The Sunday Salon: Summer Reading

The Sunday Salon

One of the things that I love about our library is its Summer Reading Club. For the most part, it’s the usual set-up for the kids: read a certain number of hours, be eligible for prizes (with fun activities interspersed throughout the summer months).

Betty is like me when it comes to summer reading. Each year, she sets her goal even higher than the year before – so much so, that sometimes she needs some reeling in. 

“This summer, I’m going to read 400 books,” she announced.

Now, Betty’s the type of 11 year old who, if she read a mere 399 books when her goal was 400, this would be a travesty. The world would need to stop on its axis and disintegrate. So, while I told her that 400 books would be awesome, I also had her crunch the numbers to learn that this translates into a minimum of 36 books per week, or at least 5 books per day.

She has since revised her goal down to a total of 200 books (or: 18 books per week, 2 books per day).

On the other hand we have Boo, who is ready to take a page from the Jaden Smith playbook and file for emancipation from me if I dare to suggest once more the notion of reading during the summer. He would happily spend the next 11 weeks reading the credits of his favorite TV shows. (To be fair, he also does a fair amount of video creation and story writing. But his reading and language arts skills need a big boost and I’m feeling that we’re past the “let him read what he wants” stage. He’s not on par with his reading, I’m afraid.)

So, we’re doing Summer Reading at the library. What I love about this is that our library also offers a Summer Reading Club for adults.

Yours may also. Many do. It’s just that this is the second full summer we’ve lived here and the idea of an adult summer reading club makes me feel like I’m 5 years old and back in the Free Library of Philadelphia checking out as many books as my mother and I can pile in her yellow Volkswagen Beetle for the drive home.

This is absolutely my thing. I could care less about the prizes. (Yeah, they give prizes to the grown-ups too!) In reality, all we do is track our books on the library’s website and submit (optional) reviews, which – hello! – is kind of what I already do here, but gimme another place to track and make lists of my books and I’m in!

My only problem is that I am freakin’ inundated with books and review deadlines right now. The Summer Reading Club’s theme this year is “Dig Into Reading” which feels rather appropriate. You should see the piles beside my bed. There’s no difference between my night table and a pallet of books at Costco.  I’m in the midst of reading The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell, which is so damn good. Absolutely loving this, and it’s probably going to be among my favorites for 2013.

Big Book Summer Reading Challenge

Library summer reading programs not your thing? Then consider signing up for the 2013 Big Book Summer Challenge, hosted by Sue Jackson who writes the blog Book by Book.  This one is so easy, you guys. All you have to do is read one book of at least 400 pages this summer. One book!

Usually I’m overly ambitious (wonder where Miss “I’m Reading 400 Books This Summer” gets it from?) and I make a big ol’ list, but this year, there’s only one that I’m committing to definitively. That’s Andre Dubus III’s The Garden of Last Days. He has a new novel, Dirty Love, that comes out on September 30 which I’m reviewing for my new gig with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Before doing so, however, I want and need to catch up on his previous work. (Self-promotion alert: my first published – and paid – review was in the paper this week.)

What do you have on your summer reading list?

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One thought on “The Sunday Salon: Summer Reading

  1. Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

    I would love a summer reading program for adults, if only to get a better sense of who in my community is an avid reader and what kinds of books are popular. I was pretty awesome at summer reading programs when I was a kid though. I got a lot of free personal pan pizzas (the usually prize for our program, I can’t remember the name).

    I read the first chapter of The Other Typist last night and it seems like it is going to be super good.

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