Ever since a main part of my employment included teaching college classes, I have really gotten on board again with the idea of summer being, well, pretty awesome. Also, my kids are a great age now for traveling, exploring, and watching fun movies, so I don’t sit there thinking, “I’d really like to see you back in school.”
Don’t get me wrong. I love teaching classes, and I simply adore–ADORE–fall activities, but I will mourn the end of summer. One of the reasons for that is the end of several months of breaking from my rigorous writing schedule to read and edit older work.
Now, reading is an integral part of every month of the year for me, but in the summer, it’s less about getting through a TBD pile and more about picking books that appeal to me. A retelling of Scheherazade? Bring it on, The Wrath and the Dawn (Renee Adhieh). Another retelling? Come to my Kindle, A Thousand Nights (E.K. Johnston). I’ve also caught up with some of my daughter’s favorites: Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell (Chris Colfer) and Story Thieves (James Riley).
Is that all? Of course not. There’s fare such as The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt)and The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood) in there as well. But this could take all day, so let me tell you three things I’m doing at the end of the summer to keep that sunny sunshine feeling going throughout the year…
Don’t forget to read for pleasure. My life has been littered with bouts of higher education, book clubs, and research, but one thing I’ve found is that once or twice a month, I need to walk through the library or a book store and pick something that makes me feel so excited to put my nose in a novel. Because if you always tell yourself you can’t have a cookie, you forget how good they taste!!!!
Don’t forget to keep a “best of” list. I can’t tell you how many times a friend has asked for a recommendation, and my mind does the worst thing! It blanks! How is that possible? Maybe because there are a million books squeezed up in that brain, but if I’d just keep a genre-based list of my favorites, how much easier would it be to steer someone immediately to a perfect fit read?
Don’t forget to give back: review the author’s work. “I loved it!” “I couldn’t put it down.” “This is my favorite book!”
It’s great to pass on a word-of-mouth recommendation, but authors NEED reviews. And if you really love a book, then you should let the writer and other readers know why it worked for you. There are enough trolls out there hating on books, so give your favorites a boost. And if a book was so-so, be willing to say why in a way that’s constructive, humble, and introspective.
And read on! 🙂