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Summer Fun: Join the (Book) Club

Summer reading programs for Austinites young and old
Monica Riese, 11:00am, Wed. May. 15, 2013

I take my summer reading resolutions more seriously than New Year's ones. You guys can have your fitness goals, your cheerful outlooks, your money-saving date nights; I just want three months with a stack of books and no interruptions.

Photo via Toby Hudson/Wikimedia Commons

But if you, like me, find yourself without the self-control needed to carve out some time on the couch away from blockbusters and swimming holes (or, sigh, work), maybe a friendly group effort is more your speed.

In a town with this many students and voracious readers and writers, there's bound to be a book club out there for you. Young readers and seasoned pros, fiction-lovers and fact-fans alike can all be at home with likeminded readers. Check out some of these summer book club options, or rally your friends, family, or co-workers to build your own. When it comes to reading, we've all got the same goal.

Book Your Summer

The Austin Public Library's adult reading program runs June 1-Aug. 31, and you can get involved in person or from the comfort of your own home. For every five books you read, you can either turn in a frequent reader card at any APL location or enter online at www.austinsummerreading.org. Reading is its own reward, but a chance for a free Kobo eReader (winners notified by Sept. 7) is pretty sweet too.

SRP'13

For those of you not accustomed to speaking in abbrevs, that's the APL's youth Summer Reading Program 2013, which takes place June 6-Aug. 24. Kids can move at their own pace, just recording the books they read and their opinions in a reading log; turn in the completed log between July 1 and Aug. 26 and you get to keep a free book. Need more incentive? Check out APL's description of SRP special events:

There's something for everyone from toddlers to teens: mysteries to solve, magnet science fun, marionettes, puppets, tap dance, live raptors, local music, cowboys vs. ninjas, stories, arts and crafts, a DIY clothing swap, cosplay and a glow-in-the-dark dance party!

Whoa there, live raptors? Count us in.

Give Me Summer! Give Me Books!

BookPeople is sponsoring a free summer reading program for kids entering kindergarten through eighth grade. Kids can pick up an age-appropriate bookmark to track their summer reads, and then pick out half a dozen paperbacks – three from a BP-curated list and three of their own choosing – to keep them busy throughout the summer. After they return their completed bookmark at the Aug. 17 Summer Reading Celebration, they'll get to pick up a reward, post their name on the wall, and eat pizza. Visit the BookPeople website for more info on the selected books and how to participate.

But Wait, There's More

This is just a sampling of some of the bigger reading efforts around town, but again, feel free to build your own. Need help getting started? BookPeople keeps a handful of book clubs running year round, as do other local favorites such as BookWoman, MonkeyWrench, and Forever Young Adult.

Get crackin' (spines)!


Read more Summer Fun stories at austinchronicle.com/blogs. The Austin Chronicle’s Summer Fun Issue is on stands Thursday, May 16.

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