Simple Pleasures: Reading at the Beach


When I go to the beach I pack a towel, sunscreen, a water bottle and a book. While I love to lounge in the sun and go for a swim, the greatest pleasure I find in going to the beach is reading. The two things are intrinsically linked in my mind.

I grew up an hour drive from the Gold Coast and trips to the beach were regular weekend activities for my family a later my friends. When I was little I remember my brother surfing and my parents reading while I paddled in the smaller waves and built cars out of sand. As I got older I joined my parents on the towels with the latest Harry Potter to devour.

When I started going with my friends I still took a book, sometimes even rejecting a swim to stay within those gripping pages.

I’m not alone in this, many of my friends take books to the beach and many recommendations have been made as to the perfect ‘beach reads’. Reading and the beach go hand it hand it would seem, but why? When you really think about it the beach doesn’t seem the best place for reading a book. The wind blows your pages around and fills them with sand, you’re likely to get it went, screaming children and barking dogs get distracting, and if you don’t bring a shade tent or umbrella you’ll probably get burnt. Don’t to mention the discomfort of propping yourself up on your shoulders for extended periods or holding the book above your head trying to bloke the sun. When considering these things the beach does not seem like an ideal reading location at all. And yet…

And yet I love it, like countless others. The soft breeze, the warm sun, the sound of waves crashing, all while absorbed in a fascinating tale in a land faraway. Perhaps it is the perfect blend of leisure activities in Summer, perhaps something about it just transports you. I certainly don’t know. But there’s nothing quite like reading at the beach.

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