There are seasons to genres in the book world. Every year I’m amazed at the consistency of customers with their seasonal reading. Summer is the time of light books, mysteries, beach reads, chick lit, and fun books. The winter is the time of dense books that require more thought. Here’s the thing: I’ve never understood this. It’s always struck me that the order should be reversed but that clearly might just be me. There has always been something slightly depressing about reading books with harder themes in the winter when the weather is bleak and it’s dark so early. This is the season that I prefer to read the lighter books that are set in sunny climates. But clearly I’m in the minority based on what’s selling at my store.
Beach reads got their name because they are the books that folks literally take to the beach, lake, or on vacation with them. Summer reading tends to be exclusively paperback. This makes perfect sense to me because they are books we bring on excursions. We are selling a lot of mysteries, especially the first in a series. Customers seem to enjoy spending quality time with one detective for the whole summer. I love that idea. It’s like spending the summer at a friend’s house, visiting new people and getting to know them and the inner workings of their lives.
Lighter fare, I think, allows people to dip in and out of books as summer activities intrude on unbroken reading time and not feel like they’ve lost the thread of something important in the book. Also, people like to read books set during the summer when it’s summer out. Again, I’m odd in this regard as I prefer to read books about brutally cold climates during the summer. It’s as if the winter setting of a book helps keep me cooler during the warmer weather months.
So, readers, what kinds of books do you prefer to read during the summer?