The Lazy Daze of Summer Post

August 20th, 2007 · 6 Comments
by Kassia Krozser

Today’s theme is “What I Did On My Summer Vacation”, though the fact that summer revelries have been condensed into 2 1/2 days should tell you something. Mostly that the child-free of the world are able to schedule their vacations for less crowded times of the year. Even though the trip is short, I, naturally, packed enough books to open a bookstore in an emerging nation. You never know when you’ll need an extra.

The first book I chose was a particular reading disaster — it’s by an author that I so truly believe has a great novel in her that I keep reading her new stuff. You’d think I’d learn my lesson, but no.

Anyway, the lack of compelling prose allowed me to indulge in a hobby that has kept me happy my entire life: people watching. There is something about our species that fascinates like no other. I mean, dogs, you can pretty much enjoy for the simple way they approach life. Humans? Let’s just say that watching them try to arrange loungers by the pool is really a metaphor for building societies. You have to wonder why the couple trying to bring two mismatched loungers together couldn’t figure that the other configuration would have achieved their goal.

I digress. For those inside the water, the activities are obvious. For those outside, they’re predictable: 95% of those people sitting poolside who were not actively engaged in making sure their children didn’t drown were reading. Books were the far and away favorite reading material, though I did spot a few business magazines over the course of my study.

The books came in all shapes and sizes, though the classic mass market paperback remains a favorite. I always wonder about the people who read hefty hardcovers while on vacation — surely the weight alone prohibits them from serving as useful eye shades? There wasn’t a clear pattern thematically, either. The titles were a nice mix of fiction (all kinds) and non-fiction (mostly business-related…some people simply cannot let go while on vacation).

And again I’m wondering, if reading is in such decline, why are so many people reading? Is it possible that the numbers lie? Or the way the studies are conducted misunderstand how and when people enjoy books? Should we simply have longer summer breaks to allow people more time to lose themselves in a good book? Is it a by-product of our increasingly hectic lives (technology was supposed to streamline our worlds, surely that benefit will kick in any day now)?

Anyway, I’m 0-2 when it comes to poolside reading this summer. Any thoughts?

File Under: Square Pegs

6 responses so far ↓

  • Clive Warner // Aug 20, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    Maybe I should write a book called CHLORINE to catch all those pool-side readers …
    I once installed a telephone exchange at a holiday hotel in Gambia. No problem until I told the contractor as a joke that I had problems with the underwater pool telephone. How was I to know that two of his ex-staff had just dropped, from a bridge, a paving stone on to his car?

  • David Thayer // Aug 20, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    Kassia, from your report it’s clear that reading is not declining but reclining. Besides when surveys are taken everyone is so flustered to be asked a question they frequently get confused. Like the guy who thought he was on Oprah.

  • Kassia Krozser // Aug 20, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    Reclining. Love it. I swear, I’m going to hire you if I ever do stand-up. And by hire, I mean you’ll be doing the actual speaking. I was hired to look good. I barely manage to get my job done!

    Clive, you realize that you never joke about connectivity in Gambia? Very sensitive subject. Obviously, you got off with a warning, but you have to be careful.

  • David Thayer // Aug 21, 2007 at 10:00 am

    Let’s go on Oprah!

  • Kassia Krozser // Aug 22, 2007 at 7:08 am

    Or on tour, both work.

  • Anonymous // Aug 22, 2007 at 7:40 am

    Can I get a ticket to be in the audience if you guys are on Oprah?