Summer Reading

Summer is a wonderful time for reading.  Rick sits in a mesh-bottomed inner tube and floats in the pool, book in hand.  I read in the living room, with a CD playing ocean waves or burbling streams or bird song.  Rick and I both love to read, and we have different tastes.  He likes heavy history texts and political and military thrillers.  My reading tastes are more difficult to describe.  I just finished Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. Both terrific!

I tend to read a non-fiction at the same time I’m reading fiction.  I switch back and forth.  It’s a rare book that has me glued from page one to the end.  Partly because I have very dry eyes and can only read for a few hours before I can’t see.  Very frustrating when you’re into a good book!  And there are sooo many great books. 

Most of the books Rick and I finish go on the hearth. When friends are over, they can take their pick.  We had a stack a few days ago, and they’re already gone.  Makes me smile to think how many hours of entertainment we’re providing others.  And then later, we benefit again from discussions about what we all liked and learned from the stories. 

We both have Kindles, mine on my phone, which means it never gets used.  (The “big one” is in the closet.)  And though Rick has a fully loaded library on his, he uses it primarily to read the Oxford English Dictionary.  We both like the weight of a book in hand – and take frequent trips to the local bookstore – or order on Amazon.

I’m a slow reader, but like the tortoise, I keep plodding along to reach my yearly goal of a minimum of 25 books, each with notation of whether it’s non-fiction, fiction, YA, devotional, ARC (advanced reader copy) or manuscript.  So far this year, I’ve read 30 – all good, each with a unique “voice”.  And that doesn’t include research books (about 10 of those so far for an upcoming project).  Or reading the Bible each morning.  (Best reading there is, btw.)  I guess you can tell reading is one of my favorite pass-times. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not always buried in a book. I watch TV.  But I don’t have the same sense of “accomplishment” when I’ve spent an evening in front of the flat screen, even when I’ve chosen programs wisely (which sadly doesn’t happen often enough).  I learn from every book I read. Some have me taking notes.  I have three type-written pages from Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal – Medicine and What Matters in the End, and kept putting sticky tags on interesting pages in Sy Montgomery’s Soul of an Octopus.  (I can’t wait to go to an aquarium and see one from a new perspective!)

Right now, I’m into Kent William Kruger’s ARC of This Tender Land.  Outstanding! It comes out in September.  I’ve pre-ordered a hardbound copy for my “keeper” shelf.

Someday, our children will have the joy of going through our library of books.  A treasure trove for them, we hope.  They’re readers, too.