Summer Reading?

So what IS summer reading exactly?

Lots of websites see summer reading as kid-specific, something to keep the brain active over the long vacation, or to get them ready for the fall term. If a school has a reading list for the summer, that just seems cruel. Isn’t a vacation supposed to mean no homework? Apparently not. Won’t this approach to summer reading make kids hate books more than they already do? Maybe. I hope there’s some choice involved, something to make the process engaging. I hope some kids who hate reading get at least a little break from the whole thing.

For those whose schedule doesn’t change for the summer, perhaps we should talk about vacation reading instead of summer reading. What kinds of books do people read on vacation? Fluff? Books that take more time or are more challenging? Some kind of combination?

I think of summer reading as reading I’ve been meaning to do but haven’t yet. Sometimes I know a book will absorb me in a way I don’t have time for when I’m not on vacation, so I save it for a spot when I’ll have the time to dive in. Sometimes summer reading means books that take more concentration. Then there are times when it is just fun to dive into some fantasy series and disappear to another world.

I don’t own a hammock or a muskoka chair, but those are the places I’d like to read a book in the summer. Maybe I’d change my mind if I did own such things, but I don’t think so. I’ve read books in a muskoka chair and it is always a good summer experience.

What about you? What do you think of when someone says “summer reading”?

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