There are many reasons why people read. We read to learn about things we know nothing or little about. We read to be persuaded. We read to be entertained. Sometimes we read to escape our lives, if only for 20 minutes. Of course, most of us experience all of these things at least a little bit when we read–we learn, we’re persuaded, we’re entertained, and we escape for a little bit.
With summer approaching, it is a great time to indulge yourself in simply fun reading. Sure, you may pick up a book about how to grow tomatoes, or how to can, or how to travel in whatever city you may visit, but June through August is also a superb time to give your brain a little summer respite.
We all need to give our brains a break to improve our mental health.
Remember when you were a kid on summer vacation from school? No homework and no waking up early. It was one of the best parts of childhood–the freedom from rules and routines. This summer, consider reading books solely for the fun of it. Here are some ideas to help:
1–Read a book about a location you love. If you love the beach, read a beach book. If you love mountains, read a book set in the mountains. If you love Chicago, read a book set in the Windy City.
2–Read a kid’s book so that you can feel as you did when you were a kid. Even better, read a book you LOVED when you were a kid. Is it just as good now?
3–Read a book that is funny and light. Has your favorite comedian written a book? If so, check it out. Kevin Hart’s I Can’t Make This Up or Dear Girls by Ali Wong may be the books you need to set the tone of a fun summer.
4–Read a book about something you loved when you were a kid. Did you watch Sesame Street as a child? Maybe check out Sonia Manzano’s memoir Becoming Maria or Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis.
5-Lastly, don’t forget the importance of reading something that exposes you to a part of the world or the lives of others which you had no idea existed. There is nothing more fun than a good read like Crazy Rich Asians that also helps increase our empathy and broaden our cultural horizon.
Adapting this mindset also helps reinforce modeling for any younger readers in your life. They will see you reading for fun, and as a way to unwind, and they will be more likely to do the same. Don’t forget to let us know what you are reading this summer so we can add these books to our list!