Summer reading always sucked. I read books and wrote papers all year—wasn’t summer supposed to be the light at the end of that very dark tunnel? I remember the summer after third grade when I was stuck reading The Red Badge of Courage, the summer after sixth grade when I was stuck reading To Kill a Mockingbird and the summer after tenth grade when I was stuck reading all those Dostoyevsky books.
I know why teachers did it—to keep our minds sharp and to get us ready for when school inevitably started again. Despite all of my whining and crying and waiting until the last minute every summer, I’m glad we had summer reading. It actually did help me keep up a decent reading schedule over the summer, without which my brain would have undoubtedly fried in the 95 degree heat.
When I got to college, I finally had my summers free to not worry about any school work. And what did I do all summer? I read books. Ironic, isn’t it?
So, with a million books out there and the freedom to finally choose what to read, where do you begin?
Learning about how your peers achieve success is really motivating. I suggest getting a book written by students, like How to Win at College: Surprising Secrets for Success from the Country’s Top Students by Cal Newport.
Read a non-fiction book on a topic you’re passionate about! Since I’m a huge music nerd, I’m reading Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers and Emo by Andy Greenwald.
Read a challenging fiction book—I highly suggest Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. At 1104 pages, it may take you the entire summer (since every page requires real reading, not skimming!), but it’ll be worth it just to say you finished.
Read books-turned-movies—this way you double your fun by getting to watch a movie after you read. Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho, Less Than Zero, The Rules of Attraction) and Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, Choke) both have excellent books that are now movies!