School’s out, and a bathing cap is the new balaclava. It’s time to relax on the deck, turn up your Summer Slow Jams ’03 mix, and sit back with a good book. Whether it’s a Snapple and a sci-fi thriller, a coconut water and a comic book, or a lemonade and literature, I think we can all agree that reading away the summer might be the best. Idea. Ever. Not only are the days longer—providing us with extra natural light to read just one chapter more—but reader snobbiness (were it an actual measure) would decrease (I’m sure) by a whopping 40% during this laid-back season. So go ahead, read your tell-alls, exposés, fan fiction, and canine memoirs—I’m sure I have a similar stack supporting the snorkel and bottles of SPF 900 in my beach bag. Or simply stick to your favorite genre, and read all the novels you’ve been socking away for vacation. Read on to find even more reasons why summer is a wonderful season to be a reader.
1. You can read partially clothed without admonishing stares
Let’s be frank: lying supine on your grandmother’s old blanket in the middle of the park in a visor and your underwear would be looked down upon in most cities. But this is, essentially, what we all do every weekend between Memorial Day and Labor Day. As long as you remember sunscreen and water and take frequent frozen yogurt breaks, no one will hassle you. It’s summer, after all!
2. No judgment
During the summer, we all turn into one of three kinds of people: those who want to be underwater, those who want to throw a Frisbee with their dog, and those who want to read. There is no cross-camp judging, and there’s certainly no intra-camp judging. You can read what you want, where you want, and however you want, because everyone is focused on attaining their own specific brand of relaxation. Even if you reread your favorite Sweet Valley High novel at the top of your lungs at the beach, I promise no one will bat an eye. The only whistle-blowers during this leisure-filled season are lifeguards.
3. It’s often part of vacation
Whether you do it on the plane, train, or squished in the third seat of a minivan next to your snoring toddler, reading can mark the start of vacation season. And it’s part of the end of the beginning and the beginning of the end too. For readers, a vacation simply means reading in a new place, surrounded by new people. We look up only if there’s a bookstore to explore.
4. Paperbacks can be air conditioning in a pinch (and a hardback bookcover can be a sunhat!)
Books help us transcend our daily lives, inform our decisions, and inspire us to dream and to learn. But they can also become tools if we use our imaginations. Getting caught without a book in the summer is like being stranded on an island without a conch shell to control a boisterous group of schoolboys—don’t let it happen to you! You’re a survivor!
5. If your nose is always in a book, you can save some money on sunscreen!
If your face is constantly covered by a book, you can ward off badly intentioned strangers who might want to blow off steam by throwing a pie at you, protect yourself from ferocious licking puppies, and, of course, shield your delicate skin from the sun! Reapplying sunscreen is simply a bore—keep on reading instead!