As a student in high school, having my first and last required summer reading assignment was a nightmare. Having homework over the break was torture. I loved to read, but having to read something that was assigned, that I didn't get to choose or have any interest in would always feel like a chore. I now read for a living as a literature major, tutor, and editor, but I take joy in what I read. I can take joy in it because I'm reading to learn and reading to help others.
Years of depression have also exacerbated the difficulty with completing any book I set out to read, whether for course work, learning at home, or reading solely for pleasure. Depression has dictated that I haven't finished a book read for pleasure in several years, and several years before then I didn't read anything for pleasure either. So I've had large gaps of time between reading for pleasure.
I've also taken at least one summer class almost every summer since beginning my undergrad degree in 2011 and when I am doing school work over the summer, I tend to do little else but laze about trying to avoid the sweltering NC heat when the class is over. When I graduated with my BA and had from mid-December to late-July to be free, I was experiencing a mental breakdown and couldn't have read if I wanted to.
The last books I read solely for pleasure (and finished) were the May Bird series by Jodi Lynn Anderson, which I read early in undergrad. I was a little old for the target audience, but I loved the series and cherish them dearly. The fact that I picked up the first book in the series by chance at a yard sale several years prior to reading them felt like pure serendipity. When I looked through my shelves and wanted to find something to read, my eyes landed on that book which I had been drawn to because of the dark and whimsical illustration on the cover. I fell in love, needless to say, and immediately bought the next two books in the trilogy so I could read them back to back. And that I did.
Now that I'll be graduating with my MA in a few weeks and I have no summer plans and my future is in flux, I think I want to set some summer reading goals for myself. I have been reading Ruth Goodman's "How to be a Victorian" off and on when I get the urge, as well as a few other non-fiction works, but I want some pure fiction joy over the summer.
During my final class for my Teaching English in the Two-Year College certificate, a classmate recommended In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware to anyone in the class interested in dark thrillers. I was immediately interested and bought it alongside my books for the course. I didn't have much to do today, mostly in a waiting phrase for the semester to end because I successfully defended my CAP already and have little else left to do besides walk across the stage at graduation. So I picked it up, and started reading. I'm only on page 11, but I'm definitely hooked.
My additional hopes for summer reading are:
I think if I manage to finish all those and want more to read, I will be finishing "How to Be a Victorian" and finishing some of the Sherlock Holmes works I've never read out of my beautiful complete anthology I recently bought.
I'm just your average fictional creature, living in a swampland by the sea.