Summer Binge Reading

Reading an article about summer reading I came across the felicitous phrase “summer binge-reading.” I’m not sure the hyphen needs to be there, so I took it out in my title. Let me give you the context:

“I had discovered the pleasures of summer binge-reading when I was twelve or thirteen, in the public library and its many shelves filled with science fiction and apparently endless supply of mysteries by Agatha Christie.”

I read this sentence and was instantly transported back to summer reading in my parents’ basement. Please understand that my Afamily lived in the South of Southwestern Ontario, in a city where one drove north to get to the Canada-US border crossing. Really. It was humid in the summer, humid like a swamp, probably because the city was built on a swamp, one the French settlers called Grand Marais. The only place in our house that was cool was the basement. It was still damp down there, but cool and damp, not sticky hot and sweaty. In the basement was a large yellow recliner. I’m not sure what it was made of, but lets call it fake leather. It got kind of sticky in the summer. When I was 12 and 13 I spent all possible moments of the summer in this chair in the basement reading library books and eating potato chips. This drove AMom a little crazy. “It is sunny and nice out, why aren’t you outside instead of stuck here in the basement?” “Too hot,” I’d mumble, eat another chip, and turn the page. Of course I wasn’t stuck in the basement at all. I was off on some adventure in space or in another world.

This is what I think of when I think summer reading. Now I know what my summer reading expectations are. Lots of books from the library, a large chair, and a cool spot to sit. And potato chips.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Summer Binge Reading

  1. Phebe

    When I think of summer reading I think of being stretched out on my bunk at camp, reading for an hour or half the afternoon, depending on the schedule. A certain dorm at Lowry Family Camp is in that memory…
    I also think of our house in Arnold, MO (4 y.o. through end of grade 6). Summer days were always too hot to be outside in the afternoon, so Sam and I would ride bikes or roam the neighborhood until too hot or too hungry. Then we’d go in for lunch and immediately disappear to our rooms in the basement until sought out by a parent demanding we work. I don’t remember having much of snacks in our rooms though, unless the morning bike ride took us up to the Tomboy grocery store and we spent our own money on candy.

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