(Meme from: http://www.quickmeme.com/Summer-Reading/)
With summer just around the corner, more and more lately I’m starting to see comments on people’s posts like “Oh! This sounds like a perfect summer read!”.
But what does that really mean?
What makes something perfect for the summer? Why do we rarely say “This will make a perfect Winter read!”?
Does it take place during the summer time? Is it a romance? Would it be labelled by most as “fluffy” (ie not very insightful or thought-provoking)?
I know for me, it’s definitely the last one: the book promises fluffy subject matter. And I’ll tell you why…
I’m not very restrictive when it comes to reading books. I don’t exclusively read books that take place in the summer time only during the summer; and I don’t read more winter/Christmas-y books during December. So to me, the perfect “summer” read doesn’t necessarily have to take place during the summer. Though it does more often than not.
I’m also inclined to think that it’s the “perfect summer read” because that’s when most people find the time to read. More people go on holidays (well, at least in Canada we do since school is out and we have beautiful weather [ie no snow] for travelling) so they have time to read books they might normally read at other points in the year. Now, because you have the time, you don’t have to feel guilty about reading that contemporary YA novel instead of doing/reading other things.
But what caused me to write this post (despite already having one scheduled for this month) is the question:
“does labelling something the ‘perfect summer read'” diminish the novel in anyway?
Do we inadvertently disrespect the story by labelling it as a “summer read”? Are we saying that we are going to read this novel, it but not expect fantastic things? Are you going to like it more because it’s “just a summer read” and you had lowered your expectations or read it less critically than if you had read it during the winter?
Maybe I am just reading too much into this and am making a mountain out of a mole-hill but the question is bothering me a bit! I know it’s just something that we all say but why do we say it?