Library staff can quote to you at length about the summer slide, the research that shows engaging kids and teens with reading over the summer is immensely beneficial to their educational development. We can also talk about how adults modeling positive reading behaviors for kids shows them that reading is an important part of every day life. We can point to the mental health benefits of reading, including stress reduction, and we gab endlessly about the intrinsic joy of lifelong learning. All of this is important and all of this is true, but here’s one thing we forget to mention sometimes — the most obvious thing — reading is fun. Like, really, really fun. And it’s fine (and even good!) to read purely for entertainment.
This summer, fun is the main message of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Summer Reading program. We’ll be reveling in the simple pleasure of reading in the sun with a cool drink by our sides, the joys of storytelling, the excitement of an a-ha! moment and the laughter in sharing an observation with a friend.
Summer Reading officially kicks off on June 5 at Summer Reading Extravaganza, where we’ll have lots of activities for all ages (karaoke! book trivia! a bouncy slide!), and continues when you sign up, log books and earn prizes just for participating. Yup, that’s right, readers of all ages, including adults, get something just for participation. Because reading is fun.
There will be other enjoyment to be had over the next several months, including lots of opportunities to earn incentives for logging your reading, awesome programming and and end-of-summer book trivia contest for adults.
Our goal is to have 90,000 books logged by Pittsburgh readers this summer. Take the pressure off of yourself to choose something impressive, critically acclaimed, educational or award-winning and stroll into the library with no other intention but to enjoy yourself.
Here are some of the just-for-fun titles I have on my list:
- As If: The Oral History of Clueless by Jen Chaney
- Oh Joy! – 60 Ways to Create & Give Joy by Joy Cho
- Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink
- Layered by Tessa Huff
- Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
- Drag Teen: A Tale of Angst and Wigs by Jefferey Self
- Ms. Marvel by Wilson G. Willow
What will you be reading this summer?