Vacations are for reading

A lovely spot by the Merced River for some afternoon reading in Yosemite.

At various points during my recent trip to Yosemite, my dad would turn to me and ask, “Is that book big enough?”


Every time, I answered, “Yes.”

At 1,189 pages, I thought the complete “Night Angel” trilogy by Brent Weeks was the perfect length for a week of camping.

My dad, reading also, cheated. His Kindle took up much less space in his backpack but he easily devoured a similar amount of pages. A common morning conversation with my dad:

“How is such-and-such book?”

“Oh, I finished it.”

I especially liked the time when my mom and I got back from horseback riding only to find my dad had finished two books and started a third since we had last seen him.

Reading has always gone with vacation in my family. When my brother and I were little, my parents would take us to the mall the day before we left to buy two books (“Only two, Randi”) to keep us occupied.

I always had a hard time balancing reading and taking in the scenery. While I generally ignored my books to watch the sun rise over the High Desert, I was always glad for them as we drove through Kansas and Oklahoma. This is where I made deep acquaintance with the ‘Wishbone’ and ‘Magic Tree House’ series.

Camping in Yosemite as a child, my mom would read to us around the campfire: ‘Hatchet,’ ‘The Cay,’ ‘The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.’

Now that my brother and I are grown up, my parents keep a simple schedule on their trips to Yosemite: hike in the morning and read by the Merced River in the afternoon. I was only too happy to adopt this schedulewhen I joined them.

Our legs still aching from the 4-Mile Trail (Which is longer than four miles, either 4.6 or 4.8 depending on which sign you consult), we’d sit in our lawn chairs by the river and read.

Our peace was only broken when my dad exclaimed in outrage, “This is a chick book!”


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