Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Coppertone Books

Well, it's April 4.
I am already behind by one letter. Looks like my write on the fly is more like writing on the crawl...

Consequently, this post will be a combo of yesterday's letter – B - and today's – C.
Hence the title: Coppertone Books.
Wouldn't that make an awesome name for a book store on the beach?
I believe I have found my new retirement job...


It started about a month ago. The first plea for reading material while at the beach came tripping through my Facebook feed. It was followed by numerous comments suggesting a wide range of books.
All of them WRONG.

Beach reads have several requirements.
The books must not be sad or cause crying. No self reflection. No introspective review of a life led poorly. No deep biographies. Good lord, NO WORK RELATED MATERIAL.

A Good Beach Read is light, funny and has a brightly colored cover. Action adventure, romance, horror and SciFy are all fine as long as the location is somewhere exotic and you don't need to do simple math or have a passing knowledge of physics to understand what is going on,

Literary classics are a tough call. I admit to spending numerous summers re-reading The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway. In one respect it has adventure, romance and is set in an exotic locale. In my teenage brain I only saw those aspects. I didn't really comprehend the undercurrents of poor personal relationships, alcoholism and the fact that a 16 year old reading a deep book doesn't really scream "WoW! I bet this chick would be tons of fun!" But more on this in letter 'L'.

Beach Reads must be paperbacks. Not hardbacks – too clunky. And absolutely NO e-readers.
With a paperback, you can crease the spine – making it appear as though you have read this book numerous times. You can dog ear the pages to mark you page. You can throw a paperback down to save your beach chair and with that brightly colored cover, passersby can't help but notice your literary choice, strike up a conversation and ask you to dinner...
Try doing that with a kindle.

I know, you are going to object to these requirements. But think about it.
Why do we go to the beach? (See 'A')
I love reading a good tearjerker – but those deep, emotional books are best read while curled up under a big fuzzy blanket in front of a fire while a raging snowstorm or rainstorm blusters outside. A good beach read needs to transport you away from the crazy and leave you smiling. It should be an easy enough read to hold your attention but allow for gaps in reading to accommodate your husband who insists on signing you up for pool scuba lessons, catamaran sailing and yoga.
Trust me.

And yes, I know, e-readers are so convenient. Paperbacks are a pain to pack. They add extra weight to checked baggage requiring repacking at the Miami airport check-in resulting in an overloaded backpack that your wife somehow always has to carry...
There is an easy solution.
Who among us hasn't wander through Hudson News while waiting for a flight because your wife accidentally booked a SIX hour layover and yearned to pick up that book you keep hearing about but still isn't available for check out on the library e-reader list. I say stop in, grab that paperback, and a bag of M&M's and maybe some smoked almonds, trot on over the the Starbucks for a latte and dig in.
So what if you finish the book while still on vacation.
Hated it? Leave it behind for the next vacationer.
Loved it? Bring it home.
Because here is the other great thing about an actual book.
Chances are you won't finish it in one sitting so something will become the bookmark. How fun is it to pull out an old book to find the receipt from that fish stand where you had that incredible sandwich? Or the hotel postcard? And take a deep breath – just a hint of sunscreen...

Which leads me to Coppertone.
The perfect summer scent.
Slightly spicy with overtones of adolescent angst and undertones of lake dance romance and Paul McCartney's song My Love.

And suddenly I feel that this post is becoming a little too personal...
Can't get to the beach this year? No worries. Get a nice cool beverage, a recommended beach read and a comfy chair out back. Because, ultimately, it's an attitude, not just a location.
I suppose I should give some examples of Coast of Illinois Beach Reads: 
I highly recommend anything by Carl Hiaasen -especially Bad Monkey and Tourist Season -  hilarious books based in South Florida. Anything by Stephen King, especially Duma Key - as who doesn't want to read a terrifying story set at a beach while on a beach. And if you must read a biography, I recommend Lauren Bacall's autobiography By Myself and Then Some - romance, old Hollywood and a little beach.

Coast of Illinois's Rules to a Landlocked Beach Life

C- Coppertone, or any sort of sunscreen. Use it!
B- Books. Read them.

This post is part of the A to Z Challenge. Click on the link, page down to the comments and check out some of the other posts from participants! 


  1. What an interesting concept, I've never considered what I read on the beach, I always just live by the moment, grasp whatever book is nearby. But it is true that the best way to achieve the full relaxation would be to have the right tone to the influences around you...including your reading material.


    1. I have noticed that my destination really does influence what I am reading. Although I also tend to avoid super sad books. Life's too short!

  2. I'm not a beach person, but I do have fond memories of when my husband and I took our then young son to the local beach (by the lake) and the sun would make me drowse off. I probably wouldn't get anything read, nowadays. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

    1. This would be perfect for you! All the feeling of a sunny beach day without the sand, or the sunburn - all from reading a book! lol!! And boy, do I know what you mean, it takes me forever to finish a book because I have about a 20 minute window where I can read and retain before falling asleep.

  3. Love this! Very informative!!!

    1. Why thank you, Phibby! I will leave the beach poetry to you....

  4. Great post! Now I really want to eat M&Ms at the beach. It’s currently snowing here . . .

    Aj @ Read All The Things!


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