Off the Shelf: Vacation in a Book

One of my favorite summer vacations is very close to home – reading on my porch. As much as I love to read a good book, I also love to be outdoors. My shady back porch is the perfect place to combine two of my favorite things. I’m perfectly content listening to the birds, drinking a glass of lemonade or iced tea, feeling a cool breeze, and reading a good book.


OK, so it isn’t quite the same as a sandy beach with the roar of the surf and the sound of seagulls. But the price is right, the travel time is short, and I can go back again and again.


Reading can be like a mini vacation whenever and wherever you find time to open a book. You can take reading vacations in the comfort of air conditioning, kicking back by the river, relaxing at a local park, sitting in a comfy chair at your library, or anywhere that you enjoy spending time.


Books allow you to travel to exotic locations, go back in time, meet new people or catch up with familiar friends. You can even travel to the future. This summer, I’ve taken a trip down The Lincoln Highway and traveled to Oklahoma and Botswana. Right now, I’m revisiting Brooklyn in the early 1900s.


Your local library is filled with destinations. The library staff can be your travel guide and point you toward books on all sorts of topics. They can give you a great mystery to solve or help you escape into a summer romance. If you like to visit museums on your vacations, check out the art books and history section or take home a documentary. For those who like to take classes on vacation, you can find how-to DVDs, cookbooks to learn to make a dish from another part of the world, or books on all kinds of hobbies.


Don’t forget that you can take your children or grandchildren with you on your reading vacation. Remind them of the fun of reading by all joining your local library’s summer reading program. Seeing you read is a great example for them. Reading together can spark great conversations. You might even be able to win a few prizes in the summer reading program, like pool passes and backpacks to take on other adventures.


You might want to plan your library visit around one of the many special events and fun programs offered at your library this summer. We are offering spy camps, zoo animals, and polka music, to name just a few. All ages can find something to enjoy. Babies have new sessions designed to explore the senses, tweens and teens have robotics and crafts, and adults have tech help sessions and history programs. Join the new creative writing group or the new mystery book club. Watch for double dutch popping up in the parks and at area events. The list of summer options is long. Stop by the library for a calendar, check us out online, or follow us on Instagram or Facebook to keep up on the latest offerings.


Don’t have a library card? Summer is the perfect time to register for one. Think of it as your passport to great places. We have registered several people for cards this month and updated cards for those who haven’t visited for awhile. It has been so fun to see the library hopping with activity.


With the current intense heat, the library is a cool place to visit. Kids can enjoy some time in the tree house, at the train table, or exploring the flight lab before they check out their books to take home.


This summer, make some time to forget the to-do list, pick a cool spot, pour a favorite drink and take a vacation. Reread a favorite, discover a classic, make it something serious, or go for some fluff. Wherever you want to go, a book can take you there and your library is a great place to start.


See you at the library!