Alpine library of the Gasthof Hirschen, Bregenzerwald, old alpine style
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Books for the Slopes

What to read on the Slopes

Apart from the excitement of being out on the slopes all day – your ski holiday packing list should include a few good books – nothing beats a terrific page-turner curled up in front of a cracking fireplace – hopefully in one of our Alpine hotels of sheer ski appeal.

Curating our reading list for the next ski holiday was not an easy task - we couldn’t find a good skiing reading list anywhere. Books for beaches, sure, but not for hitting the alps for ski – so with the comfy interiors of our hotels in mind – we put together our very own little list of what to read on the slopes – which post your ski & Raclette would have to be racy to hold off that snooze under the watchful eye of the stag’s head.

This moment deserves a good book and besides, they also make a great companion on the ski express train - destination the Alps.

While not an exclusive reading list by any means, these are a selection of ski-holiday inspired books that we would enjoy taking away with us to the slopes. Some books are about the history of skiing itself, some evoke the freedom and joy found in grand experiences in the open, and some are just classic gripping reads. Enjoy.

Two Planks and a Passion

by Roland Huntford

Written by one of the world’s leading authorities on polar expeditions, this incredibly insightful work, Two Planks and a Passion, chronicles the advent of skiing. 

From its emergence 20,000 years ago (long before the wheel) to its continued presence over the course of later human history - and its argued influence in World War II - this is a hugely interesting work that will make you look at the carbon fibre planks on your feet with a greater understanding and stronger appreciation.

The Times Literary Supplement called this epic work “skiing’s definitive history for years to come,” so, if you enjoy history books, this is surely the one for you.

Two Planks and a Passion - book cover, books read for the slopes, Alps

Into the Wild

by Jon Krakauer

A powerfully moving non-fiction, Into the Wild follows American college graduate, Chris McCandliss, aka ‘Alexander Supertramp’, as he shuns society and ventures deep in to the Alaskan wilderness on a journey to find truth, beauty, understanding, and himself. 

Poignant and compelling, it discusses a search for a freedom found in nature that is near impossible in today’s world.

The flight for freedom, however, could possibly be part way understood in a physical sense while breathing clear, cool, Alpine air and soaring out towards breath-taking mountain vistas on a pair of trusty skis.

If not, (as is quite possible) then this is still a wonderful thought-provoking read that we would be more than happy to take on holiday with us.

Into the Wild book covere, alpine book list for ski holidays

Mountains of the Mind

by Robert Macfarlane

Punctuated by meditations on his own climbing experiences, Cambridge Fellow and famed nature writer, Robert MacFarlane, fills this inspirational read with rich accounts of the cultural and literary histories concerning mountains. He traverses how early geologists helped transform our perceptions of mountainous wild and chaotic landscapes and how their potent beauty still now has a powerful grip upon our minds. Exploring geology, the pursuit of fear, the desire to explore the unknown and the drive to get to the summit, this beautifully written book is a moving meditation on the mysticism of the mountain, and is a fantastic book to accompany you skiing.


Mountains of the Mind by Robert Macfarlain - book cover, books, reading list for ski holidays in the alps

The Grand Budapest Hotel

by Wes Andersson

Written as a film script for the popular 2014 film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, the story is based around a writer going to visit a popular European ski resort, and its Grande Dame hotel that has fallen on hard times.

A humorous whirlwind of a story, it will make you grateful for your peaceful time away, the beautiful (and definitely not crumbling) hotel you are staying in, and will keep you occupied in the evenings (when not après-skiing) with vivid imaginings on the ski slopes.

The Grand Budapest Hotel -  Perfect ski holiday read, books for the alps, and the slopes,


by Ian Fleming

After smuggling many tons of gold bars out of England and in to vaults in Switzerland, Goldfinger plans his most dangerous heist yet – robbing all the gold from impenetrable Fort Knox.

Not a particularly Alpine or skiing based book, no, but an easy, entertaining read that has a base in snowy Switzerland and lets you look down from on high to an imaginary landscape in which 007 is traversing the snow on cross country skis, possibly with a beautiful woman or two in tow.




Gold Finger book cover - books for the Alps, James Bond, ski, reading list, adventure, what to read in the alps

If the sight of a well stocked library get you settled, than check out more of our creative hotels of style - where culture is at their heart - THE CULTURE KIDS.


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