Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How to Select a Beach Read: A Quiz

Last weekend I went to the beach and brought along a giant jug of water, a picnic fun blanket, a ton of sunblock (reapply every two hours!), and Knausgaard's My Struggle: Book 1 in paperback. I was the weirdo on the beach holding a 400+ book with a Norwegian guy's face on it instead of lighter fare, stepping out of my friends' conversation to read about Karl Ove's funeral preparations for his father and jumping back in only to make comments like 'Such visceral descriptions! Can I tell you how they really found his dad?'

I'm pretty good at deciding what constitutes a good beach read. Here is my list of important questions to ask yourself when selecting one:
  1. Will the book fit over my face so I can have a brief respite from the sun?
  2. Will I be mad if any of the following touches it?
    1. liquids, including but not limited to: water, saltwater, beer, slushie
    2. sunblock, especially the spray kind
    3. hot dog remnants
    4. sand
    5. a child or a sweaty friend
  3. Will I regret carrying it however long I need to carry it? 
  4. My brain will be in a delicate, overheated and possibly dehydrated state. Will this book push me over the edge and make me monologue about esoteric topics? 
  5. Can this book be used as self-defense against seagulls?
Important things, all. If you guys need me I'll be at a beach with Book 2, talking about whatever minutiae Karl Ove writes about in this one, completely engrossed.
Knausgaard goes along really well with my beach bag, even though he's published by FSG.

No comments: