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The Ultimate Guide to Reading (and Relaxing) During the Holidays

As someone who makes it their business to read and relax on family vacations and during holiday gatherings, I have some extremely practical advice for you this fall and winter.

There’s an art to this process, and I will share the reading preservation skills I’ve developed over a lifetime.

The Ultimate Guide to Reading (and Relaxing) During the Holidays

guide to reading relaxing holidays


Go on vacation alone.

giphy guide to reading and relaxing during the holidays


Aaaaaaaand you’re done. …Ok, so this suggestion is not the MOST practical, but it has its merits.

No one to bother you with requests to go out and do things. Just you, your books and a cozy room to read in. Just think about it.

Master the ability to read in the midst of noise.

shut up gif guide to reading and relaxing on vacation


This is VITAL. Tuning out white noise, direct questions and distractions is such a great skill as a reader. I’ve still got to work on developing this talent, but it’s very important if you want to actually physically be with family while they’re visiting.

Belong to a family who also loves to read. If your family doesn’t like to read, then adopt a different family who does.

ultimate guide to reading relaxing on holiday


If there can be one moment when everyone’s together and everyone’s quiet and/or reading, that would be fantastic.

Does your family all read? My mom reads YA books, which is awesome, because we trade books with each other. My husband reads business books, so we can read together despite being on opposite ends of the genre spectrum.

Bring a selection of books – on your eReader, physical books or BOTH.

On vacation it’s key to have options. I find that I’m more restless on vacation. Probably because silly things like family time distract me from my reading.

So, make sure you’ve got several books loaded on your eReader and even bring a few physical books as well. And, if you’re away from home, bring double the number of books. Gotta have backups.

Pretend to go to bed early to maximize reading alone time.

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Or you can just jump on the bed like Kevin. But if you’re dedicated to reading, beg off with a headache or tiredness and lay in your bed and relax and read. That is seriously THE BEST.

Snuggle under the covers, light a fire (if you live in cold climates, unlike me) and dig in.

Choose the right snacks. This is crucial.

ultimate guide to reading and relaxing on vacation


Have you ever tried eating at the same time as reading? It’s challenging unless you have the right snacks.

Nothing salty, nothing greasy, nothing that will dribble on you.

My favorite book snacking items:

  • Coffee/hot chocoloate
  • Cheez-its or other bite-sized snacks
  • Chocolate (duh)
  • Cheese & pretzels
  • Cookies

What easy items do you eat when you’re reading?

Say no to all requests that involve leaving warm rooms with comfy couches.

ultimate guide to reading and relaxing holiday


(Or underneath beds).

JUST DON’T DO IT! NEVER LEAVE. Done.

What vacation reading and relaxing tips do you have?

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Anya E. J.

    Haha love this so much! I have been known to take vacations on my own specifically called “reading vacations” ;-). But family is so demanding during the holidays! I’ve totally used the going to bed early trick, hehe, unfortunately since the boy tends to go to bed at the same time as me and he doesn’t read, I can’t trick him >.>

  • Beth

    LOL! Yes, to all of this. My immediate family understands book worming, but my extended family and the in laws….not so much. :/
    I find faking a sore throat to get out of participating in discussions helps.

  • http://www.bookmarklit.net/ Lauren

    I’m definitely lucky that my whole family reads. Some of the best times I visit at my dad’s house include me, my stepmom, dad, and sister all just sitting around reading together in silence. Just being around them is enough – no need to talk the whole time :)

  • Mawa Mahima

    Oh this is awesome! 😀
    I think I’ll definitely check out the going to sleep early one next time I’m on vacation. And yeah, one of the things I like doing when its the holidays is snuggling up with a book for hours at a time, and then finish the book, return to reality thinking “where did all the time go?”

  • http://www.andreabuginsky.com/ Andrea Buginsky

    Thanks for the great advice! Perhaps this will help me get caught up on my own reading. As for snacks, I like unsalted mixed nuts, and trail mix.

  • Erica Jane Ostergar

    I am the master of “going to bed early” so that I can get in some extra reading. And you’re absolutely correct–choosing the right snacks is so important.