The Joys of Summer Reading
Spring has sprung/The grass has riz/I wonder where/The nearest bookstore is . . . Every spring, as the snow begins to melt and the trees begin to bud, I become impatient for sunny summer mornings spent taking in the view from my balcony while I fuss over the brightly coloured blooms in the window boxes , sip steaming hot cafe-au-lait from a mug the size of a washbasin, and get my nose into a book.
I love the freedom of “summer reading.” Even the phrase suggests fun and and a certain degree of frivolity. With the first hint of summer the meaningful literature and scholarly tomes get pushed to the back of the shelf and out come the fun books: spy thrillers and detective novels, otherworld fantasies, works of horror and science fiction, all peppered with a healthy dose of breathy romances with dubious historical settings. Come summer and sunshine I want to be entertained.
When my children were much younger I would visit the local bookstore on the first weekend of summer holidays every year, haul out the trusty Visa, and purchase a copy of each of the top ten best sellers. July and August would then be spent blissfully reading my way up from Number 10 to Number 1 between the summertime Mom activities of threading marshmallows on toasting sticks, arranging search parties for missing frogs and putting bandages on scraped knees. And, oh the joy of settling down by lantern light with a good piece of pulp fiction after all the little campers were safely zipped into their sleeping bags for the night!
Most writers of my acquaintance spend almost as much time reading as they do writing. Books, after all, are what got us here in the first place. Samuel Johnson (British author, 1709-1784) is reported to have said, ” The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading. In order to write, a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” Almost every horizontal surface in my home has reading material of some sort on it. My grandmother used to say that when I ran out of books to read I would pull boxes and packages out of the kitchen cupboards to read the labels. Today I carry a paperback with me everywhere I go, because you never know when you may have just a minute or two to read.
So, if we happen to run across one another some time this summer, just sitting back and watching the water lap against the river’s edge at The Forks, or standing in line at the BDI waiting to order a pineapple upside-down . . . I’ll be the one with the book .Mela Foxallen