Travel Reading

You’ve got everything planned for your summer vacation. You’ve booked the hotel, planned daily events and picked well-reviewed restaurants. But first, you have to get there.

Sometimes getting to a destination can be more of a challenge than planning the vacation itself. But with a little knowhow, you can make the journey just as enjoyable. Be sure to include in your plans materials to keep kids (or yourself) occupied during trips, thus preventing the infamous and repetitive outcry, “Are we there yet?”

Take along books for you and your children to read in the car, on the plane or on the train. You can purchase these books at your local bookstore or on Amazon, but another alternative is borrowing from your local library. Libraries have an excellent collection of books in a variety of mediums for you to enjoy during your vacation. (Just keep in mind there may be overdue fines incurred for hard-back books if your vacation is longer than the lending period of the library.)

Libraries now offer eBooks and eAudiobooks for checking out electronically. If you have a computer or a portable device, this is ideal for traveling to and from a vacation destination. Checkout periods vary from library system to library system, but the great thing about these electronic formats is that when the lending period is over, there are no physical items to return. Often the title will automatically be deleted from your computer or library account. No muss, no fuss!

Many library systems now carry Playaway® and Playaway View®. The Playaway® is a device on which the audio format of a book is already digitally preloaded. It’s easy to carry – about the size of an iPod – and easy to pack. A hook-up can be bought from the product’s manufacturer so the book can be listened to in the car. The Playaway View® has pre-loaded children’s programs on it. This can be particularly helpful for occupying children on a road trip. An earphone jack allows children to enjoy the show over and over without disturbing Mom and Dad.

Leisure reading during a vacation is a good way to catch up with authors and titles you’ve been too busy to read. And this summer is predicted to be a season of hot new material from some beloved authors. Here are just a few to look forward to:

Entwined with You, the conclusion of the Crossfire series by Sylvia Day; Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare; Joyland by Stephen King; The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neila Gaiman

Some upcoming titles for children include:

Magic Tree House #50: Hurry Up, Houdini! by Mary Pope Osborne; A Midsummer Night’s Scream by R.L. Stine; Dork Diaries 6: Tales from a Not-So-Happy Heartbreaker by Rachel Reneé Russell

Not sure what to read? This is where the library comes in handy again. Most library websites not only list titles in their catalog, but they also offer read-alike suggestions. For example, you can look up a book in your library’s catalog that you know you liked in the past, and the results will include similar authors and/or titles. Also, many libraries contract with databases such as NoveList and Books & Authors. These databases offer services such as suggesting titles similar to any of your favorites. This is a great way to find a new author or series to read.

So before you head off on that well-planned vacation, be sure to stop by your local library, and any librarian will be happy to help you find your next favorite novel.



Christyna Hunter has surpassed all perilous predictions, despite being born with a disability. She is a freelance writer, has self-published two romance novels and has worked at a non-profit organization. Currently she works with Loudoun County Public Libraries, reads romance novels in her free time and prays often to her writing muse.


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