What does Summer Reading mean to you?


So I was thinking about what I might talk about in today’s post and the lovely Liz Nugent (author of Unravelling Oliver, a fantastic book for any time of the year) suggested Summer Reading. I mean what is that exactly? We see it all the time “Beach reads” and its time for “Summer Reads” as if that means something completely different to anything you would pick up the rest of the year round.



It seemed to be a day for it yesterday, earlier in the day Matt Haig (author of The Humans and we all know how much I love THAT one) was asking “What are your biggies this year” when it comes to Summer reads. I gave two books in response – Only Ever Yours (Louise O Neill) and We Are Completely Beside Ourselves (Karen Joy Fowler) – but I realised later that I had quoted these two simply because they were the ones that immediately sprang to mind when I was thinking about the great books I’ve read LATELY. Not because it was Summer…




My reading habits do not change over the year. I can’t say I notice a plethora of books coming out around Summer that are significantly in one genre or that there is suddenly a difference in cover art to reflect the season – so what exactly ARE Summer Reads. Perhaps, like in the movies, it is the time for the “Blockbusters” –  the literary version of the latest superhero movie or the latest thriller – but as a reader I think that passes me by. Yes I like to read the “biggies” – at the moment I’m deep into “Broken Monsters” by Lauren Beukes which is one of Richard and Judy’s picks of the Summer, but I read the big releases year round. Are there more of them in the Summer? Perhaps. Its all in the marketing I guess….




So I posed the question to myself. What does Summer reading mean to YOU. I think the closest I came was considering those novels that I have in my hands but choose not to read immediately – but to pack in my suitcase and take away with me on my holiday. Surely then, I hear you ask, those would be called “Holiday Reads”. Yes. True. Perhaps Beach reading is easier to clarify – for me, the book I take to the beach has to be an easy read, preferably not a tome as I have to carry it in my bag, although in the world of the Kindle and E-reader that is not so much of a problem – and one that doesnt need much brain power but is fun and engaging. Hey I’ve cracked it! But no, wait, last year on the beach I read Stephen King’s “The Stand” (again) which is both a tome and needs a certain concentration level to enjoy. So thats not it…




So it seems that for me, Summer Reading is simply defined as books I read while it is Summer. Which could really be anything. Publishers and publicists like to tag books “The read of the Summer” and that actually works on me it has to be said. I’ll take a close look at those and see what takes my fancy. In the end though, a readers “book of the summer” is subjective and based on the type of novel they read year round. I imagine that is so anyway – or am I wrong? Do people head out of their comfort zones for the Summer? Try a new country try an entirely different type of book? Its an interesting concept.  Hey what about this one?





So my apologies but I can’t really answer the question logically. With that in mind I’d like to pose two questions to anyone reading this article today.

1) What does Summer Reading mean to you?

2) Which book do YOU think will end up being “The read of the Summer”?

Do comment or tweet me @Lizzy11268 with your thoughts. And in the meantime, whatever you choose to read this Summer – ENJOY!

Happy Reading Folks!


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2 Responses to What does Summer Reading mean to you?

  1. Caroline says:

    Great post.

    I tend to read a bit more in the summer than in winter. Possibly something about the longer, warmer days but I do wonder whether or not the idea of a ‘summer read’ is mostly a marketing tool which is probably not aimed at voracious readers anyway.

    I think my reading habits do change a bit during the holidays though. I’m off on holiday in less than two weeks and I love thinking ahead and planning what books I intend to read while I’m there. If I read something great while on holidays it usually adds to the experience for me.

    I think ‘what’ I choose to read in the summer is a result of shallow decision making though. Crime thrillers and sci-fi are often on the cards because the books themselves are typically smaller paperbacks that can be nestled easily into the handbag. Outside of that choice, I’ll often pick the bestsellers that I think will be easy and ‘page turning’ reads- 3 summers ago I read all of the Stieg Larssons Miliennium series on a two week holiday. So, you might be on to something with the summer read as ‘blockbuster’ idea.

    • LizLovesBooks says:

      I DO tend to think of it in film terms yes. A Blockbuster book being THE read of the Summer. And thinking on it, after the summer is over, there is sometimes one book that EVERYONE seems to have read. I agree on the shallow decision making – you don’t want to be overly clever while on holiday!

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