Summer comes and our minds turn to escape: sand, surf, and siestas; long, winding hiking trails, granola bars, and communing with nature; wine, tasty choice bits, and leisurely walks. I could devise different vacation plans all day long. Some vacationers are water babies while others prefer fecund forests and still others may be drawn to the heights of luxury comforts. So as my newsfeed plugged up with vacation getaways to this tropical paradise or that nature-loving oasis, there emerged a standout.
A piece by Laura Miller in Salon celebrates the escapist properties of reading. Reading. My absolute favorite pastime and the most economical way to travel to exotic places. Not before nor since have I felt the dark yearning for the Greek isles that John Fowles managed to evoke with The Magus. Rosario Ferré brilliantly captured the idyllic paradise that is the Caribbean at the same time that she showed us the gray destruction of capitalism unchecked in Papeles de Pandora. And while no place on earth can rival the landscapes our imaginations are able to conjure, don't physical traveling and book traveling sound like two great tastes that go great together?
You can do it up solo style and hole up in a cabin or monastery to get your reading on. Imagine how much contemplation and analysis can happen in the gray solemnity of all that quiet. Silence and solitude seem to wear down the skin between reader and book so that all that remains is an ethereal membrane between the story and the heart. An attractive element of this option is that it will be quite affordable since, if one's focus is solely on reading, there won't be expensive amenities to think about.
If you're a more social creature you might take a shine to the Book Club Escape. All you need is a small group of your fiercest book-loving friends who will not mind long stretches of quiet reading time. Just when you've had enough alone time with your text, you can convene to share the wealth of your stories with each other and grease the wheels of your mind with good talk, good food, and fine spirits.
What would your ideal reading vacation look like? Book Getaways are highly customizable so pick a whimsical hammock on the beach, a luxurious feather bed in a secluded cabin, or a comfy big chair in front of a crackling fire. The best part? You have absolutely no excuse to keep you from gently cracking open the delicate spine of that book that's been quietly admonishing you and get to reading. Your travels await.
Leticia Medina reads, researches, learns, eats, sleeps, and loves in beautiful San Antonio. She also eagerly awaits your comments/questions/suggestions.