Mission

Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.
A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer Reading

This week is the first week of my summer break, and despite sizzling temperatures (the heat index has been 110 for the past two or three days) I've been spending time outside reading.  This is my decompression time, but I know from experience that time like this is as evanescent as a soap bubble, and will disappear as quickly.  I try to reach some kind of balance between "must" and "don't have to." After the urgency of the school calendar, and the pressure of grades and grading, preparing lessons, attending meetings, and getting up at 5:00 a.m. every morning, summer can come as a shock to the system, and I often have the sense that I should be getting something done every minute of every day.  How about just being?

Then there is my self-constructed, self-imposed summer reading list.  I would post my list today but I'm still mulling it over.  What is realistic?  I went a little crazy at the book store and with online shopping over the past few days--there are so many books that I really want to read, and they are literally staring me in the face.  Okay, I'm literally staring, and they are figuratively staring back.

And then I signed up for NetGalley, and there are several galleys waiting for me there.  Now I have to ask myself whether I want to invest in a Kindle or other e-reader, since I know reading entire books while sitting at my computer will probably get old really fast.  Still and yet, I'm excited about the books I signed up for.

What is on your summer reading list?  Do you go for "beach reads" or do you read the same type of books that you read the rest of the year?  Maybe you're like me:  I like to tackle at least one or two big, fat classics during the summer.  Then I will throw in a few quick reads (I think of this as "cleansing the palate"--it's like a sherbet course between substantial courses at a big meal).

Where do you read in the summer?  Are you a beach reader, or do sand and sun block distract you?  What's on your list?  I'll be interested in seeing what your list is like:  long and challenging, or sporadic and impulsive?  Tomorrow I'll share my summer reading list, and give you an update on how I plan to celebrate 100 followers (should be soon, don't you think?).  Hint:  there's a giveaway involved!

21 comments:

Jane Doe said...

I like to read big tomes during the summer. I'm outside doing nothing so often, it's a perfect opportunity to get through some of those big ones.

Shelley (Book Clutter) said...

It's so hard for me just to "be." I'm at least trying to prepare for a mellow summer by freezing ahead dinners, which I hope will give me more time to read. I hope you get some good reading in this summer!

Brenna said...

I enjoy mixing it up in the summer - get a few chunksters read in between the lighter reads. I also tend to gravitate toward more adventure stories than I would normally read.

As far as places, I like reading outside but I also love those warm rainy days when I can sit on the couch with tons of pillows and all of the windows open :)

Super said...

I just downloaded 13 books from NetGalley onto my new nook...when I requested them I didn't realize you only get them for a couple months. Hopefully I can find time to read all those! haha.

I used to teach, and I know what you mean about feeling like you have to be doing something productive all the time over the summer :)

Kals said...

I like mixing up classics, 'beach' reads and non-fiction. It usually works, though sometimes I've had the urge to go easy and settle for lighter reads. But summer is when I read most, so variety is important for me. Good luck for your summer reading :)

winstonsdad said...

i m reading arabic books for the summer :) ,all the best stu oh and don quixote of course

Kate said...

I also like mixing it up during the summer. I try and go for a few big reads, and throw in some fun stuff. I try and plan the really fluffy stuff for weekends I will be away and need something that requires little thought and much entertainment.

I like the idea of the sherbet cleansing the palate. :)

petekarnas said...

My summer reading list is massive, more than I could ever possibly get through. The bigger problem for me is that summer is the time where I travel back to the US and stock up on books for the upcoming year (I live in China and English books are expensive and hard to come by). With luggage allowances the way they are, it limits my buying to 40-50 titles. What to read, what to buy... I'll be posting my considerable "To Buy" list sometime this weekend.

Melody said...

My summer reading is usually the same stuff I read during the year, with a couple of biggies mixed in. I haven't decided what those will be; thanks for getting me thinking about it!

bibliophiliac said...

@Jane Doe: I try to get at least one big classic in each summer. I've read Anna Karenina, Crime and Punishment, Moby Dick, and Middlemarch this way. For some crazy reason, I plan to read Middlemarch for the 3rd time this summer.

Julie P said...

I don' really change my reading habits over the summer. I read, what I read, no matter what time of year it is. One of my favorite spots to read is the back deck--even when it rains I am still out there (as long as it's not too cold) because it is covered....

bibliophiliac said...

@Shelley: cooking ahead is one of my tricks for the school year-I cook all weekend and then don't have to cook during the week. I don't think "mellow" is in my constitution, but I keep trying!
@Brenna: the Passage and The Hunger Games are my "lighter" reads, even though The Passage is huge.
@Super: I feel like a kid in a candy store at NetGalley. How do you like your Nook?

bibliophiliac said...

@Kals-I will keep you posted on my summer reading
@Stu-Arabic! Well, I'm both intimidated and excited about Don Quixote!
@Kate-yes, I reserve the right to some fluff!
@Pete-I will be anxious to see your list
@Melody-thanks for stopping by!

Chelle said...

I was just looking at my TBR list last night. It was actually making me depressed! I decided that after my library pile is gone I'm not checking any more out for a couple months so I can tackle what's waiting on my shelf - a few classics, some YA and others by my favorite authors I haven't gotten around to reading. With the list out the window I'm actually excited to get reading!

Cozy Book Nook (Lesa) said...

Hi-- I've been wallowing in summer break almost a month now and trying not to panic over all my lined up projects that I have yet to tackle. So what have I been up to? Reading of course. I've finished more books in the last 2wks than in the last 2 months. I read everything no matter the season-- though I think of larger tomes as winter books.

I just saw Passage in the bookstore and wanted to read it-- hope the library has it.

Have a terrific bookalicious summer!

btw-- your blog looks more fabulous everytime I visit--love it!

:o)

bibliophiliac said...

@Julie-because of my teaching job I often am rereading what my students are reading, so I revel in the time and freedom to read what I want in the summer. I love to read on a rainy day and listen to the sound of the rain as I read.
@Lesa-enjoy your break! when do you go back? Thanks for noticing the changes to my blog!

bibliophiliac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bibliophiliac said...

@Chelle-I know that feeling; it takes the joy out of reading when you feel that pressure of the list sometimes! And I always want to approach my reading list with excitement, never with dread.

Iliana said...

I have somehow managed to agree to read quite a few Advance Review Copies. I'm excited about the books but now I feel like what about my books! So I may just be reading the ARCs all summer. I would love to get in some classic but we'll see.

Enjoy your free reading time!

Carina said...

I've got a crazy TBR list going on, so I'm putting myself on a semi-book-buying-ban over the summer and working on getting as much reading done as I can. I've started the Summer Slimdown challenge for that, so that we can get together and tackle our piles together!

As for what kind of books, I'm like you - I like to mix it up. I've got a few classics planned in, as well as some mindless beach reads. I'm also planning a theme month for mid-August to mid-July: I'll be posting a review a day for Ramadan, focusing on books that deal with Islam, Muslims, and/or related topics, both fiction and non-fiction. That should be interesting.

Kerry said...

I've actually stopped keeping a list at all. Well, I have an ever-growing list, but I try to read what I'm in the mood for/catches my fancy at any given time, so that I'm reading books at an appropriate time in my life/schedule/mood. If I force myself to do something at a given time, I often find that while I could like a book, I'm just not enjoying it now...

But in light of this, I do think my summer reads tend to be a be lighter (in subject matter, not page count).