How to Make a Positive Summer Reading List

Taking time to read is one of the great pleasures of the season. Here’s how to make it extra meaningful this year.

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Posted in , Jul 6, 2020

Summer reading list

“Reading is a discount ticket to anywhere,” said the journalist Mary Schmich. This year, the power of a book to transport us to distant times, places and ideas is more salient than ever. Selecting books to fill your summer reading list is a joyful task, but it can be hard to know where to start. 

Positive reading habits are a year-round pleasure. But in summertime, we have the chance to dive into reading in a way that’s almost (almost) as refreshing as a dip in the pool.

Read About Positivity Itself
Not everyone enjoys self-help or inspirational titles, but chances are, there’s a book out there that can help you progress toward whatever goal you’re working on this summer. As the weather beckons us outdoors, and we feel drawn to the more spacious, calmer pace of summer, there must be a devotional, a memoir about an author’s positive living journey or even a fitness or food book that will keep you feeling encouraged, inspired and committed to making positive change in your life.

A few of my favorites are Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea, Dorothy Sucher’s The Invisible Garden, and anything by the nature-loving poet Mary Oliver, especially her collection, Devotions.

Extend Your Reading Hours
A peak summer experience for me is to sit outside with a simple lunch and a good book. I love reading non-fiction, but in the summertime, I am drawn to novels. Getting lost in a story is the perfect thing to do in fits and starts throughout the day—a chapter here, a few more pages there. Longer days are a hallmark of summertime. How many of those extra hours can you fill with reading?

Challenge Yourself—and a Friend
Many local libraries organize summer reading challenges. In my town, kids earn the chance to receive a free book if they log enough reading time. Why not set yourself a challenge that can be both fun and motivating? You can make it time-based, or you can pledge to make it a 1,000-page summer (or 5K, or 10K, for that matter!). Even if you’re not in an organized book club, it can also be fun to keep tabs on reading with a friend. Maybe when you each finish a read you can reward yourselves with a book swap? The possibilities are endless, the challenges worthwhile.

What’s on your summer reading list? How did you select it?

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