Like most of the Smack Dab bloggers who posted this month, I looked forward to summer reading all during the school year. This was back before schools put out lists of worthy books to read on vacation. For me summer was a time to read whatever I wanted and especially to indulge in obsessions.
One summer it was the Bobbsey Twins. A bad sunburn kept me at a shady picnic table while the rest of my family was enjoying Sunny Bridge Lake. My consolation prize was a Bobbsey Twins’ title picked up at a nearby discount store (remember Two Guys?). Once I read one, I had to read them all. Luckily my library had them on the shelves. I don’t think my mother would have been willing to spring for 50+ books. When I ran out, I simply re-read my favorites.
By the next summer I was ready for what seemed like more grownup fare—Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, followed by series like the Borrowers by Mary Norton (a series I still happily re-read every couple of years) and the Little House books.
I didn’t confine myself to series – sometimes it was an author who inspired by obsessions (like Marilyn Sachs in sixth grade) and I didn’t stop until I had read every book of his or hers on the library shelf. Some 2-3 times.
Even in high school, I happily left The Grapes of Wrath and The Great Gatsby behind to dig into cheesy romances in the summer months.
Summer reading lists are a great, and it thrills me to no end to find my own titles on them, but summer should also be a time to let kids read whatever they want. Not because it’s good for them, but because it’s fun.