Submitted by swalzer on

If you've been struggling through (or just plain avoiding) your school's assigned Summer Reading, don't despair. You can make the best of it by focusing on making choices, such as when and where you will read.

Some of the most powerful books I've ever read were assigned for Summer Reading. A few examples:

Life-changing classics. But truth be told - even when I ended up loving a book, the absolute worst part was getting started. Once I got over the injustice of it all and actually started reading, I even found The Grapes of Wrath to be fascinating (though most of my classmates would vehemently disagree). However, at over 500 pages, the book stared me in the face for the first half of the summer, taunting me.

The point is that even librarians, reading advocates that we are, understand what it's like. Yes, even avid readers have trouble when it comes to assigned Summer Reading.

What can be done? In order to make the best of it, focus on the choices that you do have, which include when and where you will read. Most importantly, look for the book in the library catalog as soon as possible. There may be a wait list. 

Tips for readers:

  • Start now! When it comes to reading, you really can't rush through it.


  • Stay positive with a Summer Reading Mantra: I have to do this, so I will do it to the best of my ability.


  • Set goals in small increments. If you set time goals, rather than page goals, you can read at your own pace. For example: "I will read for one hour each day." If you're really getting into the plot, keep reading. If not, stick with the hour and you'll be done before you know it.


  • Find a comfortable, quiet place to read, where you will not be distracted (turn your phone off or change it to silent). We have lots of comfy chairs at the the library! If you'd like to read outside, find a quiet park bench or set up a beach blanket away from noisy groups.


  • Set a routine. Set your reading time for the same time each day. Choose a time when you know you will be home, before or after camp/work/etc. Mornings or evenings are popular times.


  • Find a reading buddy. If you have friends who also need to get through their summer reading, meet up and read together to motivate each other.


  • Reward yourself. When you're finished with your book, do something fun as a treat!

More Summer Reading tips:

For parents helping kids

For teens