By Patricia Kiyono
Summer vacation has always had the same significance for me as it did when I was a child. I guess it's because I became a teacher and still looked forward to the three months when I could do things I didn't have time for from September through May. Even now that I teach only part-time and my children are on their own, I live on a school schedule. There are no papers to grade, no lectures to prepare, and no grandkids to babysit on a regular basis.
So now that it's June, I'm all set for summertime mode, and that means I can start reading some of the books I've collected during the school year. What's on my reading list? Hundreds of books on my ipad, plus several paperbacks I picked up at the writing retreats and conferences. So I've got a plan for deciding which books are most likely to be read.
Although I understand the pleasure of reading an actual printed book, they are pretty low on my list, unless they are written by a favorite author. It seems that my reading time is often limited to short chunks of time - waiting in a doctor's office, waiting for my mom to get ready to go wherever I need to take her, or relaxing while my granddaughter takes her afternoon nap. Lots of times those chunks of down time are unexpected, and I can't always plan to have a book with me - but I've always got my phone, and I can read one of the hundreds of books I have downloaded. Digital books that I can access on my phone or ipad are most likely to get read. Next weekend I've got an eight hour train ride ahead of me, and I'm looking forward to reading at least a couple of books on my TBR pile.
At the top of my list are books written by GRRWG members. If you've read the emails and Facebook posts lately, you know that our group has been really prolific! I've also picked up a lot of free books, including the 56 titles offered in February at Astraea Press, and books I've won by entering various giveaways. So I definitely have a lot to choose from. After the GRRWG books, I'll start on those by other fellow AP writers.
Of course, I'll be writing. I need to finish a Christmas story by the end of July, and I'm working on sequels to two other books. But summertime means time to relax and enjoy life, and since I enjoy reading, I'm going to do more of it. Besides, what better way to get inspired to write my own stories?