What Makes A Great Beach Read?

Photo by LWY on Flickr, licensed under the Creative Commons

Photo by LWY on Flickr, licensed under the Creative Commons

The folks at Mashable recently posted their 22 picks for summer reading. The multitude of these lists beg the question: What qualities makes a book worthy of the category “beach-read”?

Here are my criteria:

  1. Sippable. That means you can read a few pages, take a dip in the water, read another page or two, watch the waves, read a few pages… You get the idea. Some books require big gulps, and that’s ok, but those that can be read a page or two or three at a time are better suited to a beach or vacation and all the wonderful distractions that come with those things.
  2. Not horribly depressing or heart-breakingly sad. Tears don’t go well with bikinis.
  3. Light. Some people think that’s code for chick-lit. And while I’m just as excited for Revenge Wears Prada as the next magazine-ladder-climbing gal, I think essay collections, humor, and even some biographies can qualify.
  4. A damn good book. The truth is, any really amazing read will keep you hooked and will be enjoyable in the sunshine.

What’s on your summer must-read list?

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