Devoting the last days of summer summer to reading can seem like a wonderful, relaxing way to enjoy the waning season. It seems easy, too. All you need is a pile or three of books, and you’re set. Unfortunately, it isn’t quite that simple. Life tends to get in the way, and before you know it, Labor Day is here and you’ve hardly made a dent in your August reading list. To avoid that nightmare, here are some light-hearted suggestions for how to devote the last days of summer to reading.
Read on vacations.
August is often a time for family trips. These can be spendy. Your books can save you quite a bit of money on tickets, food, souvenir mugs, and t-shirts that read, “My guts didn’t erupt on Mt. Vesuvius, Volcanic Roller Coaster of Doom.” Send your family on their merry way each day, telling them that by you staying back at the hotel pool, there will be more money for back-to-school clothes. The term “back-to-school” will send them running away from you at high speeds, leaving you to settle in for hours of uninterrupted time with a good book.
Read on camping trips.
After a full day of adventures and taking in nature’s beauty, wouldn’t it be nice to snuggle into your sleeping bag and have another adventure in the world of your novel? Go ahead. You’ve earned it after slathering sunscreen on wiggling kids, shooing bees and shushing screams during lunch, and removing a leech and shushing screams after the family swim. To make reading time after everyone in the tent has fallen asleep, turn on your headlamp and the headlamp you’ve hung over the crossbar at the top of the tent. Allow as smile to spread across your face as you sink into your pillow and pick up where you left off. When your fellow tent-mates wake up and protest, point to the headlamp hanging from the crossbar, tell them the moon has come to visit, read Goodnight Moon aloud once, then instruct them to go back to sleep. Return to your book and read to your heart’s content.
Read on rainy days.
Even hot, sunny August has its share of rainy days. When thunderstorms send everyone scampering indoors and you can’t curl up, sip tea, and enjoy your book, organize a game of hide and seek. When everyone else is wriggling into hiding spaces, it’s your chance to grab your book, make a quick and quiet exit, and go hide in the library.
Read on sports fields.
Summer sports wind down in August, but this tip will help you deal with what’s left and get set for fall sports. It’s hard to read with coaches and kids making noise and other parents trying to strike up a conversation with you. The best way to get in your book fix is to step into the role of team parent. In this leadership role, you delegate all the tasks you don’t want. Then, at each game or practice, conveniently forget the things you were supposed to bring, dramatically announce that you’ll go get the stuff because you care about the team, and then drive to a secluded, shady place and get lost in your book.
Read on the beach.
Ah, the beach. This is the classic summer reading location. Lying on a towel can be uncomfortable, and any children who happen to be with you can seriously limit your chance to read. To get around this so you can get into your book, challenge the kids to, rather than build sand castles, build you a lounge chair complete with an umbrella and beverage holder. Show them how very proud you are of them and how much you love what they built by sitting in it and reading for the rest of the afternoon. You wouldn’t want to hurt their feelings by not using it.
Late-summer reading is serious business. Each and every book on your to-be-read list offers adventure, escape, emotional rides, new awareness, wonderful people, and more. Summer is about enjoying life. Books are about enjoying life. For the best summer ever, all the way through August, slip into a good story whenever you can.