There’s nothing like the long hot days of summer. A whole six weeks to do whatever you want without interruption. That means you get to read whatever you like, for as long as you like. If the weather’s good, you can stretch out on a lounger with a book in your hand or lay a blanket on the grass. You can let the story seep in under your skin. You can swim in whatever seas you find there.
But what should you choose? With so much time on your hands you could try something different. You might find you like it. You might get taken to places you never expected and if you find a book that really isn’t for you, it’s not such a problem. You’ve got time enough to read another.
And your local library will be running something called The Record Breakers Summer Reading Challenge, which you can sign up to. They can suggest books for you to try and they might even have events like the one I’ll be attending in Brighton on July 11th. it’s called Brighton Rocks Books and it has 14 different authors attending in a single day where we’ll be talking about our books and giving readings so you can hear them for yourself.
Of course, you might be going on holiday and that’s an opportunity to read even more books than you would at home. When I go on holiday I choose my books very carefully. I like to take books that have something to do with the place I’m going to, although sometimes I do the opposite, like reading a book about the Arctic while I’m in a really hot place.
My new book, My Name’s Not Friday would be perfect to take to the States. It’s an historical novel about the end of slavery and the Civil war. Or what about Jane McLoughlin’s The Crowham Martyrs, set in a creepy boarding school, somewhere in a small English town? Perhaps you’re going camping? Perhaps you’ll pitch up in a field far away from civilization? Lisa Heathfield’s Seed is set in a new age community close to nature, where everything that Pearl has grown up believing about her life is soon to change.
Perhaps you don’t like family holidays at all? Tatum Flynn’s D’Evil Diaries can accompany you on a trip to Hell and back. And if you need to remember what’s it like to have friends and a life, you can always take Jenny McLachlan’s Love Bomb or one of the Jessica Cole, Model Spy series by Sarah Sky. And then there’s Nikki Sheehan’s Who Framed Klaris Cliff or Jess Vallence’s new book , Birdy.
I could go on. I really could. But you get the idea. There’s a whole lot of books out there waiting to be read. So have a great holiday.
I have to have a book (be honest, several books) on the go all the time, all year round. So why do I look forward to summer reading so much?
… Sitting in the sun and losing myself in a book I just can’t put down – and it’s too hot to do anything more energetic.
… Saving up a book I’ve been really looking forward to until I’ve got proper time to spend with it, and knowing that I’ll have something wonderful to read.
… Getting recommendations from friends, borrowing books, picking up something random in a bookshop or the library, and generally stepping out of my comfort zone.
… But also being a bit self-indulgent and totally staying in my comfort zone, reading what I know I’ll love! Sometimes that means rereading an old favourite.
… Collecting my books into a tempting heap, and trying to decide which one I feel like reading first.
… If I’m going away on holiday, finding books that are set in the place I’ll be visiting, whether it’s a remote Scottish island or touristy Venice. I don’t mean factual or guide books, but a great story. Or three. That really gets me in the mood for the place and often shows me things about it I’d never know or notice otherwise.