Sunday, May 24, 2009

Summer Reading Habits

This week over at Weekly Geeks there are two questions. The first concerns Memorial Day, but since I am not in the US and it is not a holiday here in Canada, I chose the second -- how does the change of seasons affect your reading habits? There were a couple of questions within this theme:

Do your reading habits change over the summer? Do you choose lighter fare? What do you enjoy to take to the beach, for example?

Summer doesn't cause a lot of change for me -- I am generally a mood reader so I can suddenly be taken with the urge to read "beach books" in the depths of winter or bleak and wintery Russian novels in August. There is one thing I find, however: I always think I'll have tons more time to read in the summer. I rarely take holidays over the summer so there is no reason for this belief -- I guess years of following the school schedule has trained me to think of summer days as longer and more carefree, nonetheless. So I have great, if unfounded, hope for lots of reading being done!

What is the ultimate summer book?

I don't know about an 'ultimate' choice, but I read Janice Kulyk Keefer's The Ladies' Lending Library in the summer of '07 and found that to be a great summer read. It is set at Kalyna Beach and takes place over the summer weeks that a community of women spends at their cottages; really timely and it just feels like summer.

What are your favorite travel guides -- official or unofficial guides?

Well, again, since I don't get away much, one guide I've found that is tons of fun is Lonely Planet's Guide to Experimental Travel. It's all about travelling where you are. Very quirky and fun.

Well, although I've just said that changing seasons don't affect my reading habits, I have been making a tentative plan for my reading this summer. I've been feeling an urge to do some rereading, and think that I will dedicate this July & August to just that -- rereads of books I first read years ago. I'd really like to tackle Watership Down, LM Montgomery's Emily series, Earth and High Heaven by Gwethalyn Graham, some Thomas Hardy or Virginia Woolf (probably The Waves) and whatever else strikes my fancy. I've just finished rereading the fantasy novel The Labyrinth Gate, a true comfort read for me and a return to some familiar writing. I love all the new books I've been discovering but want to revisit some old friends as well. Does anyone else try to balance new releases with older ones -- either rereadings or just finally getting to items on the TBR? Or does that element matter to you?


  1. I am a lot like you in the sense that I read by mood, not by season. I tend to go back and forth between new books and classics. Once every couple of years I get to feeling very scholarly and I will try to read some of the books that I feel like I "should" read. After a few of those though, I am usually ready to come back to some modern-day writing. I also vacillate that way between fiction and non-fiction.

  2. I read by mood not season as well, and re-read quite a few old favourites or books I want to give a second chance.

    Thomas Hardy and the Emily books are both dear to my heart, certainly worth re-reading!

  3. I remember enjoying reading Bridget Jones on the beach. And I loved reading Frances Mayes' Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany outside during the summer.


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