This week, Bedside Reading begins its 20th season of placing complimentary books on nightstands in hotels and inns around the South Fork. Beach totes filled with books are delivered to hotel partners on 10 select summer weekends, kicking off Memorial Day weekend. Sexy beach reads, riveting thrillers, engrossing memoirs and fun children’s books are all part of Bedside Reading’s summer program and throughout the season, Bedside Reading will offer events like book signings and giveaways, virtual and in-person author meet-and-greets and more.
It all began on May 26, 2002, when Jane Ubell-Meyer and a friend started placing bags filled with exclusive products and books on the Hamptons buses traveling to and from New York City. Called “Buzz Bags” the company was the first of its kind to monetize the concept of gift bags, which quickly spread to Hollywood and beyond. The program eventually evolved to the summer reading program offering a season full of beach reads.
The Memorial Day weekend tote bags will include titles by Suzanne Simonetti, Willow Rose, Laura Munson, Donna Schwartze, Zibby Owens, Amanda M. Fairbanks and several others. Fairbanks, a Sag Harbor resident and author of “The Lost Boys of Montauk,” will be one of four authors taking part in a Bedside Reading book signing on Wednesday, July 21.
“We are so excited to be kicking off our 20th season with such a fabulous lineup of authors,” said Ubell-Meyer, founder of Bedside Reading. “Who knew that when I launched ‘Buzz Bags,’ we would still be here 20 beach seasons later. And we are excited to announce our first summer book signing event to take place on July 21 at the Lucille Khornak Gallery in Bridgehampton with authors such as Amanda M. Fairbanks, Laurie Gelman, Deborah Kruszewski, and others. This is all very meaningful and special to me because I vacationed in the Hamptons every summer when I was a child.”
Bedside Reading books are complimentary and can be found in East Hampton at The Baker House 1650, Mill House Inn, The Maidstone Hotel, and Huntting Inn; in Southampton at the Southampton Inn and White Fences Inn Water Mill; in Bridgehampton at Topping Rose House and, new this summer, MARRAM in Montauk. Complimentary tote bags of books can also be picked up at the Lucille Khornak Gallery while supplies last.
“Bedside Reading has been a great partner. We love their books, which always add to the experience we offer our guests,” said Dede Gotthelf, the owner of the Southampton Inn. “We are thrilled with our relationship and look forward to many more seasons.”