When June rolls around, my first thought is to budget for air conditioning. My second thought is to figure out my summer/sweaty-ready wardrobe.
Then I start to think about the beach.
I don't think I strike anyone as a Beachgoer. I've posted here and there about my beach days, but I've rarely if ever planned an entire vacation around that particular purpose. I could probably live in a place that isn't near the ocean. Still, I have a nagging voice in my head that tells me I must get in a beach day or two every summer.
As a kid, this meant playing in the waves, getting sand everywhere, and then going home. As an early adult it meant a little wave frolicking and then getting something to eat with my friends on the way home (or going to a concert at Jones Beach. That was fun. It still exists, but it's been ages for me!) At no time did it mean sunbathing. I'm fair, to say the least. I still have youthful skin for the most part, and I'd like to keep it that way. I don't even wear bathing suits most of the time, because I don't really need to for what I do these days. Now when I go the beach, an ideal visit means walking briskly along the shoreline (not romantically, but I'm open to that someday), and then sitting in the shade, watching the swimmers, and settling down with good book.
I heard someone on the news this week describe Beach Reads as something salacious, or steamy, or any s-words one could dream up. And I get it: the beach is a great place to laze out, not think so much...and that's their choice. I do not criticize. However, like sunbathing, it's not my thing.
So what is a Catherine Beach Read (CBR)? Well, on a practical side, it won't be a heavy book. There's enough to carry out to the sand without getting a hernia. And don't get me started on e-readers. I don't care for them as it is, and I'm nervous already about getting sand in my phone. In a nutshell (or seashell? No?), I'm most likely going to bring something akin to what I'd bring on any holiday: something not so deep it would take intense, scrutinous concentration, but not necessarily floofy either. I'm still reading the Hamilton biography. I bring this up because it was a beach read for someone, and would be for me if it weren't approximately the weight of Zenobia. History is welcome, though, and historical novels even more so. Mysteries? It depends - nothing too dark. Poetry is usually something I read aloud, and that might creep people out. At least that would give me space! Speaking of space, sci-fi is all right, but I'd prefer if it's the humorous, Douglas Adams type.
I supposed there's no one type of CBR. If I were going today, and it wasn't going to be a group beach day, but the kind where I take the LIRR out and would need something to last me on my train ride back to Queens, I'd bring one of these bad boys, otherwise currently waiting on my bookshelves with hopeful glances:
It's part of a series that I like, which raises it to the top!
I like a good memoir, it's been recommended to me more than one, and it's described as a "quick read" and "actually funny". Ticks a lot of tickables.
It's history and paperback. Bingo! Also, spoiler alert, I plan to return to Scotland soon...
A travel memoir that looks like a laugh. Generally, it's easier for me to read travel books when I'm in a pretty place, as I won't get too wistful.
Please comment your beach reads: past, present, or future!