Sometimes, reading is the best part of a vacation.
When it rains the whole time.
When the kids won't stop arguing.
When you underestimate how many bottles of sunscreen to bring and end up paying for it with the literal skin off your back.
Sometimes, even the good trips, the picture-perfect ones with azure skies and peace in the ranks, turn to gold with your toes sunk deep in the sand and a book in your hand. And that's why you have to come prepared.
The Real Vacation Essentials
Sure, bring sunscreen. Bring an extra bottle, because you know someone else in your party is going to borrow one and forget to return it. Bring a good chair without pointy edges that stick into your back and legs. Cushioned armrests are good, too, and a cupholder—if you're into that sort of thing.
But here's where there must be no compromises: Bring good books.
The best part of that directive is that there's only one person who gets to decide what that means for you: YOU. Whether you're partial to escapist fantasy, twisty thrillers, absorbing biographies, or historical fiction, the books you dive into on vacation are going to be inextricably tied to your memories of the trip itself. Good books, good trip—it's as simple as that.
So, yes. Your "good books" are exclusive to you—but we wouldn't be Books-A-Million if we didn't give you a list of some of our current favorites. Below, we'll provide some top-notch vacation-worthy reading material guaranteed to enrich your downtime. Every minute of vacation is precious—make the most of it.
This List Is Just a Start
There are too many great books out there to list in this space, but we want to give you a solid jumping-off point. Beyond this, the literary world—and Books-A-Million—is your oyster.
- Reunion Beach - A heartfelt tribute to Dorothea Benton Frank's literary legacy from some of her closest friends and fellow authors.
- People We Meet on Vacation - Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.
- Beach Read - Two writers challenge their polar-opposite beliefs about happily ever after.
- Get a Life, Chloe Brown - A romantic comedy that will sweep you off your feet.
- The Kindest Lie - A powerful tale of the Black and white divide, motherhood in contemporary America, and the American Dream.
- The Authenticity Project - Discover how one notebook sparks love and friendship among six strangers.
- Under the Southern Sky - Two childhood friends discover that love and family can be found in the most unconventional ways.
- What Happens in Paradise - A romantic and dramatic follow-up to Winter in Paradise, this story uncovers secrets and spawns new loves.
- The Bookstore on the Beach - How do you start a new chapter of your life when you haven't closed the book on the previous one?
- Queen Bee - An enchanting story by Dorothea Benton Frank set in her beloved Carolina Lowcountry, Sullivans Island.
- The Other Black Girl - A dynamic thriller about two young Black women set against the starkly white backdrop of New York City book publishing.
If your suitcase is too cramped to fit all the books you want to bring along? Consider buying new stuff when you get there.