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A pleasure to read outdoors: 5 books for students

Written by Fiona

July 30 2021

The great outdoors can easily be combined with a relaxing read. But what book should you choose when reading on an outdoors trip or holiday? For many readers, the best idea is to read books with a theme of adventure or focused on an outdoors activity or sport.

Here are five books that are perfect for different categories of readers. They all belong to different literature genres, but have one thing in common: They would perfectly suit a day or week spent outdoors. 

5 books for students to read outdoors

  1. The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac

Kerouac a favourite modern author among literature connoisseurs. On the Road is the usual choice that professors assign to students for reading. But if you’re looking for ideas for an essay on English books, going beyond Kerouac’s most popular publication will likely leave you more inspired.

The Dharma Bums is a powerful story about the connection between a lively writer and a calm mountaineer. They are both looking for the ultimate truth and head off to an inspiring journey to find it.

Kerouac’s style is often described as rambling. Some readers don’t like it, but you may be surprised by its humorous and light way of describing life.

  1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Kya Clark, the main character of this book, is wild, curious and free. She has been alone for years, but two men trigger her inner desire for adventure. This is a great story for those who like solitude and mystery but who are also intrigued by social relations, too. 

Why is it a good choice as an outdoor read? Kya has been left by everyone in her life and Mother Nature accepted the role of her caretaker. It’s a controversial book that readers either love or hate. Give it a chance and you might be surprised by its easy flow, likeable main character and genuine sadness.  

  1. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

This is a classic that all students get as an assigned reading for many literature courses. It’s the exact reason why so many of them don’t like it. They perceive it as a burdening assignment that requires an essay after days spent reading.

If you’re in such a situation, you’ll appreciate a helpful source for your “Lord of the Flies” essay. But before you start searching for solutions online, try reading the book outdoors. It’s a complex read that requires some peace and quiet, which you’re not getting in the dormitory.   

After all, what could be more exciting for a student than a story about children who create their own society?

  1. Beyond Possible by Nimsdai Purja

The full title of this book is Beyond Possible: One Soldier, Fourteen Peaks – My Life in the Death Zone. It pretty much describes what this non-fiction edition is about. Nimsdai Purja is a legendary Nepalese mountaineer, who has conquered 14 mountains higher than 8,000m in six months. 

This book gives you a completely different outlook on mountain climbing. Nimsdai combined several skills to achieve this impossible mission: Teamwork, focus, leadership, and an endless desire to learn. This is the perfect book to read outside, preferably in the cold. Warning: It might make you consider climbing your first mountain. 

  1. Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen – that’s what this book is about. McDougall is an author and journalist who loves to run. He combined his passion for running and writing into this amazing book, which quickly became a New York Times bestseller.

It’s not a mere description of his love for running. McDougall followed members of the Tarahumara tribe and analyzed their technique. They can cover incredible distances at high speeds without getting injured at all.

If you like running but you’ve suffered some injuries that stopped you, this book is a must read. Put your running shoes on and read outside. You’ll want to try out the techniques right after a reading session.

Spend more time outside and reading

You want to start reading more? Choose a good book and get outside. You will want to find a quiet location, out of the sun or shaded and where you can feel surrounded by nature.

Perhaps you have a hammock you can use, or sit in a camping chair, or perhaps lie at the beach or sit in a park.

Reading is calming in itself but reading while in a beautiful and natural place is even better.

  • The writer Alina Boskar enjoys trekking and hiking, but running is her first love. She always chooses books to complement her love for nature.

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