Now, Summer is a wonderful time of year for a number of reasons…the warm weather, the fact that a lot of places put their feet up and relax…and, of course, there is no better time for the average book lover. While the typical pose for book-reading is curled up in a chair with some tea and a blanket (preferably while it’s raining or snowing outside), I would like to present the case that summer is, in fact, the best time for book lovers.
1) The Great Outdoors
I love reading inside as much as the next person, but there is a special allure to expanding my space for reading. When I’m home, I set up a chaise lounge in the front lawn and read to my heart’s content. This year, I have high hopes for the ENO hammock that a dear friend bought me as a graduation present. There is nothing quite as wonderful as reading in the warm sun while a breeze gently blows through your hair.
2) The Time
While this year I have a 9-to-5 (well, 8-to-5) job, in past years I’ve made summer a prime time for relaxing. This mostly means the opportunity to read all the books I’ve wanted to read, but couldn’t, over the course of the year. If I’m feeling brave, I’ll take a try tackling my Goodreads to-read list. Of course, it’s also a perfect time to reread the Harry Potter series, or some equally time-consuming task.
3) The Books
Especially for those who don’t have a chance to read throughout the year, vacation time is also prime time for book-buying and book-reading. I mean, what else are you going to do under your umbrella at the beach, gawk at the beautifully bare-chested men? This is a perfect excuse to buy all the books you want to buy–just mosey on past the James Patterson beach-reads section and feel free to read what you want to read! Or, if James Patterson beach reads are your thing, read them unabashedly.
4) The Book Money
Em and I tend to work at least part-time during the summers…and, since we’re lucky enough to have wonderful parents, that money tends to go into book-buying funds (or travel funds, or whatever). Anyways, point being, summer jobs are not only good for the resume, they’re good for the book fund. And, if it’s your money, you can spend or save it any way you want. Like on books.
5) The Library
For those of you who don’t have book funds, or summer jobs, there’s an equally fantastic opportunity at hand–your local public library! I used to go to the library every few days during the summer, not only because I could, but because the local library had a great selection of YA that I loved browsing through. Especially if you want your book purchases to count, the library is a good place to go. The librarians tend to be able to steer you towards some really wonderful books if you ask, or you can pick a book from the shelf at random without worrying if you’re going to regret your purchase later.
6) The Back Porch
The wonderful thing about being from the South is knowing that, no matter where you might happen to be, there’s a porch close by–ideally screened-in and with a porch swing, or at least some extremely comfy lounging furniture. Sweet tea is optional. Is there any better place to read a book than on the back porch on a warm summer’s evening? Nope. There is not.
7) The Neapolitan
Every year right around this point, I’d pull out my chaise lounge and bikini and try to tan. And, inevitably, my mom would snicker about my ‘neapolitan’ legs–I’d inevitably grab a book to read while tanning, and then just as inevitably stay on my back and keep reading the entire day, leading to legs that were tan on the front and pasty on the back. This year, I plan to own it–who says anything has to be one color, anyways?
8) The Drinks
The book-lover knows that, when curled up in an instagrammable pose reading over the winter, coffee, tea or maybe hot chocolate is the only drink for a good binge-read. In the summer, our choices are far more varied. Southern-style sweet tea pairs perfectly with a romance on the porch, or maybe try some orange juice and sparkling water when reading an elegant fantasy novel in the sun. Over 21? Try a chilled beer with a gritty action novel, or maybe sangria for a more magical story.
9) The Unabashed Reading
Maybe you have a secret love of paranormal romance. Or maybe you want to actually read that classic you just got the sparknotes for in high school. Go for it! One thing I love about summer is that, unlike the rest of the year when people at least pretend to be focused on jobs and schoolwork, summer you’re expected to relax. Summer isn’t just for fancy vacations and iced coffee–it’s a time to treat yourself in any way that you feel like, and a good book can be the perfect treat, no matter what it is.
10) The Camaraderie
Since Em and I go to school in different places, summer is usually the only time we’re able to really spend time together. While we’re still going to be in different places over the summer, we plan on making the most of the time we do have to hang out. But hanging out with friends doesn’t have to mean an endless round of coffee shops or tanning–why not swap books, or talk about all the pros and cons of that one MC in that one series. Or just spend an afternoon reading together? I promise you, it’ll be an afternoon well spent.