, Debby! Personal recommendation is the best way, for sure, and you must have made an impression for them to check. I am not sure I read anything different during my holiday, and I always take my e-reader, as otherwise, I’d need a full suitcase for the books, and I’d need to take my glasses everywhere and… Well, you know what I mean. There are genres and authors that are more popular in general, but I tend to fancy reading holiday-themed books in the middle of the winter, as it transports you away from reality. Thanks for sharing these observations, Debby. Plenty of food for thought.

    Like

    1. Thanks Olga, for adding to the conversation. I’m with you. As you know, I have certain genres I gravitate to, and often nonfiction which doesn’t really change for me on vacation either. I’m always reading two books at once in different genres to suit my mood. When I go to Mexico, I usually take around 5 paperbacks and of course my Kindle. ❤

      Like

  6. Hi Debby, How lovely to hear about people you met reading your books – it’s frustrating to see so many sticking to just a few famous authors. I love to read cozy mysteries, romances or thrillers on vacation. Toni x

    Like

    1. Hi Toni. Thanks for adding your preferences here. It seems from the North American generation of readers at my building pool in Mexico that many too enjoy mostly the thrillers. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great that you’ve found some new readers! I think many over 50s prefer paperbacks, although personally I use a Kindle as I can adjust the font for my old eyes, lol. x

    Like

    1. Hi Dezzie. Thanks for dropping by and chiming in. Oh yes a big fear of sabotaging our technical devices no doubts. And I definitely think age has a lot to do with choices 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Interesting post, Debby. When I’m at the pool I don’t take my ereader because the glare from the sun, combined with my sunglasses, makes it almost impossible to see the pages—that’s the reason I prefer paperbacks at the pool or beach. When I’m sitting on the lanai, though, I’ll use my ereader. I like to have an ereader with me on vacation because I can load so many books onto it—books that would be too heavy to carry otherwise.

    As for what I like to read on vacation, it’s the same stuff I read the rest of the year. That includes just about everything, but mysteries are my favorites. Congratulations on finding new readers in Mexico without having to do a hard sell! Every writer’s dream…

    Like

    1. Hi Amy. Thanks for sharing your reading habits with us. I’m with you. My reading preferences don’t really change on vacation either. And of course, the ereader eliminates weight for our luggage. But as far as the glare, I only have that problem trying to see my phone while in the sun. My Kindle is the plain old fashioned cheapest version – paperwhite, for that reason solely – no glare! Hugs xx

      Like

  9. Interesting anecdotal survey, Deb. I like the ebook because I can search for characters I can’t remember! But, I don’t read on an ereader and my phone’s screen goes dark pretty quickly in the sun. So, I’d be the paperback person, also.

    I’m checking out The Maid!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jacqui. I agree. I cannot even see my phone’s screen in the sun. If I have to look at my phone while at the pool or beach, I have to put a towel over my head to see LOL. But I do love my Paperwhite Kindle that has no glare! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What fun to observe what people were reading while hanging out at the pool. I like paper books when reading outside, just because there’s less glare. I buy a few just for that purpose. And that’s so cool that some of the vacationers read your books. Do you bring some with you to show off if someone asks? Not a bad idea. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Diana. I’m hearing a few talking about the glare, but I have a Kindle Paperwhite without glare and that is a godsend for reading outside because of the weight of books. When my husband was alive and we had extras baggage weight between us, I always took more paperbacks and a few of my own books to give away to interested readers. But this last trip I found myself having to put back intended reads on my bookshelf because I used my baggage allowance to the last ounce, leaving me only 4 paperbacks – and none of my own. Thanks for sharing your holiday reading habits. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Hi Debby – I’m always interested to see what others are reading … I am a poor reader of books – they’re lined up here – but I usually fall asleep! Even taking time off from blogging – I struggled to read … I do enjoy getting stuck into fairly serious books, yet enjoy a good mystery … one day – I’ll get to read them.

    Congratulations on getting referenced for your books – excellent news … so pleased for you – cheers Hilary

    Like

  12. I do like to see what other people are reading when in those kinds of settings and especially at airports. What do I like to read on vacation? Anything that will entertain me and take me away! I’m not picky. Just a good story that is well-written. Those are my guidelines. Thanks for sharing, Debby!

    Like

  13. Great observation of people’s vacation reading habits, Debby. Congrats to being included in their reading. I like to catch up on traditional published books or ones I don’t have to review, but recently I found a stack of indie paperbacks I had tucked away. So I started on them this last vacation. I enjoy different genres but thrillers, romance, or paranormal are at the top of my list.

    Like

    1. Thanks for chiming in with your preferences Denise. I think many seem to like an engrossing thriller or an escape fantasy. Me, vacation reading doesn’t change whatever I’d read at home. ❤

      Like

  14. I live the physical touch of books rather than electronic.. my eyes can’t focus for long on such devices despite the lighting you can alter.
    A good book to read by the pool or on the beach.. it doesn’t have to be fiction either.. I remember one holiday taking Gregg Bradens latest from memory think it was the Turning Point or Tipping Point.. more or less where the world is today..

    Happy Solstice Debby. 💕

    Like

    1. Thanks for sharing with us Sue. I’m like you, whatever interests me and I fancy is what I read on vacation. My reading choices don’t change for vacation. Happy Solstice my lovely friend. ❤ xx

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Kindle Paperwhite must be wonderful to have, Debby! I didn’t think of it when I bought the new iPad. Usually, after staring and finished a book, I could hardly focus. I then bought a pair of blue light blocking glasses. My vacation usually involved in walking and moving, not so much of sitting on the beach. But I was surprised to see many people on the plane holding real books in their hands.

    Like

    1. Hi Miriam. Thanks for sharing your habits and observations with us. Yes! Kindle Paperwhite is the cheapest of them all and I find the best. Some people like the newfangled versions that almost act like a computer, but I just like to read on mine. And the most important aspect of a Kindle for me is NO glare, so I highly recommend! ❤

      Like

  16. You’re stepping into the spotlight, Deb. How cool is that … I generally read metaphysical books while traveling or on vacation. I always feel surreal when traveling or away from my home base, and metaphysics slips into my consciousness with ease. Hugs, sis ❤️

    Like

  17. I think it puts you into a different category when strangers are reading your books. That hasn’t happened much to me. I laughed when one of my buddies told me he saw my book on sale at a thrift store for fifty cents.🤣

    I also enjoy people-watching, especially at the airport. Who the hell needs so-called reality TV when real-life observation will suffice?

    I also prefer a physical copy of a book, but I admit I’ve read more ebooks this year than ever before.

    Like

    1. Hi Pete. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Oh yes, the airport, the things we see going on there, lol. No reality TV required for sure. I think most of us love our paperbacks, but, in the new world of travel and restrictions of weight, I’m happy to have my Kindle to take the weight off. 🙂

      Like

  18. How cool that you were recognized for your books, Deb! Physical ones are preferable, but there’s the matter of overweight luggage, so the Kindle Paperwhite is more practical. 🙂 Thrillers and crime stories used to be my favourites, but now I prefer non-fiction. When on holiday, I’d rather be sightseeing and socializing than reading, though. Not much of a pool/beach person.

    Like

    1. Hi Deb. I totally get it. We must take in the sights while away. But for me, the beach/pool is a necessity for a few hours during the day and I’m usually out early to get some reading in before all the buddies show up and conversations take over reading. 🙂

      Like

  19. Like Harmony, I read a book that I am not to review on holiday and which I don’t mind leaving behind…its a change from my nerdy books but I do buy cooking magazines that I wouldn’t buy at home…always on the hunt for recipes…lol
    But I am now the owner of my new kindle so have lots in my tbr pile…I will be careful not to sit on this one…lol xx

    Like

    1. Thanks for joining in Carol. Yes, I usually pass on my paperback novels to others to not have to carry them back – unless they are nonfiction, I’ll keep them. And the Kindle has enough on it for 3 lifetimes of reading lol. Yes! Do not sit on the Kindle again! Lol ❤ xx

      Like

  20. Interesting statistics, Debby. I laughed at Darlene’s comment. I try to stay away from “heavy” books (literally and figuratively) when on vacation. I want a light, fun read. As much as I love paperbacks and hardcover, my eyes don’t like the smaller print anymore, so I tend to go with a Kindle Paperwhite book, interspersed with reading (listening to) a book on Audibles for the long airplane rides. I really get into women’s fiction, which explores relationships/friendships/family secrets, etc. Come to think of it, these aren’t particularly light reads, but I get immersed in the characters’ stories. Another author I’ve recently read is Ann Tyler (French Braid). She’s known more as a literary fiction writer, but it’s the same thing as far as relationships/family. I love anything Kristen Hannah writes, although her last two books have been much darker than her usual. And Ann Patchett – her books are incredible!

    Like

  21. It is very cool, Debby, that you ran into perfect strangers who read your books. Not surprising that people (of that age group) prefer holding a book in their hands versus e-book. Also, interesting that people weren’t reading audio books, which seem to be a big thing these days.
    I prefer light reading for the beach – com-rom type books. I also like self-help books and books on writing. I understand why people are staying away from political books. We’ve been oversaturated with this gloom and doom as you put it.
    Interesting post, Debby. ❤

    Like

    1. Hi Carol. Thanks for sharing your preferences. They are quite similar to my reading tastes – not surprising. I also think the younger generation listen to their digital devices with earphones and they are mostly podcasts. Glad you enjoyed. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sal. Thanks for adding to the conversation. You and me both with the book space at a premium, lol. And like you, varied genres, vacations don’t really change my preferences, just choices about which paperbacks make the cut with the Kindle. ❤ xx

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Hi Debby, interesting observations about people’s choices of reading material on vacation. We usually vacation in places of historical interest and the popular books are about ghosts and history. I read my usual fare on holiday, classics, poetry, historical, and anything else that strikes my fancy.

    Like

    1. Hi Robbie. Thanks for adding your observations here. It seems most of us writers stick to our usual preferences. And it no surprise that people touring historical places would be curious about reading more about what they are visiting. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Hi Debby, how fun to people-watch and make those interesting observations. I also prefer “real” books to an e-reader, I love the physical touch and the turning of the page, eager to find out what happens next. I don’t even own a kindle, although I considered it at one time, then passed. I’m too obsessed with buying paperbacks (mostly) because they’re not as heavy to hold. It’s like collecting mugs or sea shells. I collect books. 🙂
    On a vacation, I enjoy thrillers, romance, drama, but stories with sustenance, not too light. I do love Nora Roberts and Sandra Brown for their romantic thrillers. But some other favorites are David Baldacci, Jodi Picoult, Sarah Jio, and Kristin Hannah. Congrats on your new fans, too! Happy reading! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lauren. Thanks for the kudos and for sharing your preferred reading. I’m with you on paperbacks, and I can only imagine you have many, or big bookshelves. I have three very cramped bookcases. And when I go away for a few months in winter, if I were to take only paperbacks, I’d certainly be over my weight limit, lol. Hugs ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  24. When I read books outside, in natural light, I prefer to read paperbacks. I’ve had a bunch of books for many years that I carry around in our campers (yes, plural – some have been with me in Zesty, Temp, and now this fixer-upper for which we don’t have a name yet) but because I have so little time to read, I’m not getting to them.

    Eventually, I’d like to just stick to eBooks, based on space restrictions. We will see what happens. The books I read digitally are usually the ones of fellow authors I promised to beta or ARC read for… So, it often feels like work.

    Like

  25. Very interesting observations, Deb. You could go work for a publisher or marketing group!
    As for books on vacation, we don’t go on extended vacations to any static locations. We’re always on the move so I don’t read books on vacation. If I stayed anywhere for a week or more, I’d probably be writing more than reading! Otherwise, I’m reading at home–speculative fiction, thrillers, occasional literary stuff or how-to.

    Like

    1. Hi John. Thanks for adding your take. I know we have so much to do between reading and writing. And you’re reading is diverse – as is many author’s, despite us having our ‘favorite’ genres. And thanks for the compliment. I think I really missed my calling as an investigative journalist. Lol 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s