15 Bookish Things to Accomplish this Summer. Game on!
Ahhh, summer. What better time to kick back, relax and enjoy a good book? But we all know summer schedules fill up quickly with vacations, ballgames, video games, and TikTok. And before we know it, summer is gone, and all that time we meant to read is forever lost. So, how about this summer we do things just a bit differently. Let's challenge ourselves and our kids to complete a Summer Bookish Challenge so books, reading, and time together become some of our fondest summer memories. (Scroll down to the end for a free printable copy of the challenge.)
1. Read a Book Together Either let your child pick out a book or share your favorite childhood book- you know, the one that made you fall in love with reading. If you are at a loss for ideas, check out my blog post A Teacher's Top 15 Read Alouds. But make this a book you read aloud to each other. You never know, this may become a summer tradition or a year-long habit.
2. Create a Reading Nook Carve out a space in your home and make it a reading oasis. Find a cozy chair and cover it with fun pillows and comfy blankets. A stool is always a nice touch to prop up the feet. Make sure you have a table so drinks, snacks, and bookmarks can be close-at-hand. You may also want to set the mood with candles or a unique lamp. Oh, don't forget the books. If you don't have space for a bookshelf, then a basket will suffice.
3. Read the Book Then Watch the Movie Pretty much self-explanatory. After everyone finishes the book, pop the popcorn, put on the PJs, dim the lights, and have a family movie night. Afterward, you can have the classic discussion- which is better, the book or the movie? (The answer is always the book!) If you need a list of books made into movies, check out my blog post 10 Great Book-to-Movie Adaptations.
4. Visit the Library Incorporate library time into your weekly errands. If that seems too daunting, then make it a goal to at least register for a library card and go to your local branch once this summer. There are all kinds of fun summer programming happening at your library that your kids just might be interested in. You may even want to add "Go to a Library Event" to your Summer Bookish Challenge.
5. Listen to an Audiobook Let's face it- we spend way too much time in our cars going from one activity to another. Instead of everyone putting on their headphones and escaping to their own world- how about enjoying an audiobook together. Maybe you listen every time you're running errands or heading to practice. Or maybe, you pass the time on a long road trip by losing yourselves in a great narration. Audiobooks are becoming increasingly popular- so use that library card and check out what all the hype is.
6. Write an Author Have you and your child fallen in love with a book or series? Then make an author's day and let her know what her book has meant to you. Most authors have a website with contact information. You can even follow them on most social media platforms. It is fun peeking into the life of a writer.
7. Write a Review If you loved a book, then let others know about it. You may not know this, but this is one of the best gifts you can give an author. Books without reviews are hard to sell. So become a vital part of the book community and review your favorite book of the summer on Amazon or Goodreads. Or bonus points- review every book you read this summer.
8. Create a Bookish Playlist For each book, think of songs that go along with the vibe of the book. Keep adding songs as you read more books. Before you know it, you'll have a playlist that keeps the books alive long after you're done reading them. Another option is to create a playlist to listen to while you read. Usually, instrumental music works best for reading time. (You may want to add headphones to your book nook essentials.)
9. Follow a Bookstagrammer or Booktok Account Bookstagram is full of beautiful pictures, funny reels, and inspiring quotes featuring books. Best of all, it is full of book recommendations that will have you creating a never-ending TBR list. Shameless self-promotion: you can follow me at staceywritesandreads on Instagram.
10. Spend a Whole Day Reading Search for a book that you can't wait to read- maybe it's a new release from your favorite author or a book that is being made into a movie. Then devote a summer day to reading that book in one glorious sitting. Spend the day in your jammies and only move from your book nook to eat, feed the cat, and go to the restroom. Be careful- this type of behavior can become addicting.
11. Go on a Book Date Visit your favorite bookstore and let the kids peruse the aisles for their next great read. Set the parameters before you go, so the trip isn't spoiled with begging. Either set a budget or a pre-determined number of books they can buy. Make the day extra special with a trip to your favorite ice cream or coffee spot to discuss your selections.
12. Make a Bookish Craft Use favorite book quotes to create bookmarks or wall art. Make a journal to fill up with your thoughts and dreams this summer. Maybe create illustrations for one of your favorite books in a medium of your choice. If you aren't artsy-fartsy, learn how to fold book pages to create fun designs. None of these strike your fancy? Search Pinterest and spend some time getting creative this summer.
13. Do a Book Swap Recommend one book for each other that you have to read by the end of summer. Channel your inner librarian and try to match your child up with a book he won't be able to put down. If you have a big family, you may want to put names in a hat to see who is recommending books for who. Make sure you discuss the books and why you chose that book for your reader. Nothing is more satisfying than hooking someone up with a book they love (well maybe pizza is more satisfying- but I promise you, it feels good and oftentimes becomes a weird quest to find books you just KNOW someone is going to love.) Oh, and also, thank your child for his recommendation and tell him how much you loved his book choice.
14. Post a Book Recommendation Maybe you're not ready to create a full-blown Bookstagram account, but anyone can spread the word about a good book they've just read. Spend some time brainstorming how you want to photograph your book and why people should read it. Have fun setting up a photo shoot and don't forget to tag the author in your post. You never know, they just may respond.
15. Set a Book Goal Agree on the number of books you're going to read this summer either individually or as a family. Next, think of a reward to enjoy after you hit the goal. Lastly, create a goal tracker and post it on the fridge so everyone can monitor their progress and anticipate the day of victory. This keeps everyone motivated and reading all summer long.
Click on the image for your copy of the Summer Bookish Challenge
Or if you would like to create your own challenge, click on the blank Summer Bookish Challenge template.