Summer Reads

There is a temperate zone in the mind, between luxurious indolence and exacting work; and it is to this region, just between laziness and labor, that summer reading belongs. ~Henry Ward Beecher

There’s something magical about reading over the summer. Those long, hot days, sunshine aplenty, offer endless opportunities to read the hours away. As a child, I loved summertime reading because it was free from tests and quizzes, from discussions and reports. I didn’t have to *do* anything with what I read but enjoy it, picking and choosing what I wanted to read next, how fast or slow I finished it. That, to me, was the absolute joy of reading over the summer months. For someone who devoured books, those months offered the absolute freedom to read how and what and when I wanted. It was hard to find a greater joy.

During grade school and early middle school, books on my summer reading lists included the entire Little House on the Prairie series and every Nancy Drew book I could get my hands on. I loved being taken to exotic places (or at least locations more exotic than the Midwestern fields I was reading in…..) in between the covers of books like Island of the Blue Dolphins, Pippi Longstocking, or Misty of Chincoteague. Those years brought my first encounter with The Little Prince, fueling a lifelong interest in the book and its author. And I remember feeling very grown-up when I finally made it through Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. By high school summers, I was well into my romance novel habit, oftentimes finishing a book a day during the summer. The librarians in our small town library used to tease me about rereading them if new ones were slow to arrive on the shelves.

As an adult, my summer reading selections are even more eclectic, though my mainstay reads are my ever-present romance novels. But other genres make their way onto the reading pile as well. Michael Connelly books are regular favorites from the mystery side of the bookstore aisle. One of the benefits of living across the street from one of the largest bookstores left in town is a never-ending supply of new options, oftentimes fueled by the chance to hear and meet new authors as they pass through on book tours. Our shelves of autographed books — and often ones that we probably would not have picked up without having met the author — now fill more of my bookshelves than I ever would have guessed.

As for this summer? My reading is a bit slower than in previous years as other things are occupying that precious free time I normally devote to inhaling books. But the one sure summer read this year happens to take me back to a special location that I love, one that I haven’t had the opportunity to re-visit in a number of years. All because a new book in the series is just two weeks away, and picks up the story of a character from one of the earlier books. So, I’m back to evenings spent buried in the pages of old favorites, and anxiously awaiting new arrivals.

I guess that sounds like my typical summer reading after all……

What are you reading this summer?



Filed under Life, Reading

5 responses to “Summer Reads

  1. Oooo…I LOVED Little House on the Prairie. And Nancy Drew (although I think I loved the Hardy Boys even more). This summer my time to read has been at a real premium (like it is for you), but I’m re-reading Lord of Scoundrals by Loretta Chase at the moment. Next up is Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh. So I’m eclectic – but in a romance sort of way 🙂

    • You’ll have to share your thoughts on Kiss of Snow…. I’ve heard good things!

      And I know one of the books I’ll be closing out my summer reading with…. YOURS!! 🙂 Hold Me is already on my “Get in September” list!

  2. Thanks for reminding of books I need to read to my children. I read to my Girls, aged 4 and 5, daily. Oddly, my parents never read to me. Few things warm my heart like seeing one of my daughters sitting and reading a book by themselves (and no, they cannot actually read).

    I think Michael Connelly writes the police beat better than anyone else in the genre. I am also re-reading the Richard Sharpe series this summer by Bernard Cornwell.

  3. Okay lets see, I am reading…The House at Riverton, Pride and Prejudice, and To Kill a Mockingbird. Not to mention the three or four samples sitting on my e-reader that I should do something with! I must settle on one and finish it!
    I completely agree about summer reading…I love it. As a child I would get dropped off at our very, very, small closet of a library and would loose myself in it. There were times I think I was the only face our librarian saw that day. And don’t get me started about the summer reading program every year…I could fill up that page in no time flat! Books have always been my best friends. Words have always been my comfort, when I don’t write or don’t read I tend to loose myself.
    I have been blessed with a beautiful little girl, who would rather go to the book store then the toy store. She is quickly approaching the teen years and to quote her in one of my posts, “Mama, I just love books, I can’t help myself.” She makes my heart sing!
    So glad I found your blog and that you have been “pressed”, I will be back to read your thoughts often.

  4. Thanks for the great suggestions to add to my summer (and beyond) reading list!

    It’s lovely to hear stories about encouraging children to read. So often I see kids who never got hooked on the reading habit and feel bad for all the imaginary worlds they have missed! That’s so cool that you read to your kids…. what an awesome present!

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