Although the annual winter holiday to Key West is over a month away, in my mind I am already ‘packing’. New shirts need to be made; old shirts go on and off the ‘To pack’ list.  Too many shirts and not enough vacation days, alas.

After I settle the shirt dilemma, I will start on the books.

Holidays are no good without books.

Someone tends to pack ‘just one’ and stick to it.

My ADHD hummingbird mind doesn’t focus long enough to read just one book. I have 3-4 books going at one time.

And I don’t get through most of my holiday books. After all, there will be other things to do besides reading. There is a lot of eating, swimming , etc.

In general I pack a book from one of the following categories –

A “Classic”.

In life, I hope to read as many classics as I can. Being seen reading “Barnaby Rudge” or “Pamela” or “As I Lay Dying” compliments lounging around in an outrageous shirt (or nothing at all). It conveys to passers-by I am not just a beautiful air-head. This fools nobody.

A  piece of “Sci-FI”

I love science fiction. Every year in Key West I visit a used book store and rummage through the old dusty shelves for paperback sci-fi novels. Many of them have cheesy 1950s or 1960s covers. I get them purely on title and jacket cover description. Most of these reads are regrettable, but a few have been gems. I found “The Stars My Destination” and “A Canticle for Leibowitz” this way.

“Jungian literature”

I like to keep up with the theories. Herr Doctor was not a good writer, and it is often challenging to figure out what the hell he is talking about. Reading such lofty work is another way to broadcast to fellow sunbathers I am not just a pretty thing.  Again this fools nobody.

“Whatever a friend recommended”

My Key West companions also love to read. One friend is actually a writer. We continually swap recommendations “You’ve GOT to read this…”.

DougT of Gossamer Tapestry recommends something by Iris Morduch, so this category is already taken.



All this lofty prose requires some fun and nonsense: something contemporary, or humorous. Or perhaps “something queer” – and a bit on the smutty side.

I usually devour this book in a day, and pass it on to somebody else.

“Trash” is a better reading while sipping a cocktail or two or three.

So what books to bring this time?

Spo fans are invited to leave recommendations.