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?