Ames Free Library

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Librarian's Lounge - July 2022

Welcome to the special summer reading edition of the Librarian’s Lounge! I wrote a little bit about the preparations for the program last month, but now that summer reading is officially underway, I wanted to share some tips to make your summer of reading the best it can be.

Stock up on books!

This may seem like a no-brainer but with SO many books to choose from, it can be daunting to decide what to read next. We’ve got book recommendations for all ages on our blog. Looking for something more personalized? Fill out our Readers’ Advisory Form to get some hand-picked selections based on the books or TV shows you already love.

It’s also a great time to try out different reading formats. eBooks are great for plane travel if you can’t possibly stuff one more thing into your carry on. Audiobooks are great all year round but are especially fun for road trips or passing the time while you tackle summer yard work. Whatever format you choose, I think it’s a good idea to always have one (or two) back up books on hand. Which leads me to…

Put down books that you aren’t enjoying!

Your librarian is here to tell you: stop forcing yourself to read books you aren’t enjoying! (Unless you’re reading for school, in which case, stick with it.) You’re going to find countless excuses to do anything but read when you’re trying to push through. Sorting through boxes in the attic even though it’s a million degrees up there? Definitely needs to be done today! Dusting behind that shelf you haven’t moved in three years? Clearly you can’t take a break to read a few pages until that’s done.

If a particular book isn’t working for you, just move on to the next one.

Make it a family affair.

AFL’s summer reading program is for all ages, so make sure that everyone in your family joins in the fun! Turn the time you spend reading into prizes (beads for kids, raffles for teens and adults) all summer long.

Want to switch things up? Try having a family reading night instead of family movie night. Grab some snacks, some books, and put on your favorite summer playlist or some other background noise - I’m a big fan of Ambient Mixer - and set a timer for an hour (or whatever time works best for your family). When you’re done, share the saddest, silliest, or scariest thing that happened in your book. And don’t forget to log everyone’s time in READsquared!

Get competitive!

Let’s face it, sometimes we all need a little extra motivation. And sometimes the best motivation is some friendly competition. So challenge your friends, family, and neighbors to get reading! Need some ideas?

  • The person in the house who reads the most minutes in a week gets out of a chore

  • The person in the house who reads the most minutes in a week gets to pick what to cook for dinner one day next week

  • The neighbor who reads the most minutes doesn’t have to bring any food to the next neighborhood block party

  • The book club member who reads the most minutes gets to pick next month’s book

  • The friend who reads the most minutes gets their tab covered on your next night out


This is probably my most important piece of advice for reading any time of the year. It ties back a little bit to my previous point of putting down books that you don’t enjoy. At the end of the day, reading should be an entertaining and relaxing way for you to spend some time. Sometimes, life just gets too busy or you just don’t feel like picking up a book. And that’s okay! The books - and the library - will be here when you’re ready for your next great reading adventure.

Until next time - happy reading!

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