Books By The (Hotel) Bedside…

So today in my only post not scheduled before we flew to Italy, where I am now, I thought I would bring you one of my ‘books by the bedside’ posts (where I share what I am reading in the hope you’ll share what you are) with a holiday twist as these are the books I packed…


The Beard did raise his eyebrows at this amount however…I have to pack more books that it is likely I will read on holiday as you never know what you might be in the mood for when you get there do you? I also have to have a crime novel (like the Kishwar Desai) or a funny book (which I think Kerry Hudson’s is meant to be) for the flights as I hate flying and need something to concentrate on. The Desai was perfect on the way here.

I also like books set where I am going. I could have packed William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ for Verona (we went to the balcony which I’ll be posting about when we are back) but it was a brief stint there though I did read some Mary Beard while we were in the Roman Arena as it felt apt.

In Florence I have been struggling with ‘The Villa (set in Florence) by Lucretia Grindle, it’s good and it’s teasing me that it’s going to be quite a thrilling mystery if I keep at it but there’s a lot of ‘his hair was like a lions mane’ and ‘she ate systematically if delicately, like a horse’ which is slightly grating so I might switch to Salman Rushdie’s ‘The Enchantress of Florence’ instead.

There is one major temptation though, the hotel we are staying at has the most stunning library (the building was once home Italian journalist and writer Ugo Ojetti, who held literary and art events here) and its brimming with books I want to read…


So I might be tempted away! Anyway, we are having an amazing time and the suns out so I am off to the pool! What have you been reading of late and what’s on your bedside table? Do you pack more books than you really need for a holiday?


Filed under Books By The Bedside

24 responses to “Books By The (Hotel) Bedside…

  1. Omigod that library looks amazing! Hope you’re enjoying your holiday 🙂

  2. I agree. I wouldn’t leave either. That library is a holiday in itself!

  3. You cannot love Italy 🙂 I have been there three times and Venice is still on my list to see it again, and again 🙂
    Anyway, I always take just one book with me (besides the book guide) but I always plan on buying books from abroad, which I always seem to do, in large quantities 🙂 Enjoy your holiday!

  4. Louise Trolle

    Lovely library 🙂
    I always pack 3-4 x more books than I actually read on holidays, but my husband has learned not to comment, to carry some of them in his hand luggage without complaining and NEVER to mention the ki*dle word 🙂

    I’m reading The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, Blood Rites and Tales of St. Austin’s right now.

  5. I always pack more books than I can read. Better than running out of books in a country where they’re all in another language!

  6. wordsofmercury

    I enjoyed the Mary Beard. Very easy reading. I pack far too many books…My bedside table is full of Clive James, Wodehouse, Peter Porter, Michael Donaghy, and Sebald.

  7. Wow! I think I’d got to Italy just for that library!
    At the moment I’m reading Middlemarch and Northangar Abbey but I also have The Complete Sherlock Holmes, My Cousin Rachel and some kathy Reichs on my bedside table.

    • The pasta and the sunshine added to the experience, so the country has more to it than just that library hahaha I was in heaven though.

      Sherlock Holmes is brilliant, as is My Cousin Rachel, what good reading you have ahead.

  8. I take at least two “extra” books with me when I travel, more for a longer trip to a non-English speaking place, becuase what if I don’t like the books I brought. What then.

    I always take cheap copies that I can leave on the plane or in the hotel when I’ve finished them. I usually buy an airplane book at the airport. I always buy one that I can finish reading before the end of the flight so I don’t have to carry it around. They don’t cost much more than the headphones do. If I have a particularly think book with me, I have been known to tear out the pages I’ve read and recycle them to cut down on the weight of my luggage.

    I always take luggage with wheels. No way am I carrying all those books all over creation. 😉

    • I have never thought of the cheap copy idea, good plan for the future though. One of the books I got warped really badly in the sunshine. Wheeled luggage is essential, I fully concur.

  9. Kate G

    I always take extra books on vacation. When my husband and I went on our honeymoon, we had 3 bags, my clothes, etc, his clothes, etc and one for just our books. Eighteen years later, we still pack the same way, and now our kids do the same, one for clothes and another each for books. The library is gorgeous and Itsly sounds wonderful! Enjoy!

    • Hahahaha a whole bag just for books, now that is dedication. I would never be allowed that though… plus as I only read half of one book and finished off another I haven’t shown myself as a good holiday reader really hahaha.

  10. Like many others here, Simon, I’m so with you! It is a must to take plenty of books on vacation – more than I intend to read, for the reason you give: I don’t know what I’ll be in the mood for. Generally there will be three categories, much like what you gave. That is, books that match the trip (theme, or location); light, easy, fun reads; and something chunky and serious I’ve been meaning to get around to. Packing books is the most fun part. 🙂 The only challenge is a weight-sensitive trip, like backpacking or cycle-touring, when I have to be really careful, ouch…

    Enjoy your trip and thanks for the sampling!

  11. I love that library Simon! I always have to pack at least three books for any journey, especially when I have a long plane flight. Because I too hate to fly I have to put earphones in, crack open a book and hope it blocks out all those scary airplane noises! I can usually finish a whole book on one of my intense flights to Alaska.
    Have a great rest of your vacation 🙂

  12. lovely pics simon ,all the best stu

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