An Ode To Summer Reading
(This is a piece I wrote in 2016)
I love reading. I always have. Since boasting an exceedingly high grade in my Year 2 class (blue stickered books were always held in high esteem you know), my childhood and early teenage years were accompanied by the likes of Jacqueline Wilson, J.K Rowling or Ann Brashares.
And it was fab. Toddling off to my room, hours at a time, often reading in the dim light of my portable CD player (all my nineties kids know what I’m talking about, holla). But dividing my already precious time between university & fitting in study sessions between U.S Office marathons on Netflix has forced the fun kind of books to take a back seat – my Essential Media Law book can fuck right off.
Summer is the prime time to stick your noggin into a book, whether it’s in the garden enjoying the summer breeze, or lazing about on a gorgeous beach abroad. But who are we kidding? The weather is crap & money is tight, so no luxurious getaways for us just yet. However, this doesn’t mean some literary down time has to take a back seat. Here are few personal tips to get the most out of your Kindle:
Stealing/sharing (whatever you like to call it)
If, like me, you have kind-hearted family or friends with a Kindle and an Amazon account, you’re in luck. Get them to ‘temporarily’ lend you their login details, simply log into their account on your device and you will be able to ‘Archive’ all of the books they have previously bought. Voila! A whole library of new reads, for zero pennies. The same goes for your account too, if you ever feel like returning the favour one day.
Free books! Greater Intelligence!
This is my favourite, and most used tip. Before you turn your nose up, downloading free books on Amazon does not necessarily mean reading the first chapter of a book before being asked to pay the full price. No. Set your search to free books, and once you get a couple of pages in, you can really hit the money. Dozens of old time classics, from Oscar Wilde to the Brontè Sisters, to F. Scott Fitzgerald and Frances Hodgson Burnett. I once spent a girly holiday in Malia reading The Great Gatsby on the beach; contrasting hugely to the sights I encountered that evening (hint: fingering).
It also, in my opinion, fools others into thinking you are wildly cultured and educated. Which you kind of are, if you are reading this stuff. It’s a great talking point, especially at university. I for one have 100% enjoyed telling people: “Oh I spent the whole of last summer enjoying the old classics, you know, The Picture of Dorian Grey and all that”. BAM. This will definitely cover up the fact I also read all three 50 Shades of Grey books (I am so sorry). There are 400 pages of free books, old and new, so there is no excuse not to get reading this summer.
If you just can’t give up paper…
Some people just can’t get their head round reading on an electronic device, and I get that. Flicking through the pages of a well-thumbed book is a sacred experience, but my bank balance cannot support forking out in Waterstones all the time. This is where my most favourite and most trusted shop comes in.
The Charity Shop
Sure, you might come across a Kerry Katona or Katie Price ‘autobiography’ once every few books, but charity shop shelves are the best places to pick up a fab read for 20p. And once you are done, take the book back – knowing full well you’ve done your bit to help the cause.