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Glorious Summer Reading

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Sun-bathing Girls in Brittany by Moric Goth via Wikimedia Commons

Sun-bathing Girls in Brittany by Moric Goth via Wikimedia Commons

What makes summer such a great time for reading?  Leading up to summer, even the most trivial magazines and talk shows have a column or segment on “Great Summer Reads” or “Fun Beach Reads.”  As children, we’re all given a handful of books to read over the summer, some more interesting than others.

There are so many other vacation seasons during the year, but for some reason, summer wins as a time to read.  Perhaps it’s because the warm, lazy days lend themselves to sitting in a lounge chair on the beach with a fun read propped up next to a yummy drink under a sun shade.  Perhaps it’s because summertime, as a child, was so carefree that we long to bring that time into adulthood, even through just a few hours reading something escapist.

Something about summer is a little bit magical.  The books you read in summer, on vacation, when it’s warm, seem somehow a little more than they would otherwise.  As a kid, I went to Girl Scout camp in the summers, and my camp had a library of sorts, really just a collection of book crates.  At age 9, I was already in love with books, but I had never read any classics.  In our camp library, I ran across a copy of Little Women (it was an abridged version – I was pretty young, after all).  I devoured that book; I fell in love with Jo and all her sisters, and it ignited in me a desire to read more books that weren’t just about other elementary-age kids.

Which books have been your favorite summer reads?  What do you think makes summer such a great time to read?

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Dreaming of Endless Books

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Ever after library - Novel Conclusions - writing blog

Ever after. Imagine the library down the hall. Courtesy of Google Images.

Earlier today, I was chatting with my better half, Beau, and I mentioned how I would love to have a library in our future house (which does not exist yet).  He didn’t quite see eye to eye with me on this one:

ME:  Can we have a library in our house someday?

BEAU:  We already have a library.

ME:  What are you talking about?

BEAU:  If a library is a room full of books, Library #1 is our living room.  Library #2, the bedroom.  Library #3, the office.

ME:  (dreamily) It would be all tall, gorgeous shelves full of books with comfy overstuffed chairs.

BEAU:  And maybe the bathroom is Library #4.

ME:  Hmph.  Not what I meant, punk.

This got me thinking about beautiful libraries.  I love libraries, and beautiful libraries are even better.  The first one that popped into my my is the gorgeous library at the monastery in the movie Ever After.  I can’t find a picture of that exact library, but it is multiple floors and open to the working area where the monks are making new copies of the books (this Cinderella movie is set hundreds of years ago).  Danielle, our Cinderella, lights up as she tells the story of falling in love with the book Utopia by Sir Thomas More.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Library - Novel Conclusions - writing blog

Hogwarts Library. Courtesy of Google Images.

The omnipresent library of the Harry Potter books (and movies) also deserves a nod.  Major props go to JK Rowling for working the library into every book in the series.  Harry’s good buddy Hermione manages to find out something important from a book that moves the plot forward in every story in the series; the library is practically a character in the books.

Beauty and the Beast library - Novel Conclusions - writing blog

Belle in the town book shop. Courtesy of Google Images.

There are also a couple of fantastic libraries in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (side note: I can’t believe this movie is more than 20 years old).  As a kid, the fact that Belle adored reading made me love her more.  Who could forget the charming town book shop or the luxurious library at the Beast’s mansion?

For some real-life beautiful libraries, check out this slideshow of twelve stunning libraries.  Which libraries (real or imagined) do you think of when you think of libraries?

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