Most summers, I don't think to undertake any specific seasonal reading project, though I encounter plenty of talk about summer reading in the various book media I follow. I usually have a bit of time to read on airplanes during the summer, but other than that, my reading habits aren't much different from the rest of the year.
However, when the great podcast Books on the Nightstand announced their summer reading bingo challenge, it struck me as such a fun idea that I immediately decided to participate. The podcast hosts, Ann Kingman and Michael Kindness, have come up with a set of book categories and plugged them into a bingo card site that lets you generate a card with a random selection of categories. Each card is likely to have one or two genres, such as "science fiction" or "cozy mystery", descriptions of story elements ("set in another country"), ideas about where to get recommendations ("that you saw someone else reading"), and some esoteric items like "with a red cover".
For more details, visit the BOTNS blog. Ann and Michael have defined "summer" as running from Memorial Day to Labor Day. By the time I listened to the episode and printed my card, it was a couple of weeks into that period, and I was pleased to discover that I could already fill in several squares. So far, I'm finding that my card has enough categories with enough breadth that I've been able to match every book I read to a square, with the exception of one that didn't fit any category.
And yes, I've read a fair number of books since Memorial Day. It turns out that 2014 has continued to be my readingest year since childhood. At not quite halfway through the year, I've read nearly as many books as I did all of last year. This can be almost entirely attributed to engaging in far less writing and revising. Since my own books have been in the querying and planning stages, I've had a lot more time to enjoy books by other people.
I want to be sure to fill up at least one line of my summer reading card so I can score a bingo, but I'm more interested in seeing how much of the card I end up covering. I'll report back at the end of the summer. In the meantime, consider getting started on a card of your own!
Good Stuff Out There:
→ At the New York Times Opinionator blog, Pamela Erens pays tribute to The Joys of Trimming: "What the editor thought would take me a few months ended up taking me two years. Every time I changed one scene of the novel in order to get it in line with the new idea, something else called out to me to be changed too. I eventually rewrote the book from first word to last. Strikingly, all this revision made the manuscript shrink."