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Summer at the Beach Reading Essentials

Looking for a good book or some reading accessories to fill up your beach tote this summer? Look no further than these essentials.
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The weather is heating up, and we’re going out to the beaches and pools. Some of us are even headed out on road trips or to summer camps. Do you have some empty space in your suitcase or backpack? Then you need to check out this list of summer beach reading essentials!

What will you be adding to your summer shopping list?

Tote Bags

Book-Themed Tote Bags
The Nims on Etsy | CarpeDiemTShirts on Etsy

You’re going to need a bag to carry all of your books and accessories. And when going to the beach, you’re probably going to want a tote bag because it’s easy to clean and durable. There’s also no shortage of options in style, size, and budget.

Etsy is one of my favorite places to find tote bags because the small businesses there offer some of the cutest and most unique designs. The Nims went with a Y2K girly vibe that captures your attention right away. And CarpeDiem created a black tote that you won’t be able to miss in the sand.

Book Sleeves

Book Sleeves
FabricBound on Etsy | The Bookish Shop

Since you’re likely to be tossing and jostling your bags around, your book is bound to take a slight beating. So, what better way to protect the pages, spine, and covers than with a book sleeve? Bonus points if you find a waterproof one (let me know, I’m still on the lookout for one).

You can find a myriad of choices and vibes on Etsy, from floral to constellations to book quotes and characters. But, if you’re willing to pay a bit more, subscription boxes like The Bookish Box send out book sleeves every other month or so in their boxes.

Book Page Holders

Book Page Holders, Book Buddies
HighlandConcepts on Etsy | TheVineArtShop on Etsy

Also known as Book Buddies, book page holders help you manage your book when it’s a bit windy or you need to read one-handed while sipping a beverage by the pool. While the first Book Buddies were wooden and triangular, they’ve come far in design.

The most popular options for page holders are resin and wood. You can find flowers, hearts, triangles, and so many other shapes. I prefer resin because they’re a bit more customizable.


Bookmarks Plastic and wooden
TheBookishDen on Etsy | midislandivy on Etsy

Beach readers might want bookmarks that won’t get completely destroyed by a few drops of water. Etsy’s midislandivy makes thin laminate bookmarks with pressed flowers on the inside that are perfect for reading outdoors.

If you’re looking for something more durable and sturdy but still somewhat water-resistant, wooden bookmarks are gaining popularity. Some are made with laser-cut designs, while others feature woodburned quotes and drawings.

See related: Bookish Gifts Perfect for the Book Lover in Your Life

Book-Themed Cups and Bottles

Book Themed Cups and Bottles
thekatrinachapters on Etsy | missbohemia on Etsy

It’s an unspoken rule that you always take something to drink with you to the pool or beach. So, why not bring your drink – whether that be water, juice, soda, or whatever you fancy – in a cup that fits your book preferences and aesthetic?

From plastic to metal, water bottles to tumblers, you’re bound to find something that you love. You can find some generic book lover-themed cups all over the internet. But you’re going to need to check out Etsy for the fandom-specific options.


Sunglasses from Etsy
ubiquitousjewelry on Etsy

You could easily walk into Walmart, Target, or any store in the mall to grab a pair of sunglasses on the way to the beach. However, there are only so many options when you shop in person.

If you hop online in anticipation of a summer trip, you can find any shape your heart desires. There’s even heart, wings, and flame-shaped sunglasses if you look hard enough.

Hats and Caps

Book Themed Hats and Caps
BiblioWino on Etsy | InkandStoriesShop on Etsy

Some people love hats and some don’t. I happen to fall in the category between those: I love hats, but they look weird on my head. Regardless, you might be spending hours in the sun. And trust me, you’re not going to like it when your scalp is burned.

Go into Target and grab a random floppy hat or baseball cap. Or head to an online business and find something that shows off a bit of your personality or fandom. I, for one, would love to see someone wearing a Crescent City cap on the beach.

Waterproof Headphones

Waterproof Headphones, Raycon
Cyboris | Raycon

I’ve had my Raycon earbuds for nearly a year now, and I wouldn’t turn back. And this isn’t paid advertising; I actually love and use them almost every time I leave the house. And I love that they won’t be completely destroyed if I step into the rain.

But maybe that brand is a bit out of your budget. Just look up “waterproof headphones” online, and you’re golden. You can find in-ear headphones for as cheap as $10 and over-ear headphones as low as $20. And that’s not even counting the nearly endless color options.

See related: Subtle Book Merch is the Best Book Merch

Beach Towels and Blankets

Beach Towels and Blankets
AnchorsAweighSupply on Etsy | FESHKA on Etsy

Though it’s harder to find book-themed beach towels and blankets, it’s possible. That said, my favorite style happens to be the simple ones that look like they belong in a magazine.

Even if you don’t like the subdued patterns I prefer, you can find any color, fabric, shape, or design you love. And, if you love fringe, you’re in luck because they’re a staple for this type of product.

Beach Chairs

Beach Chairs
PicnicImports on Etsy

Beach chairs are a bit too big to fit in average tote bags, but there are plenty of portable chairs to choose from. The most common you’re likely to see are the fabric chairs with built-in cup holders, but let’s talk about another aesthetically pleasing chair I found on Etsy.

The rattan chair is cute and comfy. It’s perfect for spending hours in the sun or shade reading a book. In addition to this, there are tons of other options. One I’m currently on the hunt for looks like it’s straight out of the 1980s.

Beach Umbrella

Beach Umbrellas
Wind8Sea on Etsy

As the last item on this essentials list before we get into books, let’s talk about beach umbrellas. Though you can’t exactly just toss one of these in your bag, they’re pretty important if you want to read without getting burned all over.

And yeah, you could slather yourself in sunscreen, but that’s going to wear off eventually. With a large beach umbrella, all you have to do is wiggle over when the sun shifts. If you don’t want to lug a large canopy or umbrella with you, there are also plenty of smaller umbrellas that anchor into the sand.

Beachy Books

The Boardwalk Bookshop, Beyond the Break, Shipped
Mira Books | Penguin Workshop | Gallery Books

‘The Boardwalk Bookshop’ by Susan Mallery, ‘Beyond the Break’ by Heather Buchta, and ‘Shipped’ by Angie Hockman

For those looking for new books to read, let’s start with some beachy vibes. While I haven’t read The Boardwalk Bookshop yet (it releases May 31 this year), I have heard fantastic things already. Bree, Mikki, and Ashley run the Boardwalk Bookshop; the only thing is their personal lives aren’t going well. Think of it as Sweet Magnolias meets boardwalks and beaches.

If you’re more into Sarah Dessen or The Summer I Turned Pretty, Beyond the Break is for you. Lovette doesn’t surf or date; they are the only things she won’t allow herself to do. But everything changes when childhood friend Jake comes back to her.

Described as The Hating Game on vacation, Shipped is a fun beachy read. Henley and Graeme are competing for a promotion. To prove themselves, they are sent on a cruise to the Galapagos to write up a proposal. And while their long-distance emails say one thing, neither can help the chemistry they have in person.

See related: What Book Should You Read Next Based on Your Aesthetic?

Road Trip Books

Mariam Sharma Hits the Road, Mosquitoland, The Getaway Girls
Quill Tree Books | Viking Children’s | Bookouture

‘Mariam Sharma Hits the Road’ by Sheba Karim, ‘Mosquitoland’ by David Arnold, and ‘The Getaway Girls’ by Dee MacDonald

If you’re dealing with wanderlust while you’re at the beach, here are some books following traveling protagonists. In Mariam Sharma Hits the Road, Mariam and her friends are headed to New Orleans for a fun escape from their parents. While on the way, the trio meets tons of people and gets closer to the truth behind Mariam’s father’s disappearance.

In Mosquitoland, Mim is on the way back to Ohio from Mississippi to see her mom. Onboard a Greyhound bus, she meets lots of people who keep the long trip bearable. However, not every road trip is as fun as we all want them to be; Mim has to figure out who she is on this trip.

After deciding it’s time for a change in her life in The Getaway Girls, Connie wrangles new friends Gill and Maggie into a road trip across Europe. Connie is on a quest to collect her inheritance in Italy, Gill wants a summer romance, and Maggie just wants to escape her dark past. Can I go on a trip like this, too?

Summer Camp Books

Sleepaway Girls, You Have a Match, This One Summer
Little, Brown Young Readers | Wednesday Books | First Second

‘Sleepaway Girls’ by Jen Calonita, ‘You Have a Match’ by Emma Lord, and ‘This One Summer’ by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

Maybe you want to relive your old camp days. So, let’s break down some fun reads set at summer camps. In You Have a Match, Abby goes to summer camp to meet her sister Savannah. Abby wants to have a fun-filled summer with her sister, but Savvy isn’t too big on breaking rules. At least Abby has Leo, the camp’s co-chef, to keep her company.

Sleepaway Girls is the first in a series set at Whispering Pines camp. This book follows Sam during her training to be a counselor at camp to avoid becoming the third wheel in her best friend’s new relationship. But being a counselor-in-training isn’t what she expected – there are mean girls, new friends, and heartbreak on the horizon.

While This One Summer isn’t technically at summer camp, it has the same vibe. The graphic novel follows Rose and Windy trying to get away from Rose’s parent’s arguments. It’s a beautiful story that will either have you crying, laughing, or relating to characters at any point in the book.

Books Just in Time For Summer

Family of Liars, More Than You'll Ever Know, The Guncle
Delacorte Press | William Morrow & Company | G.P. Putnam’s Sons

‘Family of Liars’ by E. Lockhart, ‘More Than You’ll Ever Know’ by Katie Gutierrez, and ‘The Guncle’ by Steven Rowley

If none of the last few books have caught your eye, maybe you’re looking for recently released or upcoming books. Family of Liars was released on May 3 this year and is a prequel to We Were Liars. It follows a different generation of the Sinclair family during another summer uncovering yet another dark secret.

In More Than You’ll Ever Know (June 7), Dolores married Andres in 1985 while still being married to Fabian. Somehow, her life goes smoothly with her splitting her time between the men. That is until her secret is out and one of the men kills the other. Now, it’s up to Cassie to reveal the rest of the story.

Patrick loves spending time with his niece and nephew when they visit his Palm Springs home in The Guncle. And despite not having faith in his childcare abilities, he’s now in charge of the two children after their mother dies and their father is not available. But how hard could it be for him to add childcare to his life for a while?