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Summer is for Reading!

One of my favorite things about summer is the summer reading programs. Free books and other goodies await those who take those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer and lose themselves in the pages of a good book.

Unfortunately, most summer reading programs are only for children. A few local libraries have rolled out adult versions over the last few years, so check your area and see if you've got one. Otherwise, make up your own! Yes, the book or reward won't be free, but the challenge will still be fun!

Here's some ideas for making your own summer reading challenge:

1. Set a goal number of books.

This could be a book a week, a book a month, or even just managing to finish a book at all! (Although, if you aren't a reader, I do wonder how you ended up on this blog...)

2. Set a goal amount of time.

Several children's programs challenge them to read 10 hours over the course of a summer. Now, most of us can accomplish that in a single day (or night) if the book is good enough, but you get the idea. Figure out how much you want to read per day and multiply that out by the number of days in your summer. Be sure to give yourself some leeway.

Example: Shooting for 20 minutes a day from June to August?

20 min X 5 times per week X 12 weeks = 20 hours.

3. Set a goal variety of books.

Maybe you want to take this summer and spread your reading wings a bit. Choose a non-fiction, a new sub-genre, maybe even a new genre entirely (fantasy, anyone?) Giving yourself an end goal could be the incentive you need to get those I-Should-Read-That books read.

4. Get some friends in on it

Okay, so you'll probably need to connect this with one of the other ones, but one of the fun things about summer reading is being part of a group while enjoying your favorite solitary activity. Go to to set up your own reading tracking program, including personalized rewards.

Are you setting a goal for your reading this summer? I'd love to hear about it!

And if you've got children, here are some links to some programs where they can get in on the fun. Be sure to see if your local area has any additional programs. Independent bookstores, libraries, and even banks sometimes get in on the idea.

Know of any other awesome national reading challenges or programs? Let me know about those, too!

Book picture credit: library

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