Every year, recommendations for “beach reading” or “summer reading” turn up everywhere. Sometimes, it’s just a list of what’s on some famous person’s summer list (like Rashida Jones, Bill Gates, or the faculty of Harvard Law School). For example, Barack Obama’s list got a lot of attention this year, and may have given a significant boost to “Southern noir” writer S. A. Cosby’s Razorblade Tears.

But do many people really look for—or follow—such reading suggestions? I, for one, am not a seasonal—or locational—reader. And I don’t personally know such people, either.

Once again I spent a great beach week with family, thirteen people ages 13 to 91. And here—in no particular order—are the books being read.*

* The four teenagers really didn’t contribute much this year!
** Necessary when someone is enrolled in an online master’s program.
*** Evidence that a series reader was on a roll.

Bottom line: Anything can be read anywhere, any season. “Beach reading” goes well beyond the beach. What are you reading now?

Terry Pratchett’s theory on beach reading.
from The Last Continent

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