Discussion Posts

FLYTIP: What is a Beach Read?

Now that it’s summer, it seems the hottest topic revolves around ‘Beach Reads’. I’ve even had a few Instagram prompts asking: what is your ideal beach read, top favorite books on your TBR for the beach, etc. This brought me to wondering, what exactly is a beach read?

Maybe I have trouble with the whole concept of a beach read, since I never go to the beach. I just can’t picture it. Is it a book you bring and read there? If you were going, wouldn’t you want to swim or hang out with friends or family? However, maybe then you need to bring a book in order to occupy your free moments? Like when your family and friends are boring you? Or when your friends play in the water and you’re afraid of the bottom of the ocean so you sit on the sidelines?

Or are beach reads something you read while you sit on the side of the pool? Let me get away from the actual concept of what is the purpose of a beach read and move on to what defines a beach read. (Obviously I am not the best expert of this as I have no clue when you even have a beach read).

So my little experience with it tells me that a beach read may or may not be:

  • something that is ‘casual’ or ‘easy breezy fun’?
  • something you can pick up and put down? (so not something you’re obsessed with?)
  • something short?
  • something that is fun, happy, and mood affirming in general?

Seriously, the concept eludes me. I mean, if I am going to read something, I want it to be completely obsessive, that I cannot put down, and that means something to me – touches my soul. But that could be totally me, right? I have a huge trouble finding books that fall into the category of ‘beach reads’.

(BTW I’m keeping this post short, so you can read it at the beach).


Do you also have trouble figuring out what a beach read is?

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14 thoughts on “FLYTIP: What is a Beach Read?

  1. I grew up on an island off the coast of Maine, so almost anything was a “beach read” for me! 🙂 Now I think of beach reads as fun, short, and easy to read stories that you can breeze through in one trip to the beach.

    1. Haha yes, location is incredibly important for what a beach read is. That’s a good point, the length of the book. 🙂

  2. LOL! Thanks for keeping it short so I can read it at the beach. 😉 I’ve never given “beach reads” much though before. Perhaps it’s a seasonal thing? After all, I’d never heard of people mentioning beach reads in the winter?

  3. I think the idea of a “beach read” is very obscure, in my opinion. I’ve wondered if it’s just a claim made my booksellers that readers have latched onto. Because it seems fun to have a “beach read.” To me, a beach read is a book with subject matter that isn’t heavy. Or like you said, a book you can pick up and put back down: one you’re not sucked into. Basically, I feel like sometimes the “Chick Lit” category is made up of beach reads… Not saying all Chick Lit is bad, I just think they are similar.
    I found your post through It Starts at Midnight link up, by the way!

    1. I bet a whole part of it is the marketing. That is something I never really thought about it, but it’s totally true. And the topic of Chick Lit is also something that is confusing to me. So is Women’s Fiction. What does that even mean…Thanks for finding me there! It means something I’m doing is working 😛

  4. I live in Washington State and the Pacific Coast and be cold and windy, even in the summer. Whenever I think of reading on the beach I think about the time I sat on a beach chair at the beach under a towel or blanket to stay warm and to keep the sand from getting all over me, and the book. Ha!
    I interpret “Beach Read” as something light and not to serious. Perhaps a steamy romance, or an action-packed adventure. Something that can be consumed without paying it too much attention. I think a better term should be a poolside book. Some book you wouldn’t mind if it got wet (or sandy) because you are going to toss the book when you are done reading it.

    1. Haha that sounds like an intense beach read. Yes investment in a story does seem to be the main factor behind a beach read. I never thought about the physical tolls of a beach read on the book! Thanks for sharing your beach read experience 🙂

  5. I LOVE THIS POST. I think about this all the time because I tend to read the opposite of what is stereotypically considered a “beach read” during the summer months– instead of reading short, “fluffy” books in the summer I usually read ones that are longer and that will challenge me as a reader. I don’t have time to read these kinds of books when classes are in session, so summer is the perfect time to tackle them. (My big one for this summer is War and Peace.) I love reading by the lake I go to, but I don’t go nearly as often as I would like.

    1. SAME! I think a beach read just does not really computer to me. I love those big books and especially the ones where you are pulled in. But then again, I am a very obsessive reader. I will do all sorts of things to finis a book…

  6. I would say a “beach read” is any read that you take with you when you’re off on holiday! (Or vacation, as I think Americans call it) I would say a beach read is something breezy and fun, and that’s why you see a lot of the chick lits come out with a vengeance around this season! It’s definitely something personal though. I need to be in the right mind to appreciate books from different genres, and with summer, I prefer travelling books a la A Room With A View!

    1. That’s true, maybe it’s just a summer ‘holiday’ read list. Same! I can be in a heavy mood for one genre and not want to move out of it. Like now, I’m in the fairy tale retelling swing 🙂

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