The Poolside Read

Here I sit in all my summer glory, lounging poolside in a chair with my feet up. A big floppy hat on my head to protect my face from the sun. A cup of iced tea and some fresh strawberries next to me to snack on. The smell of sunscreen mixed with chlorine is in the air. My two youngest boys splashing one another in the shallow end of the pool as their older sisters tentatively dip their toes in from the edge. Book in hand.

Read a line. Scan the pool. Read a line. Scan the pool.

Is everyone accounted for? Yes. Good. This is the sound of my summer. Or at least it should be, or could be, or sometimes is. Realistically this pristine picture lasts only a few moments. At some point, all too soon it begins. “Can I have a snack?” One of my kids asks me as they stand half over me, wet from the pool. Not just wet, but soaked and dripping water everywhere. Did they grab their towel? Nope. Am I now half covered in water? Yup. Did it get onto my book? Probably. Definitely.

Crap.

Is it a library book? Nope. Borrowed from a friend? Nope. Okay, so no worries it’s all going to be okay, ’cause it’s my poolside read.

Now before people jump down my throat for that last statement please understand, I love my poolside/beach reads. Just as much as I love my 2am and I can’t sleep reads and my I have half a day to relax I’m going to grab this 600 plus page book by Graham Hancock and dive on in. What I choose to read is often about the situation surrounding me as it is about the book’s content.

Take Little Pink Slips by Sally Koslow, The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger or Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love. None of them require a large investment of attention to get through. All of them are whimsical, funny, lighthearted, and have a reasonably happy ending. If by happenstance I’m attempting to settle a dispute between two children, one of which wants to jump onto her brother from the edge of the pool for the offence of splashing her, figuring out where I left off isn’t a challenge. I simply reread a line or two and I’m good t go. Often times they are the books I snap up at the local library’s book sale for next to nothing and then pass along to friends, family or into those lending libraries at the local parks. For me, that’s what a great poolside read is.

Thankfully the kids are all back into the pool. A snack has been consumed with all the aplomb of that tyrannosaurus rex from Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park as it devoured the goat. All squabbles have been resolved and I am free to once again pop my nose back into Veil of Roses by Laura Fitzgerald.

Read a line. Scan the pool. Read a line. Scan the pool.

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