Saturday, May 28, 2011

Summer Reading...and Writing

Summer books and catalogues, travel articles, barbeque recipes, lists of best sellers-for-the-beach, screens filled with free downloads for your I-pad or kindle...our choices are many. But for a children's writer one of my favorite summer reading pastimes is spending time, often hours, reading the titles and books displayed in book stores for children for their summer reading.

I have favorite bookstores at the shore, in Cape Cod and Maine, in the North Carolina's Blue Ridge, at the national parks of the west by our canyons and natural wonders, and in the mountains of Wyoming, as well as the big chains. Suddenly the store displays change from the school year offerings to books about a day at the beach, birds and shells of the shore, animals of the particular region and their habits and habitats, the geology of the area, summer sports, crafts...the children's choices are many too.

Each year there are great new books on summer subjects for kids. And of course the books that support the summer reading lists, but wonderfully there are new books that offer children the delight of good story that is not required reading.

What a treasure trove for the writer too, to check out what's new and have the books spread out before you, with the variety of title, story and illustration in living color, instead of scrolling down a screen. It's a pleasure as well as an opportunity to research some of the current offerings for children, and especially to see what's chosen by the booksellers in a particular section of the country.

It's exciting to review the books and equally exciting to feel a charge of incentive to get home to start to write that new story or to begin again to revise an old one. Unless you get started you will never have the possibility of seeing your own book displayed with summer reading.


  1. Eileen,

    You mention favorite bookstores - in July I'll be anxious to see if my favorite little indie in Maine is still there. Their window display is so inviting! This summer, as usual, I'll do my best to help keep them in business.

  2. For me, no stroll down the Ocean City boardwalk is complete without a stop at Atlantic Books, and this weekend was no exception.

    And how I loved listening to one teenage girl tell another what a great writer Libba Bray is as they looked over BEAUTY QUEENS. I wanted to tell them I agreed, but then they would know I was listening!

  3. Gale,

    It is fascinating to peruse the wares in summertime bookstores but enticingly expensive too!


    It is fun to eavesdrop in bookshops - carefully!