After a busy year of schoolwork, you might not love the idea of picking up another book, but it’s important that you read more than instagram captions over the next couple months.
Reading for yourself is a different experience than reading for school; don’t conflate the tedium you may have felt trudging through The Odyssey (nothing against Homer) with the joy of flying through a series like Harry Potter or Game of Thrones. Sure, summer reading is a great way of preparing for the ACT/SAT verbal section and improving your writing and reading skills in school. But it can be so much more than that: with the right book, you can dive into a topic or story that you find fun and exciting to learn about.
Here are some tips for finding the right book(s) for you:
1) If a novel feels daunting right now, try a collection of short stories. Not only are they quick to get through, short stories are great examples of how to write in a concise and powerful way, which is a good model for your own writing. Check out this list of short story collections or google a topic or genre that interests you + short story.
P.S. my recommendation on this year’s LogicPrep Summer Reading List is also a quick read!
2) Find something you are actually interested in. Again: this is summer reading, NOT school reading (although I know some of you might have that as well). Don’t be self-conscious about your choice or pick something just because everyone else is reading it or it looks impressive. This is similar to the advice I give students when they are trying to pick a topic for their college essays: go for what you actually care about, not what you think you should care about.
If you love sports, check out something like The Art of Fielding, or Paper Lion: Confessions of a Last-String Quarterback. If you’re interested in business, maybe pick something off Fortune’s list of recommendations. If you secretly believe (or wish) magic is real, check out Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, The Night Circus, or (if you haven’t already) Harry Potter. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan… read it!
3) Don’t rule out non-fiction. There are some awesome books about history that are a lot more fun to read than your history textbook, and many famous artists and celebrities have written books or have books written about them. Love The Bachelor? How about Courtney Robertson’s I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends. Fan of Jay-Z? Read his book Decoded. Or how about Mindy Kaling’s collection of short essays: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
4) When it comes to summer reading (in my opinion at least), any reading is better than no reading. Check out essays in Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, or The New Yorker. Instead of just binging the best new television series (full disclosure: I just watched all of Good Omens on Amazon in a sickeningly short amount of time), spend some time imagining your own version of a world or story.
* Disclaimer: I haven’t read all the books mentioned in this post because not all of them are in my wheelhouse...but maybe they’re in yours, and you can fill me in on your favorite read when I see you in the fall!