How to Make Summer Reading Special as An Adult

The term “summer reading” often has very specific associations for kids – the library’s summer reading program, summer reading assignments for school or endless reading and re-reading of favorite series.

But what about the grown-ups?!

Summer reading should be fun for EVERYONE!

Here are some ideas for making summer reading fun for adults, many of them from my community of readers on Instagram!

summer reading for adults

How to Make Summer Reading Special as An Adult

  1. Read outside. This is the simplest way to make summer reading feel different from the rest of the year. I especially love taking a book to the pool while my kids do swim team or reading on our back deck.
  2. Host a one time book club at the end of summer where everyone shares what they read over the summer. If you’re not ready to commit to a regular book club this is a great idea, or a simple way to adjust an existing book club for the summer if people travel a lot during the summer!
  3. Take a family trip to the book store and let everyone buy a new book to read (parents very much included!). There’s something so fun about a book you OWN and that will remind you of that summer every time you see it. Make sure to write your name and the date inside!
  4. See if your library hosts a summer reading program for adults! So many people said their library does a summer reading program for adults as well as kids and I love that! Check and see if your library offers this and if they don’t, ask what it would take to start one.
  5. Add a fun, summery beverage to your reading time. Is there anything better than a book in one hand and a good beverage in the other?
  6. Let yourself stay up late reading if your morning schedule in the summer is more flexible. There’s something so delightful about staying up late with a great book, especially if you can sleep in a bit longer the next morning.
  7. Visit a cafe or library for a little reading time. One reader suggested that doing this on vacation is even more fun!
  8. Pair audiobooks with an outdoor activity. This is one of my favorite pairings – whether you’re walking, biking, gardening or doing a puzzle outside.
  9. Read the 2024 Summer Reading Guide! If you missed it, my FREE 10th annual Summer Reading Guide came out a few weeks ago with so many fun titles across different genres!
  10. Get outside to read in the early morning or evening. This is the perfect way to start or wind down a summer day.
  11. Re-read favorite titles. There’s nothing like a re-read, especially in summer (this summer, I’m planning to listen to All Creatures Great and Small read by Nicholas Ralph who I LOVE in the PBS series. I haven’t read the books since I was young!).
  12. Save new highly anticipated books for the pool or beach. There’s nothing better than going on a trip and having a very exciting new book to break out on the plane or when you sit down on the beach.
  13. Road trip to a fun bookstore a few hours away. I love visiting bookstores when I travel, but I’d never considered making a special trip to one – what a fun idea!
  14. Sign up for a free Kindle Unlimited trial. You know I’m in favor of this one (and if you get it, make sure to read or listen to The Outlaw Noble Salt).
  15. Do a themed month of reading. One person said, “I do “The summer of Love” where I read only romance for the whole month.” How fun is that? You could choose whatever genre or topic you like!
  16. Create a reading bingo board. One reader suggested options like “read at a beach or for over an hour consecutively.” (P.S. The printable version of the 2024 Summer Reading Guide has a bingo reading card!)
  17. Put books on hold at the library. One reader said she puts the books she’s most excited about on hold at the library: “The anticipation is fun!”
  18. Fun reading only! If you have a hard time letting yourself read for fun, consider summer your time to lean into the fun of reading. One reader said, “No learning books, just lighthearted or fantasy fiction.”
  19. Designate a fun place to read outdoors. Whether it’s a porch swing or a hammock or a blanket on the grass under a shady tree, having a special reading spot for the summer is extra fun!
  20. Treat yourself to something fun for every 3 books you read. Whether it’s a favorite drink, a fun snack at the grocery store, a new plant, or a pedicure, you can pick your own rewards – no library program required!

I’d love to hear how you make summer reading fun as an adult! Leave your suggestions in the comments – it makes the post more useful for everyone!

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  1. My library adult program is kind of lame. They draw prizes weekly, and we get to pick a book-but none of them are ones I want to read. 😆 So I love the “pick your own,” incentives. I think I will start this!

  2. Christmas in July reading! Check out or place holds on all the cozy Christmas books that are soooo hard to get in December. For bonus points, make a summer/winter beverage to go with it like a frozen hot chocolate!

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