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How America Learned To Love Summer Reading

by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

According to The Boston Globe in 1894, librarians could tell what season it was just by one glance at a list of books checked out the day before. Hotter days brought a desire for more and more novels, while on colder days, the list got more diverse.  In that interview with The Globe, a librarian said: “The fiction read in summer is almost altogether of the light sort. Standard authors and serious writers of modern fiction are rarely called for.”  So the summer reading craze is hardly a new phenomenon.

In a more recent article, The Boston Globe examines not only the development of summer reading as an American passion but the development of summers as the season of taking a break. From the rise in popularity of vacations at the end of the 19th Century to the boom in resorts, summer leisure is big business and summer readers no longer have to make excuses or be ashamed.

Reporter Craig Fehrman’s interesting expose can be read here.


Bryan Thomas Schmidt is an author and editor of adult and children’s science fiction, fantasy and humor books, short stories and articles. A frequent contributor to blogs like SFSignal, Adventures In SF Publishing, Grasping For The Wind and To Be Read, he also hosts Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Chat under the hashtag #sffwrtcht on Twitter and blogs about writing and creativity on his own blog at www.bryanthomasschmidt.net/blog. Connect With Bryan On Google+

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