Memeful Musings: What is the “Perfect Summer” Read?

Meme-ful Musings: At the end of the month I’ll post a book-related meme that I think brings up an interesting discussion about books. Feel free to join in by making a comment below or linking back!


(Meme from:

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?

So, why do you label something “the perfect summer read”? Do you think that this label has positive or negative impacts on a book that is labelled as such?

Comments 6

  • Interesting topic. The idea of “Summer reading” has always confused me, because I really don’t change the types of books I read depending on the season, I’ll read whatever during summer, be that dystopian, fantasy, mystery…..anything. To me, reading during the summer is no diffeent to reading at any other time, except that I do more of it, because I have more time.

    • I’m very much like you , I just read whatever I feel like in the summer. I would say this summer is more goal oriented in terms of what I am reading mostly because of my blog and the need to finish up some reviews. But otherwise, I just have more time to read so I read more books in general.

  • To be honest, when I heard summer reading growing up, I thought of required reading for school, which wasn’t pleasant for me since I didn’t enjoy reading until later on. So I guess for the majority of the time when I was younger the term had a negative connotation. Now, I wouldn’t say I so. I just think, exactly as you said, there’s so many ways to define “summer read.” For me, it’s a book set in the summer or one that is a fluffy, brainless (I guess I should say easy) read. And I don’t associate either definition to be negative. 🙂

    • I never really connected “summer reading” with school. My schools’ never really did that so it’s one of those concepts I only read about in books ironically 😛

      “Brainless” is totally what I was thinking when I wrote that line. I like to read books that aren’t very complex in the summer because they are fun easy to pickup again at a later time when I have to leave to do something else.

      • Huh, that’s really interesting! Well I guess you were lucky; I didn’t always enjoy the summer assigned reading we had.
        It does make a lot of sense! I feel like the summer makes people overall more happy (all the sunshine and fun, outdoor festivities) so it makes the somber or more serious readings unappealing, I guess. 😀

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