Monday, June 13, 2011

Book it: Stimulating summer reading ideas for all ages

(ARA) - The warm summer days with cool breezes flowing across your patio or beach chair create the perfect environment to relax with a good book. Whether it's a list of great summer reads or a pile of books you've been eager to dive into, each book promises an engaging story within.

But perhaps the best part of a great read is sharing it with someone else - a friend, co-worker, kids or grandkids. Below are tips to work reading into summer activities and to share the goodness of reading with others.

* Join or establish a book club - Book clubs can uncover authors and genres you might not normally read. Find a book club that expands your interests - for example, fiction versus nonfiction, historical versus fantasy, romance versus mystery or even poetry versus prose. Or establish a book club with a group of friends. It's a great excuse to get together once a month and share a couple of desserts like your favorite flavors of Archway cookies. These cookies smell, look and taste so much like homemade cookies and will create a great tradition at your book club meetings.

Have children in the house? Start a children's book club during the summer months to prevent them suffering from the "summer slide." Studies have shown that a long summer break can cause student learning to slip anywhere from one to 2.6 months if the student doesn't receive educational stimulation during the summer break. The summer slide often is worse for children from low-income families. Let your children lead the club, but have parents also be involved to help guide discussions or connections if needed.

* Trade books - Instead of discussing just one book, consider arranging a meeting once a month with friends to trade and recommend books. This will help uncover great books you may not have explored while also cutting down on book costs. Plan the meeting around a lunch or even an afternoon snack of Archway's shortbread, peanut butter or triple chocolate cookies. Hold the meeting in your backyard to enjoy the summer weather.

* Plan a reading afternoon - Gather the kids or grandkids and head to a local park for an afternoon of reading. Sit in a circle and read the stories out loud, or spread out a couple of blankets so each person can comfortably immerse themselves in their own story.

* Join the local library's summer reading program - Many programs are often geared toward children to prevent the summer slide, so make sure to bring kids, grandchildren, nieces or nephews along. No kids at home but still want to share the joy of reading? Volunteer to read at the library, or plan a program at the library involving the books the children will be reading this summer.

To help children keep up their reading during summer vacation, Archway is partnering with First Book on the Share the Goodness Literacy Campaign that promotes the goodness of reading by putting new books in the hands of children from low-income families. Archway will be donating a portion of proceeds from sales to First Book this summer, with the goal of donating 10,000 new books to children in need across the country.


  1. My daughter loves need to teach or get her to do it. She just acquired the interest naturally. Still buying lots of books and reading - trouble is, all the shelves are full, no place to put all her books...and no throwing or giving away, she will want to read again and again. I wonder why...

  2. STP: You are very blessed. Some kids just love reading and some kids can't be bothered. Don't you have a library she can borrow books from? Then don't need to buy so many and don't have to worry about running out of bookshelf space.


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