Nothing is better than some good old fashioned summer reading!
The long, lazy days spending time in a lounge chair or hammock with a book in hand is truly what captures the spirit of the season in my opinion. I enjoy reading all year long, but there is something so special about summer reading.
As a kid I killed the summer reading challenges the local library hosted every summer. As if I needed more of an incentive to spend the day reading, the prize of a free book was too much for me to pass up.
As a teenager and college student my summers became a little more busy with working, activities and having fun with friends, but I made a point to set aside time to read during those busy summer days.
As a teacher, summertime became my time to read books that were on my own reading level. Not that there was anything wrong with the standard fourth grade classics but it was nice to read something with a little bit more of an exciting plot that involved characters my own age.
And now that I’m a mother I am adamant about setting aside time for myself to read all year long, but I’m even more adamant about setting time aside THIS summer to dig into the humongous pile of books I have been waiting to read.
The to-read list will always be long as I keep discovering new books to read, there will never be a time where I have managed to read everything I want. That’s a good thing though because the thought of running out of good, quality books sounds like my worst nightmare.
Even though I will always have more books to read than time to actually read them all, I don’t let that hold me back. I read when I can find the time and I make it a priority in my day. With summer now upon us it’s time to to pull out those books and get to reading but to be really intentional with our time, we have to do a little planning.
I know, I know… it feels like it could take away the spontaneity and magic of easy summer reading. But just like all areas of our lives, if we don’t make a plan to be intentional there is a good chance you could be wondering what happened to all of your summer reading plans at the end of the summer.
Making a plan for intentional summer reading really isn’t all the intensive but it is giving yourself some room to think about what you would like for your reading goals to be. Are there certain books you want to read/have to read? What does your free time look like? How will you get the rest of your family reading too? Where will you read?
So how do you make the most of your summertime reading? Here are some tips to consider to when making your intentional summer reading plan.
Make it a priority and Schedule it in
If you want to read a stack of books only you can make it happen. You have to make it a priority. Just like with any other activities you have planned for the summer, if you want to make it happen you have to treat it like a priority. One way I do this is everyday I set aside time to read and I protect that reading time like it’s sacred. Making it a priority brings me to my next point…
Schedule it in
While summer days can appear to be flexible and relaxing, if you have kids who are involved in activities you already know that some of your days are already booked. Scheduling in reading time each day is one way to guard that time you have deemed as a priority.
Some practical ways to schedule it in could be reading aloud during lunch with your kids, set aside quiet time where other electronic devices are off limits (unless you are reading on your Kindle!) or just simply always having a book with you to read when you get a few minutes.
Get the whole family on board
Want to encourage your kids to read too? Model it!
Show your kids what you are reading and why you are excited about it. Visit the library or bookstore together and pick out a few books you could all read together, either as a read aloud or, if your kids are older, as a book club book. If your library has a summer reading challenge, enroll them and even make a special family reading challenge to motivate everyone to read more.
My current stack of reads
Create a dream reading list
I keep an ongoing reading list. Every time I come across a new book I want to read, I add it to my Amazon wishlist. My library’s webpage also has a great feature where I can add books to my “For Later” shelf if they carry it. Currently I have over 150 books on both lists, that’s a lot of books! More than I could realistically read this summer, so I scan the book titles and…
Widdle that into a realistic reading list
Obviously it’s not realistic to read a ton of books in my current season but I do set my goal high. I already have several books already outlined to read this year but there is plenty of room to add more titles. I also tend to read more fiction in the summer.
For me my summer reading goal is 3 non-fiction and 4 fiction. Hopefully I will read more but this is a good base to start from. Take a few minutes and set your own summer reading goal too.
Create a reading space
If you don’t already have a designated reading nook, space or chair in your home, perhaps creating one can be a summer project. Currently my big brown reclining rocker with an ottoman, where I also nurse, serves as my reading corner. My book basket is near by, so whenever I have a spare minute I grab a book and sit in that chair.
We also have an outdoor lounge chair on our patio that is perfectly covered in shade in the hot summer afternoons. Many weekends I find myself sprawled out on there with my book, hat, and iced coffee (my cool beverage of choice). Neither one of these are an elaborate space and we didn’t even set them up specifically to be a reading nook, they are just comfortable places to lounge.
Find a place that is cozy, comfortable and enjoyable to spend some time sitting in and reading. Set it up to make it optimal for reading. Do you have a basket for books? A lamp for better lighting?
Sounds simple enough but we can get so caught up in the little details or other fun activities of summer that we forget to just slow down and read.
Keep a book, or two, handy and just read. I always keep my Kindle app loaded with books on my phone so whenever I’m caught waiting anywhere I can pull it out. Make it a habit to not leave home this summer without a book, either hardback or electronic.
Who else is looking forward to a bit of summer reading too? Share what your summer reading goals are in the comments below.
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