Sunday Reflections: Why I don’t read teen fic on vacation
I’m going on a real vacation this summer, for the first time in a while. We’re not tacking a few extra days at the end of a conference or family event. This is the real deal: sand, sun, lighthouses, and wild ponies (really) with no other obligations. And like any good reader’s adviser, choosing my vacation reading is at the top of my packing list.
Vacation reading is, for me, very different than reading at home or reading for work. It’s a pure luxury: reading how it used to be; a vacation in and of itself. It’s reading without obligations or rules. It’s reading with no expectations, other than a good story. Vacation reading is so specific to place for me as well. I need to take several books on any trip, just in case it doesn’t feel right when I get there. The availability of e-books for this kind of reading has saved me lots of space. Then the story and the experience of reading it becomes as ingrained in my memory of the vacation as food might be for some, or the sights and sounds are for others.
Since becoming a “book professional” I mark vacations by the books I remember, because the luxury to read purely for reading’s sake has become something rare and treasured in my life. That’s something no one tells you in library school right there, that while making reading your job sounds delicious and everything you dreamed of as a child, the truth is that it’s still a job. Yes, a job you love, but – a job nonetheless.
I’ve crossed the country by books, reading The Brothers K while curled in the back of my parents’ van, driving home from Glacier National Park on my last family vacation before spouses and significant others started tagging along, immersed in the saga of a family’s diaspora unfolding over the course of decades, dovetailing with my own family’s history.
Filed under: Summer Reading, Sunday Reflections, Things I Never Learned in Library School
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
SLJ Blog Network
One Star Review, Guess Who? (#184)
Announcing the 2023 Winners of the Annual Blueberry Literary Award!
Review: Victory! Stand!
The Transformative Power of Books, a guest post by David Aleman
The Classroom Bookshelf is Moving