August is over, Labor Day is past, and kids are back at school – there’s no denying it, summer is over. But many of the pleasures of summer linger, like summer reading, and I am not yet ready to let them go!
Last year I waxed nostalgic about summer reading when I was a kid, and lamented (and yes, vented) over schools’ required reading lists. I also celebrated some of the cool things libraries do to help make reading fun instead.
This year, libraries brought fresh fun to summer reading, for kids and adults alike. The theme was “A Universe of Stories,” and a bit of research revealed it spans many states through the Collaborative Summer Library Program . Their mission: “librarians sharing ideas, expertise, and costs to produce a high-quality summer reading program for children, teens, and adults.”
What a great idea. My local library took part. For the younger kids, there was the “Patch Power” quest.
Kids kept track of when they read, great library programs they took part in, and fun, creative things they did at home. All of it added up to earning patches. Here are two of many choices.
(I have to admit, my inner kid is kind of envious of those patches, especially the Epic Wizard…)
They had a separate program for young adults.
Teens kept track on a game board of reading, listening to music, taking part in cool library programs, and other fun things. They could go to an ice cream party, a potato chip taste-off, or an afternoon movie; they could also try out yoga, make crafts, or make cards for wounded veterans. A really excellent array of things to participate in.
I took part in the adult program. Lots of cool things to do and try, and there are stickers for achieving a set of things.
(Okay, my inner kid is unexpectedly strong: I wanted one of those stickers!)
By taking part, adults earned raffle tickets for gift certificates to things like stores, sporting events, local museums and public gardens, and theater tickets. I may not have earned one of the stickers, but the real joy was in expanding my horizons and trying some things I might not have otherwise. (And of course, reading some excellent books.)
Libraries weren’t the only ones finding ways to encourage reading. Bookstores big and small took part. Wellington Square Bookshop is a gem of a bookstore to stumble upon and worth traveling a distance to return to.
They had a special offer to help kids get the books they needed and wanted for summer reading. And to encourage reading all year long, they have book clubs and storytimes.
Barnes & Noble had a summer reading program, too. Up through August 31st, kids could keep track of any eight books they read in a journal and what their favorite parts were.
Then they could choose a free book from a nice selection B&N provided.
Even banks got into the program!
So summer and these neat programs are over. But the joy of reading goes on. I confess, I am still reading one of my favorite summer books! When I’m done, I hope to post a review of it on Goodreads. Stay tuned.
Happy Reading to All!