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When I was growing up, the library Reading Program was always a highlight of the summer. Our family frequented three local libraries, and I remember participating in each library’s program at some point in childhood; there were a couple of summers that we managed to do more than one! It was exciting to turn in those checked-off sheets of paper each week and receive an official stamp on my reading journey log, all leading up to the big prize reveal at the end of the summer. Reading was a favorite pastime year-round, and receiving rewards for doing something I loved was just the icing on this book lover’s cake.

As an adult, I still enjoy participating in our local library’s Summer Reading Program; how cool is it that our library extends the prize-giving to teens and adults too?! The program adds (unnecessary) incentive to read more in the summer, but beyond logging my books on our biweekly library visits, my reading life changes little in the summer. I continue to read widely, at every opportunity, and my book selections have more to do with my moods and whims than the current season. Our family rhythms are different this time of year, so my reading involves fewer school-related read-alouds. But I’m still reading with my kids. We’re still doing Quiet Family Reading Time every day after lunch, I’m still maximizing the reading while I’m at the gym and during the kids’ playtime and naptime, I’m still pressing play on audiobooks while I fold laundry or scrub toilets, and I still read every evening before I turn in for the night.

If internet hype is to be believed (doubtful) I am alone in the normalcy of my summer reading life. Apparently Summer Reading is a thing. My email inbox is overflowing with Summer Reading Guides from my favorite book bloggers and podcasters. Amazon and Goodreads want to tell me about all the best Beach Reads of the year. Even my library’s Featured Books shelf is promoting Hot Summer Reads, with sandy shores and beach umbrellas on every cover.

So I’m wondering: what is your approach to summer reading? Do you read differently this time of year? Are you choosing different books? Reading at different times and in different spaces during the day? Are you paying careful attention to the books you tote to the pool or beach or on your family’s summer vacation?

To get a little more specific: what is your approach to the ubiquitous Summer Reading Guide? I’ll never turn down a good list—especially a book list—and I enjoy reading through the many guides that come my way each summer. (The lists from Anne Bogel and Sarah’s Bookshelves are especially well curated.) However, I’m not quick to jump into reading the lists’ recommended books. After reading through the guides, I add intriguing titles to my Goodreads TBR, which is the list I reference when perusing books at the library or on Libby or Hoopla in search of a next-read book to fit current reading mood. If I know a title may have a long library waitlist, I might place an especially enticing book on hold. For the most part, those Reading Guides are a reference point for book selection rather than a list I feel the need to complete. But I’ve heard of readers who make it a point to read every title of a favorite reading guide. If that’s you, I would LOVE to hear about it! How do you get your hands on every title, and what do you do about books that may not fit your reading taste?

It’s fun to think through what summer reading means—or doesn’t mean—for all of us. Whether this is a distinct time in your reading life, or business as usual, I wish you many blissful reading moments and all the best books this summer!

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