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Beach reading. It’s a simple concept, and to some readers it’s a genre all its own. But how can you successfully read at the beach? There are a lot of risks to contend with - water, sand, bookish seagulls. Our solution? Pack your beach bag with everything you’ll need to keep your books safe while you read by the sea!

Here’s your packing checklist:

Your book (and at least 1 back-up): You can stash additional back-up books in your suitcase, but for your beach bag? One book to read and one extra in case you finish the first should be enough. Consider bringing a back-up book of a different genre. A fantasy story and a nonfiction memoir, a how-to guide and work of science fiction, or a book of short stories and a historical fiction novel: variety will help you change up your beach routine.

Gallon-size freezer bags: Beaches and other vacation spots are rife with environmental dangers to your books – sun, surf, sand, small children – anything could happen! In the event of rain or a rising tide you’ll want to keep those pages protected. A zip-top, heavy-duty plastic bag will help keep water and sand at bay.

Multiple bookmarks: Science is still trying to determine where lost bookmarks end up. Signs point to book gnomes stealing them while you’re engrossed in your prose. Until we find a way around this problem, it’s a good idea to bring along an extra bookmark or two. Why not make your own with these crafty bookmark how-tos?

Sunscreen: Time can get away from you out there in the sun, particularly when you’re reading a good book. You might be in the same position for a while and wind up catching more rays than you’d planned to. Protect yourself from the sun and enjoy a burn-free reading experience for the rest of your trip!

Small notebook and a pen/pencil: How many great ideas have been lost forever because we didn’t have something to write with? Bring a notebook and pen/pencil to take down your ideas as you read. Maybe it’ll be words to look up, events to research, or ideas for your own novel. You won’t know till you get it all down on paper!

Water: Stay out in that sun long enough and you’re bound to get dehydrated. Be careful out there!

Beach toys, snacks, and other fun stuff: Reading at the beach is wonderful, but bring along whatever else you love to do at the beach! So long as you have those books tucked away safely in their plastic bags, you can pack in those sandy toys and damp snorkles without worry.

What do you pack in your beach bag? Do you have a tip on reading safely by the shore? Tell us in the comments below!


Margaret Dunham's picture

Margaret Dunham

Margaret’s earliest memory is trying to get a plastic Playskool car up to 88 miles per hour. She lives in a beautiful DIY fortress about a stone’s throw from Peter Parker’s old digs in Queens. By day she writes full time for the City of New York and local nonprofit heroes; by night she spends her time crafting, writing, and kung fu fighting. Read all about it on her site The Fearless Gluestick.