Beach reads are not a genre – they can be just about anything. But you do know one when you see one – and that’s what we’re investigating here.

It’s that time of the year again.

Open any Sunday supplement and a slew of authors and making suggestions about what you should read – their thinking is: now you have time, you can delve into this literary monster.

But most of us are heading the other way – the beach read.

Something that grabs, whisks us away, doesn’t put too much pressure on the Prosecco-soaked brain cells. Romance, escapism – hang on, what exactly is a beach read.

What is a beach read?

The term “beach read” is not a specific genre, but rather a category of books that are typically light, easy to read, and enjoyable. They can be of any genre, but they often fall into the categories of romance, mystery, thriller, or comedy. Beach reads are perfect for reading on vacation, when you want something to relax with and escape from the everyday world.

Some people argue that beach reads should be considered a separate genre, because they have their own unique set of characteristics. However, there is no clear consensus on this, and most people simply consider them to be a subset of other genres.

Ultimately, whether or not beach reads are a separate genre is a matter of opinion. However, there is no doubt that they are a popular type of book, and they offer a great way to relax and escape from reality for a while.

Pure fun reviving the joy of reading, relishing the journey not the destination. Taking time.

What are the qualities of a good beach read?

A good “beach read” typically refers to a book that is enjoyable, engaging, and easy to read while relaxing on the beach or during vacation. Here are some qualities that make for a good beach read:

  1. Light and entertaining: Beach reads are often light-hearted and easy to digest, providing a break from heavier or more complex literature. They often have a fast-paced plot that keeps you engaged and entertained.
  2. Engaging storytelling: A good beach read captivates your attention from the beginning and keeps you hooked until the end. It may have interesting characters, intriguing mysteries, or unexpected twists that make you eager to turn the pages.
  3. Escapism: Beach reads are a means of escape from the demands of everyday life. They transport you to different worlds, whether it’s through exotic locations, magical realms, or romantic adventures. They allow you to relax and get lost in the story.
  4. Relatable characters: Characters that are relatable, likeable, or easy to connect with can enhance the enjoyment of a beach read. You may find yourself invested in their lives, rooting for them, or relating to their experiences.
  5. Accessible writing style: A good beach read typically has a writing style that is clear, concise, and easy to follow. It doesn’t require too much effort to understand, allowing you to relax and read without feeling overwhelmed.

Give me some examples of genre beach reads

  1. The Summer I Turned Pretty, by Jenny Han (Young Adult Romance): This charming coming-of-age story follows Belly as she navigates her relationships with two brothers during summers at the beach.
  2. Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty (Mystery/Contemporary Fiction): Set in a beachside town, this gripping novel explores the lives of three women whose secrets and conflicts lead to a shocking event.
  3. Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan (Contemporary Fiction): This hilarious and glamorous novel takes you into the opulent world of wealthy Asian families and the cultural clashes that arise when a young woman from New York meets her boyfriend’s family in Singapore.
  4. The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown (Mystery/Thriller): This fast-paced thriller combines art, history, and conspiracy as Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon races against time to solve a murder and uncover a secret that could change history.
  5. Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes (Contemporary Romance): A heartwarming and bittersweet story about Louisa Clark, who becomes a caregiver for Will Traynor, a quadriplegic man, and their transformative relationship that challenges them to redefine their lives.
  6. The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho (Fiction/Self-Help): This philosophical novel follows Santiago, a young Andalusian shepherd, on his journey to find his personal legend. It explores themes of destiny, purpose, and the pursuit of one’s dreams.
  7. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson (Contemporary Fiction/Crime): A Swedish techno thriller about a disgraced journalist and a young hacker who team up to investigate the disappearance of a young woman. The book is the first in the Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson.

Give me some examples of genre beach reads

Here are some specific examples of books that fit into these genres and could be considered beach reads:

  • Romance: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, Beach Read by Emily Henry, The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
  • Mystery: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  • Thriller: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, The Woman in the Dark by Jennifer Hillier
  • Comedy: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood, The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
  • Women’s fiction: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Contemporary fiction: Normal People by Sally Rooney, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  • Historical fiction: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Paranormal romance: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Selection by Kiera Cass

5 tips to write a great beach read

  1. Choose a genre that you enjoy writing in. This will make the writing process more enjoyable for you, and it will also show in your work
  2. Create characters that readers will care about. Your characters should be relatable and sympathetic, even if they’re flawed. Give them distinct personalities and voices, and make sure they have goals and motivations that readers can understand.
  3. Plot your story carefully. A beach read should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. The plot should be engaging and suspenseful, with enough twists and turns to keep readers guessing.
  4. Write in a clear and concise style. Beach reads are meant to be light and easy to read, so avoid using complex language or technical jargon. Get to the point quickly and keep your sentences short and to the point.
  5. Add a touch of humour. A little bit of humour can go a long way in making a beach read more enjoyable. If you can make your readers laugh, they’ll be more likely to keep reading.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Set your story in a beautiful or exotic location. This will help to create a sense of escapism for readers.
  • Include a love story or a mystery. These are two of the most popular genres for beach reads.
  • Make sure your book is a quick read. Beach reads are meant to be enjoyed on vacation, so they shouldn’t be too long or too heavy.