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Relaxing beach reads

We all know that reading is relaxing, but reading on holiday? That’s the ultimate escape.

Waiting for your gate at the airport; passing the time on the plane; stretching out on a sun lounger with a drink in one hand and a book in the other… beach breaks offer so many opportunities to get lost in a good book. Not currently sat on the beach? No matter, the beauty of books is that they can whisk you away even if you have to stay home and take a virtual beach break - all you have to do is decide what to dive into next! That’s where we come in. Whether you’re a traditional paperback fan, an audiobook hoarder or you’re hooked on e-books, have a browse below and discover your next relaxing holiday read.

Books to read on the beach

Supple white sands, the gentle sigh of salty waves, and your new holiday read – bookmarked at chapter one. It’s the perfect setting, but what about the perfect book?

Whether it’s the practicality of short chapters (perfectly placed intervals for a dip in the sea), or a story as light and breezy as your real-life surroundings, finding a book that echoes the blissfulness of the beachfront is where the real magic happens. Up Lit is a newly established genre that entwines themes of hope, humour and love - pair that with cloudless skies and stunning seascapes and you might just have a match made in heaven!

Light-hearted novels

If you’re looking for a story that can capture your heart in the same way that an endless golden coastline can, then The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion could be just the book for you. With a unique blend of charming characters, unorthodox humour and profound warmth, there are countless reasons why this novel should make it into your beach bag for your next summer getaway.

Often, the joy of a beach read is having a story that is light and fluent, so you can dive in and out of it as you please. Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan is a prime example of this, with its hilariously heartwarming and equally mouth-watering story of Issy Randall and her lifelong dream of opening a bakery. Pack this for your next holiday and you’ll be left feeling inspired and in the mood for something sweet.

Mindful reads

Of course, it’s not always about escapism. Sometimes, reading is a great way to tune into your own thoughts. If you’re in the mood for some self-discovery, then Eckhart Tolle’s bestselling The Power of Now is a journey in itself that can’t be missed, whilst Fearne Cotton’s Calm is a how-to guide on finding peace, and a must-have for your beach-reads bookshelf.

Books to get you on the beach (in spirit, at least)

Sometimes you need that holiday feeling, even when you’re miles from the sun, sea and sand. Luckily, books can act like a portal to paradise and transport you to wherever you’d like to go. Need some inspiration? We’ve rounded up some non-fiction and novels that will have you feeling like you’ve just landed abroad in no time.

Travel writing
Books set by the sea
Books about water

Bookshop browsing

Sometimes it isn’t the act of reading that soothes the soul, but the books themselves. Displayed neatly in a pristine bookcase, stacked haphazardly on the bedside table, hard covers that snap when closed, or paperbacks with crinkled spines. Simply having a book as a travel companion can bring a sense of comfort, so exploring an entire room full of books? What could be more relaxing than that?

There are so many beautiful bookshops in the world, so next time you’re on holiday and forget to pack a beach read, be sure to head to one of the local bookshops for something authentic and sentimental. Not only will stepping into that familiar ‘book’ smell and thumbing through endless shelves be a mindful escape in itself, but by the end of it you’ll have something to keep you occupied for the rest of your trip and a souvenir to take home.

Can't get to a bookshop right now? Check out these virtual bookshelves for some inspiration...

Kids’ reads

Let’s not forget the little bookworms too. There are so many beach reads for kids out there, whether it’s the weirdly wonderful stories of Dr Seuss with their vibrant illustrations, David Walliams’ hilariously adventurous tales or the classic and ever-so enchanting Harry Potter series. If you’re trying to sink your teeth into a novel but keep getting distracted by the kids, why not pack them their own book to read alongside you? Not only will it spark their imagination, but it’s a great way to continue learning and expanding their vocabulary, even on the beach. So put the smartphones and tablets away, and let your little ones explore a whole new paper-world from the comfort of their beach towel.

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