Reading On Vacation

Ever since I was little I had this habit of my “eyes being bigger than my stomach.” I heard that repeatedly when I was little from my mom when it came to food. I would order wayyyy too much and eat maybe half of it. I still do this with food but also with packing. Going away for a week? Yep, I’ll have 4 weeks worth of outfits probably. I do this with my books also when I pack for vacation (if it’s a beach/mountain vacation that is). I bring way more books than I ever actually read. Maybe it’s that I’m ambitious or that I like to have options (because god forbid you only pack 2 books and you read them both in the first two days or they both suck) or maybe it’s just that I end up NOT reading on vacation even though I plan to.

This happened to me this past week. If you caught my tweets or my Instagram you would have seen that I was on vacation. Every other summer my family rents 3 houses in Fenwick Island, Delaware which is right near Ocean City, MD where we spend the time hanging out with each other, beachin’ it or going to the pool. Then for the weekend we go to our annual family reunion/crab feast in the Baltimore area.



Breaking News: This week, on vacation, Genevieve learned how to say Aunt Jamie. It sounds like MAY-ME but I LOVE IT. She also said Uncle Willie (sounds like wee-wee).



I brought 7 books PLUS whatever else was on my Kindle (this thing is a GODSEND for vacations) and I didn’t even make a dent in them. I can’t remember how much I read in years past but this year was abysmal considering all of the relaxing time we actually had. Seriously, we didn’t DO much but go to the beach or pool or hang out around the house together.

 I read:

-The last half of Just One Year by Gayle Forman
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
-The first half of Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis (which I finished most of on the ride home)

I think part of the issue was all the auntly duties. My sister is hugely pregnant (8 months) so I did a lot of chasing around of Genevieve and playing with her PLUS their other kids (4 of them) were there. Never a moment to yourself when you add in the 30 other family members there. (I literally escaped for two hours on a cloudy-ish day and read in the bathtub which was the ONLY reason I got Some Girls Are finished.) Everything Genevieve did was just so darn cute, too, so that didn’t help plus I weirdly had some motherly instinct in which I kept watching her to make sure she didn’t go running off…even though there were other adults nearby.

I don’t regret the time I spent with the family and what not but I will say I was kind of bummed at how LITTLE I read. I read a lot on our honeymoon but maybe it’s that it was JUST Will and I around the pool/beach so it was easier? If we are on a vacation to a city or something really active, I don’t get so bummed about not reading because I know I’m not going to but, for some reason, when I’m doing a lot of lounging on vacation I get bummed when I don’t read a lot because WHY NOT?

But I had a lovely vacation with my family so that’s what matters! Going on vacation and looking for some good reads?  Check out my list of good beach/vacation books or take a peek at which books are in MY beach bag!

I’m curious about YOUR habits so let’s talk:

Do you find that you read MORE or LESS than usual on vacation? Do you have “eyes are bigger than your stomach syndrome” when it comes to packing books for vacation and ending up packing WAY more than you could read? Or do you pack the perfect amount? If you read MORE on vacation tell me how you do it! If you read less, what is it that distracts you from it or do you just choose to read at a more leisurely pace? Have you ever NOT brought enough books on vacation?? ALSO, what vacations have you taken this summer??

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Pretty much every year, I read a book a day on vacation. It’s a goal I always set for myself. This year I cut it close because it was my first summer with my smart phone and therefore the first summer I had internet without sitting in the lobby. But I’d brought a couple of books I was half way through, so that helped. But also every year, I bring WAY more than I know I’ll read (I had 4 or 5 extra this year), plus my Kindle, and then I go and buy at least 10 books at the bookstore. Because WHAT IF nothing I brought sounds good or I finish it all? And what if my Kindle battery dies and I somehow forgot the cord? And what if I damage something on the beach so it’s unreadable? I’m always so determined to be ready for the what ifs and it leads to me needing a bag just for my books without fail.

    • LOL see that’s my exact thinking!! I bring my Kindle but I’m like well I better have physical books to like a) if it dies b) if I lose the cord c) if I’m in water and don’t want to risk it. Glad I’m not the only one who has this kind of thinking. PLEASE TELL MY HUSBAND IT IS NORMAL!!

  2. Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads says:

    Sounds like me trying to fit reading in around my six month old! And I hear that there’s even LESS time for reading once they’re mobile — which sounds exactly like what you experienced with Genevieve. But, hey, at least you got some quality family time in!

    But I hear ya on the overpacking books. I’m always worried that I’ll pack a book that I won’t like, and therefore have to have extras and a variety of genres just in case. Because you never know what kind of reading mood you’ll be in, right?

    Oh, and, your niece is ADORABLE. Seriously.

    • Oh god yeah she’s always climbing on things and doing things that I’m like NO NO STOPPPP. (and omg I can’t believe it has been 6 months already!!)

      YES because who wants to be stuck on vacation with books you can’t get into?? And def true about the mood thing for me. I could be in the mood for one thing before I leave and half way through the vacation in the mood for something else!

  3. I hardly get ANY reading done of vacations! I always bring tons of books thinking that I will, but then I end up doing pretty much everything BUT reading. It’s kind of nice to take that break from reading sometimes, but NOT when I was planning on getting so much reading done! I’ll still bring lots of books and my kindle on all future vacations though. It’s just a tradition now, I suppose.

    • YES I felt like I was doing everything BUT reading too. And I so agreee…when I’m not doing a beach/mountain vacation I’m ok with not reading but when I think of lounging on the beach…I WANT TO READ. Haha and who knows maybe one of these times we will actually read all the books we bring?? 😛

  4. I don’t really read on vacation. Since we take long vacations that really becomes a setback to my TBR pile. My month of college in July I took 6 books. I thought that would be easy for a month. It wasn’t. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into taking 4 week college classes. I had no time to read. I read 2 of the books and part of the third. The rest had to go back to the library because they were due.

    • Oh gosh yeah I barely EVER read in college. I don’t know how all the college book bloggers do it! I read like 1-2 nonschool books a year maybe lol

  5. I am dead from all of the cuteness involved in this post. I rarely read on vacation. I bring all these books. Have hopes and dreams. And then end up passing out a lot more than reading.

  6. Owwww look how cute she is!!! And intelligent too, she knows ice-cream is great at any time of the day 🙂

  7. I also suffer from the “eyes bigger than my stomach” syndrome. Haha. I always bring way more books that I will ever read, and I know that. But I like to have options, and you never know what will happen. It’s great that you were able to spend a lot of time with you family, even if that means you weren’t able to read as much as you wanted.

    • Haha I think I subconsciously know that I’m packing way too many. Thank goodness for the Kindle though. It helps! And yes, totally loved family time. Just had hoped I’d squeeze in a little more reading time while others were frolicking around the beach haha. Aunt duties called though!

  8. I went to Comic Con this summer in San Diego, and people told me I’d be standing in lines for hours (which I did) and have tons of time to read. But I read about ten pages total! It was so distracting with all the cool costumes to look at, I couldn’t concentrate. I would have to be alone on vacation I think to really get any reading done! And your niece is adorable, by the way!

    • YES people said that at BEA too and I got ZERO pages read in line. I was too busy talking to people haha. I’m sure Comic Con def had some fun and interesting things to look at!

  9. I always pack too many books, and then I hardly even open one. I mostly pack them JUST IN CASE! 😉 It’s always better to have too many than not enough.

  10. I definitely read less on vacation but I love bringing all the books I can (which is so much easier now that I have an ereader). I’m always meaning to have some time to read but in the midst of all the ‘Woo, I’m on vacation!’ excitement, that intention just…was left forgotten. You would think I know better now and would only bring ONE book but no, I’m still lugging my entire bookshelf.

    Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed your vacation! It’s always nice to take a break sometimes!

    • E-readers help so much! I can bring sooo much more and nobody even knows haha. I think that IS a lot of what it is..all the excitement and the talking and then you are like oooh yeah..I brought books. Haha we will never learn I don’t think.

  11. I used to always overpack books for vacation. Then I went to Greece for a week and wanted to take a light carryon and my purse, so I only packed 2 books – thinking that would be how much I actually read that week. Turns out I was in a major reading mood much of the trip, and I finished both books by Wednesday.
    It was the nightmare we all have that causes us to overpack – I was stranded without a book to read in a small enough town that I couldn’t buy any books in English! Then I binge book shopped at the Heathrow airport for the flight home.
    Now I feel justified in overpacking books, which makes it even harder not to do.

  12. Okay that video is TOO TOO cute, Jamie! My gosh, she is adorable.

    On vacation, honestly, I usually only take one book because I know unless it’s at night and I’m relaxing, I just won’t want to spend a lot of time reading. This last time when I flew, I read my Nook on the plane for awhile, but I honestly didn’t even think about reading the rest of the time. When I’m on vacation, I’m there to have a different kind of fun than reading is. 🙂 So glad you had a good time though!

    • ISN’T SHE?? I just love herrrr!

      I think for me it depends on the TYPE of vacation I’m going on. If it’s a city vacation, I bring like 1 or 2 books…just in case..but they rarely get read. But like if it’s the beach I just hate sitting there doing nothing. I don’t really go into the water unless it’s like crystal clear water haha. So in that instance I can get good beach reading and it doesn’t matter because Will normally takes a beach nap haha.

  13. Your niece is so cute! I can totally see why you didn’t read as much as you hoped to because I’d be distracted if I had to look after her! Little kids are just the sweetest.

    I’m so jealous that you got to read Just One Year because Just One Day was absolutely amazing!

  14. I always bring way too many books on vacation and then usually only end up reading three times. Once on the plan/ride there, once while on vacation, and once on the plane/ride home. 🙁 I think it all depends on what type of vacation too and how many people. I can see why you didn’t have much reading time, but at least you had some good family time! Your niece is adorable. I’m glad you had a good trip!

    • It really does depend on the TYPE of vacation! This one was always a relaxing reading one because I never had kids to run around after haha. Plus the family I go with is very chill on the beach..we talk but it’s not uncommon for people to have out books or be playing with their kids or having smaller conversations or even fall asleep. But YES..very thankful for family time!

  15. Oh my goodness, Jamie, my grandfather *always* used to say the same thing about me! I’m a relatively light eater but I would always take far more than I could manage, and this definitely exhibits itself in other areas of my life, particularly when it comes to packing. I’ve never been able to grasp the concept of ‘packing light’. For a week-long trip I normally find myself bringing more books than I could possible read in two weeks! Heaven forbid I pack too few, read them all within the first few days or am not in the mood for a certain book. My Kindle has helped this to a certain extent as with it I can carry around 200+ books at any given time, but that still doesn’t stop me from packing at least 8-10 print books for any given trip. The sad truth is that while on vacation, I find myself doing far less reading than I ordinarily manage during my everyday life. I normally want to spend as much time as possible with friends and family, and find I simply have less time to myself. And while this is fine (that’s the point of a vacation!) I do wish I could strike a better balance between the two 🙂 Unfortunately, reading is a solitary activity, and I’ve been told on more than one occasion that I’m being ‘anti-social’ if I want to slip away by myself and read.

  16. My family has been saying that about me for years. Whether it’s books, clothes, food, dreams — I also plan more for myself than possible. But I just can’t help it! Last winter, my boyfriend and our friends and myself went to Whitefish to ski for THREE days and I brought THREE books along with me. How I pictured myself reading them all while on the slopes is beyond me. In 19 days, Fil and I will be going to Mexico for 11 nights, so I of course have to take like a million books with me and will probably only end up reading two. It’s a syndrome, I tell you. They make pills for everything else, so why not this?

  17. I always pack a bunch of books when I go on vacation, and then end up doing other things the whole time. For me I read the least amount of books during the summer. There’s always something else I end up doing. I’ll start reading a couple of pages at a beach and then go off and do something else. LOL

  18. For starters, I gotta give you a MAJOUR shout out for vacationing in my old stomping ground (I graduated from Salisbury Uni and spent a good portion of my time at OC). Also, NOBODY does crabs like MD!

    As far as reading on vacation, I usually bring one hard copy book and then my Nook but I find that I read less than I think I will. I don’t get a chance to vacation often and when I’m out visiting family, I’m spending my time with my family. When it’s just the hubs and I, we spend it out and about, just living in the moment. I usually feel guilty about reading especially because the hubster isn’t a big reader. If we’re travelling by plane that’s when I tend to get the most of my reading done.

  19. OH MY GOSH she is just so darn precious.
    I usually end up packing like 6 books for vacation because it’s true — YOU JUST NEVER KNOW. Usually I end up cracking open book 1 a whole two times the whole trip (unless I’m actually on a plane and have reading time). I’m usually too busy to read and I do get upset because I had all these plans to get so much reading done! Oh well. At least you had a great vacation!!! 🙂

  20. I always pack a tonne of books for vacations – and usually read about two of them. Even when I’m doing nothing but chilling by the pool I get distracted by all the other things going on!

    Even worse is when I’m at home on vacation – I always plan to just read like mad, and then end up playing computer games, or something completely non-book-related.

    I’ll be flying home to Australia at the end of the year, and I already know that even though I have 30 hours on airplanes with NOTHING else to do, being bored outta my head, I still won’t read much. So many wasted hours!

  21. I’m a notorious over packer. I like to have options whether it is with my outfits or my books. I usually come home with half my clothes not worn and more than half of my books not read. The only time I really get any reading done is if I have to fly. Actually I leave for my cruise to Bermuda in two days and I already have planned on bringing 4 books and my iPad which is loaded, and I mean loaded with books on my NOOK, Kindle and Bluefire Reader apps knowing very well that I probably won’t make a dent at all, but I need them just in case.

  22. It definitely depends on the vacation! When I go camping, there is really nothing to do besides read and read and read. No internet (boo), no movies (double boo), and sometimes, no friends to hang with (the worst). So I read. And read. And then tan. And then read some more. And then eat. And then I stay up until the wee hours of the morning finishing a book because it’s just too good to put down. Beach vacations require LOTS of books as well.

  23. I usually pack a handful of books, but rarely have time to read while traveling. When traveling for pleasure, I do a lot of hiking and sight seeing that isn’t conducive to reading. I’ll get more reading done if I’m traveling alone, the weather is bad, or I’m taking a plane or train. When traveling for business, I don’t usually have enough time to myself to get a lot of reading done. For example, I recently spent a week and a half traveling for business. There was a total of ~8 hours of flights involved and I though I’d have most nights to myself, so I expected to get a decent amount of reading done. I was too busy during the day and too exhausted when I’d get back to my hotel room to get much reading done. I think I read about 200 pages total in that whole time.

    I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing though. You can read anywhere/anytime. I’d hate to miss a once-in-a-lifetime experience, because I had my nose in a book. That can even be true about talking to people (friends or strangers) in lines like some have talked about – you never know who you will meet or what a conversation could lead to.

  24. I always over do the books on vacation – I just flew to Washington DC for basically 2 days and took three books! Totally over estimated how much time would have to read in the airports. Spent a week in the Smokey Mountains and read four books, suddenly I was a morning person who sat on the porch, sipped coffee and read before the begun. At night I read in the hot tube on the porch! It was fabulous! My Kindle is a god send when I run out of books, just download a new one and I read on my kindle I-phone app as well! Nothing else to do when you are chaperoning 4 teenagers at Sky-zone!

  25. Oh man, Jamie. I have been known to pack like 20 books for a 7 day beach vacation. SURELY I CAN READ THEM ALL. I mean, what if I finish them and then I have nothing to read. That would be tragic! Also, there have been vacations where I mostly didn’t read. On my four week jaunt around Europe, I think I read like four books the whole time. Maybe three. I don’t know that I’ve EVER managed to read all the books I packed for a vacation.

  26. Whether I read more or less than usual on a vacation really depends on the vacation, but I always pack more than I need! I’m with you on that, with both books and clothes 🙂

  27. I rarely read on vacation trips – I can’t read in the car, and usually vacations for me are short and busy doing the stuff I don’t really do back home!


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