Monday, November 23, 2009

Books on the Beach

I was in Mexico for a beach vacation last week, and I'd say the number of books rivaled the number of bikinis. To my delight, everyone was reading! Because we all know the publishing industry isn't quite at the top of its game these days, (I do so love the idea of giving books as Christmas presents this year -- help an author out!) it was so refreshing to see books doing their thing: helping people relax and taking them into another world.

At one point when I was walking on the beach, I decided I wanted some stats on how many people were reading. It could've been the strawberry daiquiri-induced haze, but it seemed like all I saw were books. So I started to pay attention to just how many.

There is nothing sweeter really, than a couple reading side by side under a beach umbrella. Well, perhaps it could've been Tommy, who was reading one of the Twilight tomes on the flight home. Tommy, who wears boxers with green shamrocks and carries his wife's purple polka-dot Kate Spade shoulder bag. Tommy, who wore a T-Shirt with parrots on the back that read "Meet the Squawkers." Tommy, who's wife, I assumed, wrote the long, curvy, swirly inscription to him on the inside of his book. I'm going to take a leap of faith and say that wasn't Stephanie Meyer's handwriting.

But back to the beach: me walking along, searching out readers, starting to deduce that at least a third of the people had books on their bellies. Then I wanted to know who they were reading. I could spot some covers in an instant: Picolt, Brown, Meyer, Weiner, Irving. I felt foiled when I saw books in foreign languages. I stared harder at everyone, trying to distinguish the covers I didn't recognize. And suddenly I was staring right at a woman's bare breasts. Sorry lady, I was really looking at your book, I swear. At that point I gave up on data collection and focused on the surf.

Beach: relaxing. Frozen drinks: relaxing. Books: relaxing. By my little survey in the Riviera Maya, the publishing industry is doing just fine.


  1. So, I'm curious: any Kindles or e-readers on that beach? (And hope you snarfed down a couple daiquiris for me...)

  2. Hi Sherry -- I didn't see any e-readers, and I was on the lookout for those too! Can you imagine what dropping it in the sand would do to one of those things? I did spot one Kindle on the airplane though.