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What, When, Where, How, and Why of Summer Reading

What are you reading this summer? Do you set a goal for the number of books to read? How do you select the books in which you want to invest your time? Why make time to read over the summer? When do you read, while on vacation, during the evenings while your favorite show is on hiatus? Don't overlook where you read- creating the right atmosphere can positively impact your success. Options include a regular visit to the library, bringing a book to the park, or creating a reading nook in your house? Let's create a plan to take advantage of this time of year.

Over the years, the amount of time I've been able to devote to reading has fluctuated based on the season we were in with our family. The younger the child, the less I was able to read in part due to self-regulation. When I'm in the middle of a good book, I can become a neglectful mom, so I had to learn how to pace myself—more on how I found time to read and cultivate bibliophiles in a future post. Realistically review your schedule to see how much time per day or week you can devote to reading.

Typically, I have more free time over the summer. Still, it is easy for me to overestimate the number of books I can read during a vacation, sort of like going to a buffet- a good one, and seeing an endless selection of your favorite foods. Ultimately, a large pile of books leads to procrastination and only reading a fraction of what I intended to read. I have so many

memories of bringing five books on vacation and finishing one. So, I had to create limits for myself. I start with three books over the summer. Usually, they're in different genres, different lengths, and fulfill different needs in my life. Selecting one book that will cause spiritual growth, one personal development, and another to make me laugh clarified why I was reading. So, on the days when I'm less motivated to pick up the book, I go back to my why.

What are your three categories? Even with the genres, finding books can be a challenge. The plethora of options can be overwhelming, and it can be hard to know which reviews to trust. If you have friends with similar reading appetites, start there. Most platforms offer suggestions from librarians’ choice or bestsellers to pages or threads on various social media platforms if you are looking for suggestions. I’m a fan of Good Reads and have received great tips there. If you aren't easily intimidated, you can follow your friends, make a list of the books you want to read, and follow your favorite authors.

Now that you know what you want to read decide how you want to access the book. Do you prefer a physical book, an eBook, or an audiobook? How to intake the information is purely personal preference, and you do not have to qualify it in any way. You aren’t trying to pass a test or reading comprehension class. Whichever modality works best for you is the right one. Is there an author who you want to support by purchasing their book? Are funds tight, and you need to rely on the library? Do you have several credits from the beginning of the pandemic when you joined a subscription plan? Maybe that’s just me. Regardless, decide how you'll intake the information. One of my favorite modes currently is an audiobook! I know, they don't work for everyone. For years, I didn't care to have a book read to me either. Sometimes the narrator spoke too slowly or with a twang that was unappealing. Other times I zoned out while listening. Admittedly, it's easy to do, but how often have you read the same page over or dozed off while reading? Now I listen while doing something- household chores, walking, driving, or taking a bath. If you haven't tried audiobooks in a while, revisit the concept. You may rediscover a love of reading.

When will you read? Carve out time. If you commute, incorporate the books on the drive; if you get in a daily walk or run, alternatively, you can spend the first and last 30 minutes of the day with your book. Once my children were past a nap phase, we had reading time after lunch. Everyone grabbed a book, found a comfy spot, and read for an hour or two.

You know why you’re reading, selected what genre of books - maybe a few titles, how you will access them, figured out when and where you will read them ~ Voila! You’re ready. One additional perk of summer reading is the summer reading program! There are tons of them from your local library, bookstore, reading group, or social media platform. It’s fun to win a prize! So come back next week to join our reading challenge. Any books that you read (or listen to) between Memorial Day and Labor Day count!

Be sure to share what you're reading in the comments. You never know who will benefit from suggestions.

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