Living Matters: Vacation comes with every turn of the page

Some people maintain that one of the best times to enjoy a book is in July or August. You can recline on a towel at the beach, they’ll tell you. You can relax poolside on a folding chair or beside a lake on a picnic table, and escape inside your paperback.

Others might say books are best read on vacation — at any old time of year. You know, when you can step back from the buzz on that Mexican cruise and retreat to the quiet of your cabin, page-turner at hand.

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Sure. I like a good read at the beach, beside the lake and near the pool.

But I adore my books right now.

Right about now, when the wind is whistling and rain is flying sideways, I am oblivious. I have not taken off on a cruise of late, but I have curled up by the fire, opened my book and taken off for Italy.

No, there’s been no Mexico in my itinerary in recent days, no trip to Palm Springs or Kauai. But last week, I was in England, and in Arizona the week before.

Without leaving the house, I have travelled back to the 1940s and spent some time in France. This, with a blanket over my knees and tea and honey at hand.

Nothing quite like opening the book on the night table and heading to New Jersey — I did this a week ago Tuesday — when you’re snug in bed and the house is quiet and the iPad’s gone to sleep for the night.

Yes, I’ll take my books at any old time; they’re always great companions. But right about now, they’re really good pals — especially when you share them.

“Have you started that novel I loaned you?” I said in a text to my sister the other day. She lives in the Interior, where winter’s been raging for weeks.

“I’m reading it right now,” she told me. “By the fire. The story just moved to Cambridge. Amazing.”

Amazing indeed.

If my plots transpire as I think they will, I may be going to a high school prom tomorrow night and a wedding soon after that. But no need to put on my fancy clothes or even reach for shoes.

I’ll take my adventures the very best way: immersed in the story at home.

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