Summertime Reading

Guest post by Julie Pepper Lim, Marketing & Communications Coordinator at Meritage Medical Network.

The warm sand, the sound of the ocean and a great book—summer!

Our Wellness committee decided to dedicate the month of July to all things literature. Letters, words, quotes, stories, reading lists and a lunch and learn to share genres and authors we love, swap books, give mini-book reports, and basically indulge in dialogue about the treasure that reading can be, when we find the time to do it.

I remember in school when they used to send us home with reading lists and I’d race home to start devouring them. Or when I was in grammar school and I fell in love with Nancy Drew and ingested every one of the books in her series. I used to hate the burden of a book report, but loved the opportunity to share my critique and analysis of a story that took me to a place I’d never been.

In the summer months as a child, I finally had the time off from school and I had sunny days to curl up with a good book. If you’re an adult outside of Academia, you probably don’t have that same summertime leisure. But since the days are longer and many of us take vacations with the kids, summer still seems to be the time when I get the most pumped up about reading every year.

I kind of think of reading as a state of being. Reading in the bookstore, I forget where I am. Reading in a chaise lounge and there’s nowhere I’d rather be. Reading on the beach and I prefer one of those little chairs that sit upright in the sand, reading on the bus, or the subway and I almost don’t want to get to wherever it is I’m going.

There are, of course, known cognitive benefits of reading and by extension writing. In fact, reading and writing can slow the rate of decline in memory and other mental capacities. Even if you don’t have time to read or write, audiobooks are another way to stimulate your brain and cognition. According to Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke, though reading and listening have different impacts on our memories, each is equal in value, we just decode the symbols on a page differently than we hear the sound of voices, inflection and plot.

Storytelling is storytelling, no matter how we consume it, it’s just a matter of how a particular medium fits into the day.

In any case, I’ve been reading more ever since it officially became summer. What I love about it is the nostalgia that washes over me as my memory is triggered back to all the summers that came before when I fell in love with my summer reading list, went places I hadn’t been and resumed that immersive feeling of finding myself inside a story.  I just want to climb deeper and deeper inside the pages and discover.

Top of my list this summer:

The Dragonglass Bowl by Caroline Thibeaux: a wonderfully imaginative and epic coming of age story centering around an apprentice scribe in the capital of the Dominion of Ellaria

The Mueller Report by Robert S. Mueller, III Special Counsel, United States Department of Justice the facts about what happened

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wollitzer: a novel about power and influence, being a woman, love, loyalty and ambition

Her Last Death by Susanna Sonneberg is a memoir about a traumatic childhood transformed into a triumphant adulthood

What’s at the top of yours? Don’t delay—start your next chapter!

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