I have an embarrassing nerd confession: whenever summer rolled around, I started to feel breathless excitement. Was it over the prospect of swimming in the pool for hours? Nope. Did I mark down the days to our family vacation? Not really. Did I eagerly listen for the sound of “Pop Goes the Weasel” from the ice cream truck? Well, yes, because chocolate icecream, but it wasn’t my primary anticipation.
While all those things were awesome, my favorite thing was the summer reading list put together by the local library. (Of course I am not talking about the school reading list…yuck. Nothing kills the pleasure of something faster than by making it an obligation.) It always had the BEST book recommendations, and, as if that weren’t enough, they fed my competitive streak by letting us set summer reading goals. And you got cool swag (aka fancy pens) if you met them.
So, of course I did it. One year, I exceeded my goal, so I set a new one. I was a few books short, so I did a marathon read day (which I recommend, because, well, it is awesome), and my mom gave me a Wishbone stuffed animal for crushing my goals the way the Hulk crushes, well, everything.
What does this have to do with you? Make your own summer reading list. You may decide to buy yourself your own swag if you wish (I still love pens). But how do you decide what goes on it? I have some ideas.
- If you want to write in a certain genre, read all the major books in the genre.
- Similarly, read obscure books in the genre.
- Read books that are outside of the genre you want to write in.
- Read books in a genre that you have never read before.
- If you like to read fiction, read non-fiction (or vice-versa).
- Read writing books.
- Read books from a time period that you are not familiar with.
- Reread your favorite books.
- Read poetry (because nobody does).
- Read a different newspaper (as long as it is legitimate).
- Read graphic novels.
- Read books that you always intended to read.
- Read books that are considered “classic.”
- Read books that have been written this year.
- Read a book by a debut author (psst…this means it is her first book).
- Read children’s books.
- Read books that scare you (whether it is Poe or Ulysesses).
- Read short stories.
- Read whatever you want.
Basically, push yourself out of your comfort zone and have fun. You can’t really go wrong! The more you read, the better you will be. And isn’t that the goal? Speaking of which, I do encourage you to make one so you can give yourself a gold star or a pizza at Pizza Hut (but Book-It happened during the school year, so I am mixing things up a bit) when you meet it!
What books are on your summer reading list? Tell me in the comments below!