Leave the Books at Home While on Your Honeymoon

In response to a heated debate on our Facebook page over whether newlyweds should bring books on their honeymoon, we’ve asked two writers—one for honeymoon reading, one against it—to make their case. When you’re done getting convinced to leave your books at home, check out our argument for bringing them along.

Like many of you, I’m a huge fan of books. There is truly a book for every occasion, but that doesn’t mean you must bring a book to every occasion. On many trips we’ve taken, my husband and I bring books to get lost in. But on your honeymoon, instead of reading, why not take the opportunity to get lost in each other’s company, instead? Later on in life you may find these chances few and far between.

One of the best parts of a honeymoon is finding new inside jokes and stories only you and your partner will share. On ours, my husband and I found a rug with the name of our hometown on it. Now, considering we come from a town so small even our fellow SoCal residents can’t find, it’s something we still laugh about. Without our noses in books, we also used our time together to take classes (including ones in cartoon drawing  and napkin folding), and to hit the all-you-can-eat soft serve machine more times than was reasonable.

If you can’t take a trip without some kind of media, bring something you can share. Bring along a new record, like Adele’s 25 or the Ultimate Sinatra collection. Sharing an old favorite album, or experiencing a new one together, is a great way to bond without a book. If your honeymoon involves a long drive, you can even invest in an audiobook of a romantic novel neither of you has read yet, like the first book in the Outlander series. Enjoying audiobooks together could even become a new tradition; a special “just you two” activity you look forward to. A joint listen, like a record or an audiobook, can inspire hours of conversation, speculation, and connection.

Are you a couple that’s into shared activities? Toss a couple of adult coloring books into your carryon to make the plane ride more fun. A book or a DVD can be isolating on a long trip, but spending time coloring together might help relieve stress from the wedding, and may even provide some unexpected laughs. Another fun idea is to pass the What I Love About You Little Gift Book back and forth over the course of your trip. You can get your reading fix in, while sharing how much you really do love each other’s quirky ways.

The biggest perk of not bringing books with you on your honeymoon? You’ll have plenty of space to buy book souvenirs along the way! Toss a tote bag into your luggage and make it a game to get a new book from every place you visit. Perusing a phrase book or a local guide to the area together can be more fun (and interactive) than staring at your own books in silence. Let serendipity be your guide, not your preplanned reading list. With an open mind, and lighter luggage, you’ll be amazed at all of the ways you and your spouse can have fun on your honeymoon when you leave the books at home.

Originally published at www.barnesandnoble.com on January 20, 2016.

10 Must-Gift DVD Boxed Sets

DVD boxed sets provide fans with exciting behind-the-scenes details, expanded binge-watching opportunities, and often even charming and collectible keepsakes, which make them the perfect holiday gift. And as luck would have it, we’re living in the golden age for DVD collections. Whether your loved one prefers to time-travel in a TARDIS, learn about time and space, or be immersed a period drama, there’s something for every kind of film and television viewer in the sets featured below.

Doctor Who Christmas Specials Gift Set
If you’re looking for a new holiday tradition, look no further than the Doctor Who Christmas Specials Gift Set, which features every single Doctor Who Christmas Special to date, all in one collection. How genius is that? And what could be merrier for a Whovian than watching the Doctor battle Santa Claus himself? There’s even a Twelfth Doctor Sonic Screwdriver included, so watch out, Daleks!

Outlander: Season One—The Ultimate Collection
Go beyond genre and explore the romance, science fiction, and history-spanning adventure of Outlander. What began as a beloved book series is now a must-watch TV phenomenon (which returns for its highly-anticipated second season in 2016). With this collection, old fans and new converts will enjoy not only all the drama and romance of season one, but an extended version of episode 9, “The Reckoning,” deleted scenes, and a gag reel, as well as an engraved flask, a collection of set photos, and the show’s exclusive soundtrack. All this, plus the special Outlander Yule Log bonus disc, which will add a little extra festive spirit to the season.

Back to the Future 30th Anniversary Trilogy
Great Scott! Johnny B. Goode! Save the clock tower! There is no better celebration of nostalgia, time travel, and Michael J. Fox’s undeniable charm than the 30thAnniversary boxed set of the Back to the Future trilogy. This collection contains all three movies, as well as the documentaries Outatime: Restoring the DeLorean and Looking Back to the Future, along with plenty of additional must-see footage. This will surely be on every fan’s Christmas list. Throw in the YAHTZEE: Back to the Future Collector’s Edition and you will be on the Nice List for the rest of time.

Star Wars: The Complete Saga
All six epic films are included this definitive collection. With hours of extra footage, interviews, and spoofs, even the most well-versed Star Wars aficionado will find something to love about this fantastic box set. Put a bow on a few extra books, especially Aftermath, in preparation for an all day viewing party before the next installment debuts, and the Force will surely be with you this holiday season.

The Godfather DVD Collection
Don’t be the Fredo of your family this holiday season; make sure the film buff in your life owns The Godfather DVD Collection. These films have withstood the test of time, and the director’s commentary and behind the scenes footage will immerse you in the Don’s world. Enjoy the pinnacle of mafia storytelling and the legendary cast in this classic collection of movies that have influenced every organized crime film since 1972.

Fast & Furious 1-7 Collection
“This time it ain’t just about being fast,” it’s about getting this action-packed DVD collection for your favorite family members. Vin Diesel is at his best in this series, and the nonstop pace of each movie is addicting. You don’t have to be a car fan to enjoy these either; anyone who loves a buddy movie, who likes a little romance, or wants a good heist will love these. Michelle Rodriguez is the ultimate tough girl, and The Rock makes a few great appearances, so this truly is a film franchise for everyone.

Abbott & Costello Meet The Monsters Collection
Take two comedy greats and pair them with the legendary monsters Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolf Man, the Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and the Mummy, and you have a guaranteed crowdpleaser. Actors Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, and Lon Chaney Jr. reprise their famous monster roles for unexpected laughs in this genre-bending collection. The Abbott and Costello fan will love the commentary tracks, the comedy junkie will appreciate the laughs, and that impossible-to-shop-for relative will enjoy this a lot more than the sweater you were planning on getting them.

Foyle’s War: Complete Saga
This BBC staple is part mystery, part historical fiction, and part war drama all rolled into one. For the Downton Abbey fan who can hardly wait for the last season to air, or the Sherlock fan who needs more crimes to solve, the entire eight seasons of Foyle’s War will fit the bill. Satisfy your period drama needs with Foyle as he takes viewers from WWII to the Cold War, chasing down spies and solving international mysteries. This will quickly become the show you beg everyone in your family to watch with you.

Justified: Seasons 1-6
Over the course of six seasons, fans followed Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens as he dealt out cold hard justice. Now that the show is over, diehards can relive the experience with the 38 page Commemorative Book, the feature Leaving Raylan Alive: Making the Final Season, a gag real, and more than 24 hours of special features. Harlan, KY many be a place full of shady people, but you won’t get any shade from the person who receives this box set.

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Neil Degrasse Tyson isn’t just the guy who shares all those amazing science facts on social media; he is also the host of this much beloved National Geographic series that aired in 2014. Based on the book Cosmos, and a follow up to the 80s series of the same name, everyone who is even a tiny bit interested in space found themselves glued to their TVs whenever it was on. Relive all the graphics, the swirling planets, the time travel, and the jaw-dropping realism that surrounds our beautiful blue marble. This is a DVD set that is as eye-opening as it is thoughtful; a moon shot gift for sure.