Spring book, not break: Spring break 2013 ideas

By Katie Walsh | Opinions Editor

Spring break is peeking around the corner and calling all of our names.

It’s a well-deserved time to be relaxed and enjoy yourself, with no pesky class to interrupt. Often times, location seems to be the determining factor of if you’ll be having a good time over spring break. I beg to differ. Whether you’re staying in the Steel City, heading out of town to go home for the week or you’re one of the lucky ducks going somewhere new and exciting, here are some things to ensure that your time over spring break will be warm and fun.

Have a Good Read

If you enjoy turning a couple good pages, spring break can be the perfect time to pick up something new and enjoy it. Often times during the school year we are bogged down with too much homework, studying or part-time jobs to enjoy what’s on the New York Times Best Sellers’ List. Since it might be some time since you had the time to read a book, here are some suggestions:

A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy – One of my personal favorite fiction writers (and not just because she’s Irish) filled her last novel with her traditional loving yet quirky characters and even quirkier settings. Located in Stonybridge, Ireland, the beautiful interweaving of characters and their stories offers a heartwarming tale that will cheer up the winter gloom that falls upon the town and the fact that we have spring break in March.

Private Berlin by James Patterson – Supposed to be on par with his like-minded thrillers and suspense detective novels, Patterson offers a fast-paced, sexy and complex trip through Berlin. In typical Patterson form, he offers several stories all somehow caught together in order to discover where the missing superstar secret agent has gone. Adrenaline will be pumping and force you to read this book quickly, if you’re not careful.

My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor – Written by the first Hispanic and only third woman to sit on the Supreme Court, Sotomayor offers a close look at her difficult childhood in the Bronx. Tracing her steps from family and health difficulties through Princeton, Yale and then the New York courts, Justice Sotomayor’s story offers a great tale of perseverance and self- identity. If in need of a boost before tackling the rest of the semester, this book is highly recommended for you.

American Sniper by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim Defelice – The autobiography of record-holding Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, if in the need for satisfying the growing and popular thirst for knowledge on the secret world of Special Ops, the “most lethal sniper in U.S. military history” will certainly grant you as much. Reading most certainly for the pro-gun at heart.

Where to Read

Now that you have your book in tow, where do you read? Almost as important as the reading material is where you will enjoy your fast-paced thriller or true life struggles. Regardless of where you’ll be enjoying your read, some things to keep in mind about your location.

If on the beach …

Bring a book cover. Especially if it’s a library book, the last thing you want to return your book with is enough sand to build a sandcastle. Try to dig through your closet and find that super cool book sox that you had in elementary and middle school. Place it around the book’s cover, if it’s a hardback, and then fold the book into the sox before you put it into your bag when you’re done reading. If a paperback, simply use the book sox as a bag and no sand will slip in between the pages and you’ll be able to return it without a glare from your librarian.

If in Pittsburgh and wish you were on a beach …

Have you ever noticed how it’s really warm at the Phipps Conservatory in Oakland? Have you ever noticed that there’s tons of tropical plants to be admired? Have you ever noticed that even on a cloudy day it’s pretty bright in there on those comfy benches? Introducing your beach far away from the beach! Buy your ticket and soak up some rays while enjoying the same tropical temperatures your friends paid big bucks for while you read your book. Best part is that skin cancer is not a threat to you amongst the brightest colors north of Florida.

If reading isn’t for you….
Maybe you’re not going anywhere this break but don’t want to sit around doing a whole lot of nothing (i.e. sitting around and reading). Maybe that’s just not your cup of tea. Or should I say glass of wine?
From the Strip District to Downtown, good food and wine is all around you. So during this break why not take advantage of a few classes in the Robinson Giant Eagle Market District and learn how to use all the good food around you to make your own good food? Located at 100 Settlers Ridge Center Drive in Robinson, Market District offers classes throughout the entire month of March on everything from Fish 101 for those struggling with eating the same fish tacos every Friday throughout Lent to wine tastings and how to cook with wine instead of just drinking all of it. Most classes are only two hours long and set you back from $15 to $40. Although you may not be going to a high class bar on a beach, you will have better wine and food then your friends on spring break.

Find something new

Take advantage of your new settings and look up local events and treats for you and your friends to enjoy. Google your city or town’s location along with “local events” and you might find the perfect lunch spot at a local farmer’s market, a great band at a bar a few blocks from your hotel or a random town festival that you can easily stumble upon. Keep a few days lined up when you have nothing planned and let the road (or the internet) take you to something that you weren’t expecting to find or do while on spring break. Whether it be an interesting museum or a food you’ve never heard of, don’t be afraid to try new things while at your spring break get-away of choice.