Douglas James Troxell
Is summer reading still a thing people do?
It's tough to judge people's relationships with literature sometimes when you're an English teacher. I just assume people read because I often see people reading, but those people I usually see reading are reading because I forced them to do so. Usually if people are waiting for something or just hanging out they're trolling on their phone so passive reading is nearly extinct. People really have to go out of their way to read a book nowadays.
I was pleasantly surprised how many people I saw reading on the beach this summer. There was a smattering of people sitting under umbrellas reading books while their children were pulled away by the undertow and that made my heart feel good as a writer...not that their children were drifting away on the ocean currents but that people were reading who weren't forced to do so. I tried to peek at what people were reading and it was the usual stuff (Patterson, Clancy, King, Cornwell, etc.), but I was just glad to see people with their noses in a book.
I usually grab a couple books from our school's MEDIA CENTER (We're not allowed to call it a library or else the library police will come and force us to hire a licensed librarian...) that look interesting so I can make recommendations for my students in the fall. For that reason I end up reading a lot of YA during the summer and I usually try to read something fun or something that's been waiting on a shelf for a long time.
I was still completing my Lord of the Rings marathon at the end of June so once I finally finished Return of the King I started on my summer reading books. I read...
1) After the Snow (a teen boy tries to find his family in a future world where a new Ice Age has descended)
2) Tomorrow, When the War Began (A group of Australian teens fight against invaders during World War III...it was terrible and I never even finished it)
3) Brian's Winter (Sequel to Hatchet...read it in a single day)
4) Malice (a cool mix of a novel intertwined with a graphic novel...awesome idea)
5) Under the Dome (still reading it so the jury's still out)
I'm not sure where this idea that there's more time in the summer for reading came from (It's a flat-out lie), but I encourage year-round reading, especially when one of my novels is finally published. It'll be the perfect read for all seasons. Just read damnit!