There is something wonderful about sitting on a sandy beach, waves gently lapping the shore, and reading a good beach book. It’s an essential in my picnic basket whenever I plan a day-trip to the lakeshore of Wisconsin. A yummy sub, cold can of Coke, brownies and a novel suitable for the beach.
Don’t get me wrong, I love reading anywhere and anyplace. In front of a cozy fire during a snowstorm, lounging on the porch, draped on the sofa with a good page-turner- all these are terrific. But the combination of a beach and a novel is magical. Here’s my list of reasons why:
No kitty distractions. I cannot tell you how many times I have been at the climax point of a good mystery, about to find out whodunit, when a very cross and persistent meow interrupts me. I try to keep reading, but the meows come in succession and a higher pitch. I relent, set aside the book, and glance at my demanding Ragdoll kitty who paws and meows at me until I give my spot on the couch up to her. Doesn’t matter if I’m in a different chair; she’ll want whatever I’m sitting in. At the beach, this is not a problem. Perhaps a random dog might come across my path, but I don’t have to give my seat to him.
It’s more relaxing and easier to “get into“. Lying on a beach, waves lapping on the shore and a gentle cold breeze invites relaxation. My mind is less distracted, it’s easier to focus on the story and become immersed. It’s freeing not having a schedule and being able to tuck my toes in the sand and my nose in a fabulous read.
No Internet (usually). I realize we live in an age of technology. I am grateful for the friendships I have made online that I would have otherwise never found if not for the easy access to connect with others. I enjoy listening to my Pastor’s sermons streaming when I cannot get to church. But the Internet can be a rabbit hole for me. I can be innocently checking my Facebook, see a post about gardening, click on a link and end up spending forty-five minutes researching local CSAs (Community Share Agriculture aka Farm Box). Don’t even get me started on the time wasted viewing adorable cat videos. So, when I do head to the beach, I purposefully end up at one that is remote, where there is no Internet access. No lure of jumping online to see what the temperature is or whether rain is heading my way. Just the blissful disconnection from the world of technology, even if only for a few hours.
Ambiance. I did some research for this blog by traveling to Point Beach State Park in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. It is a gorgeous park with dense pines (ah the aroma!) and six miles of sandy beach along Lake Michigan. Sitting on the beach, novel in hand (‘The Inn at Hidden Run by Olivia Newport’) the occasional caw of seagulls against the backdrop of the gentle waves lapping the shore was the perfect mix to enhance my reading experience. A glance up here and there to watch the waves and pelicans made the experience complete.
Now you might be wondering, does the book have to be specifically beachy? Set in some nautical town? Not necessarily. I have a few faves set in a beachy setting - ‘The Ebb Tide’ by Beverly Lewis and ‘Cottage by the Sea by Debbie Macomber. But I am constantly reading Christian Living books as well, those work, too.
I hope you enjoyed my blog post and encourage you to get out this summer and enjoy reading on the beach!