The chances are, we’re all in the process of booking our summer break – or better yet, it’s already been booked! No doubt we are all picking up those suitcase essentials, from caps to flip-flops and suntan lotion, but did you know that a staggering amount of us are reserving a spot in our cases for a book (or two?!) In fact, our annual holiday marks the point of the year when we all turn into bookworms for a fortnight, but why is this?
A new focus
There are some usual suspects when it comes to holiday reads, with bookstores dedicating entire displays to showcase some of the best sunny reads. Perhaps you’ll want to liven up the tranquillity of your lounger overlooking the pool with a thrilling crime fiction novel, or maybe you want to boost your relaxation by getting clued up on all things relating to mindfulness. Our imagination can run wild when our minds are invested in a good book, and it can feel like an escape of sorts. Many 9-5 jobs now involve hefty shifts spent set upon the glare of a computer screen, thinking only about what dinner that evening will be. In fact, a holiday spent reading can refocus our minds, so we return to work refreshed. Further to this, there are ongoing studies into whether brain-stimulating activities like reading or puzzle solving could help prevent the early stages of Alzheimer’s. While we savour our annual dose of warmer climes, we are also guilty of returning to our hotel rooms to enjoy our poolside reads in peace and quiet, escaping the intense heat.
A trendy pastime
However, in recent years, reading on holiday has become more like a competition. Holidaymakers are eager to share pictures of their pile of beach reads, almost as if they are trying to out-do each other. While we all intend to limit time spent on social media, enjoying a phone-detox in the sun isn’t as simple as it used to be. People are picking the phone up purely to let others back at home know what pages they are turning, and in some cases a book placed carefully on the end of a sun lounger is purely for decoration! There was even a sentiment felt by holidaymakers that clutching the cover of a certain title was impressive, and popularity compilations never neglect to include a Sophie Kinsella novel, or a classic such as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
A life-long habit
Most of us are taught to read from a relatively young age, so we are no strangers to getting glued to the pages as a story unfolds. Up to 75% of parents wish that their children would read more for fun, and so books are an encouraged item when it comes to packing for adults as well as children. Our lives are busier than ever, so making time for reading may seem difficult; yet despite this, surveys found that 51% of UK adults read at least one book in 2018, and on average shoppers bought 9 physical books in this time. Therefore, reading is still high on many people’s agendas, despite the modern culture of work-life domination.
The humble paperback
While nothing really compares to the feeling of crisp, printed pages, many people have cottoned on to the popularity of reading technologies. The emergence of e-books and hand-held electronic devices has revolutionised our traditional perception of reading, as a less bulky, convenient way to read. With the ability to download and store books, the kindle became a library, and often the titles are cheaper to purchase in their digital format. They are a genuine holiday essential with a whole host of travel savvy options available, but the print industry has not wavered in spite of this.
Whether we choose to pack a couple of our favourite paperbacks, or we slip a sleek electronic book into our hand luggage, we do love a good read beneath a warmer sun.
Article produced by Where The Trade Buys: specialist printers of bespoke casebound books and many other items.