Summer of Self Care – Day 8

Summer Reading Day  

As a teenager, summer reading for me used to involve a paperback, a beach towel and some baby oil to encourage fast tanning.

Okay, it doesn’t have to be a paperback, and PLEASE don’t use baby oil, but summer does evoke a picture in your mind, right?

Doesn’t this just make you want to brew a cuppa, go outside crack open a good book?

I remember lots of summers spent reading as a child or young adult, and just not because I had a school summer reading list. (Although the idea of a summer reading list filled me with joy. I do realize that this isn’t the case for everyone.)

Reading all day makes the day go by very slowly. And, even if you are an avid reader, when was the last time you read a book outside? We get busy and forget that joy of reading a good book by the lake, in the backyard under a tree, in a rocking chair on the front porch or….you get the hint.

If you’re lucky and you have the whole day in front of you, by all means I say take a day to read. But if you’re like most people, you’ll need to carve out some time. First step – schedule it in for today. Try not to leave it for the last moments of the day, or you may find yourself falling asleep before you really start to enjoy it. And what about a trip to a bookstore or the library today to choose something special to read? If you’re not sure what might interest you, they often have a summer reading display or you can browse the list of current bestsellers. (Here’s the current NYT Online list of E-book and Print Fiction)

There are no rules for what you should be reading during the summer. This morning, I heard someone say, “I’m reading The Picture of Dorian Gray. Not exactly good summer reading, is it?”  Why not?

And it doesn’t have to be a book, does it?

You might go to the library or the bookstore and pick up a magazine you’ve never read before, just because it piques your interest. Or find an old favorite that you haven’t read for awhile. Or a magazine you might normally consider a guilty pleasure or “trashy.” A secret pal at work once gave me an issue of the National Enquirer, which I found to be an outrageously fun and silly way to spend that hour.

Audio books and podcasts are also encouraged if you want someone else to tell you a story. (I filmed a Just Five Minutes about Podcasts awhile ago – they are podcasts about every subject you can imagine. And one of my favorites is Harper Collins Audio.)

And don’t forget Short Stories, Essays or Novellas – often overlooked, if you ask me.

The only “self care rule” I think you should consider about this prompt today is to make sure it’s something you want to read for you and for fun, rather than a must read for work, school or someone else’s request.

So, this prompt is Read for Pleasure today, preferably not online or on a tablet if you can get away with that. (Unplugging, even just for an hour, is also self-care at its best these days. And get ready because, if you’re up to it, we are about to schedule a Tech Free Day!)

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