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Spring Break Reads: 10 Free Short Stories to Fit Any Vacation

Free reads for your cross-country road trip, week in Cancun, journey home or however else you’re spending your time off.

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Spring break exists in part for young people to be young, to go on wild trips to Mexico or have the opportunity to return home and veg out. It’s a chance to refresh from the day-to-day monotony of school before you have to push through the long stretch to summer. But more importantly, spring break is an opportunity to finally binge-read whatever the hell you want to read, rather than what’s been assigned to you.

Now we’re not going to tell you what to read, but as fellow book-lovers, we’d like to recommend a few free short stories that would be perfect for a variety of spring breaks: the staycation, the trip to Cancun, the reluctant family vacation, etc.. These online reads are sure to be entertaining even if your break doesn’t exactly fit any of these archetypes, so feast away, readers.

1. Longing for a Hook-up? Read “Three Things You Should Know About Peggy Paula” by Lindsay Hunter

With all the free time, it’s hard not to fantasize about having a short but steamy affair during spring break. The best thing about “Three Things You Should Know” is that it feels like a line of gossip or a word of warning for anyone who ever even mentions the possibility of hooking up with Peggy. Whether you read the story feeling akin to Peggy or wanting to meet her, in the end, the story gets to the core of what it means to feel lonely. It might (just might) serve as an example of how not to self-destruct from your affairs.

2. Going to Cancun? Read “Mexican Manifesto” by Roberto Bolano

You’re probably looking forward to abandoning your winter coat and lying on the beaches of Cancun, to an early taste of summer, a few dozen pisco sours, the thrill of Mexico. We get it. But for a more authentic portrait of Mexico, try reading Bolano’s depiction of the bathhouses of Mexico City. “Mexican Manifesto” is a very odd story, full of steamy romance (pun intended) that will be sure to expose the hidden face of Mexico City and the country you’ll hardly see at any resort. Plus, it’s a story about pleasure, intoxication, uncertainty and all the adventure that falls in between.

3. Embarking on a Family Vacation? Read “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor

Family vacations can be hard to stomach when everyone else you know has hitched a ride with friends to wondrous, exotic locations. So what if you’re going on a family vacation to the same old place you always go? At least it can’t ever be as bad as the trip in O’Connor’s tale. In this classic short story, a family goes on a long road trip to Florida and is subjected to the snoring and begrudging comments of their cat-carrying, drama queen of a grandmother. Of course, there’s also the ever-looming threat that a killer on the loose known as The Misfit might be driving in the same direction they are….


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