Summer time and the reading is easy…even without the beach

What is it about summer that makes people want to read good books? Because, let’s face it, we don’t all go to the beach, sit on a towel in the sun all day and read (SPF alert!).

Sometimes a vacation is such a frenzy that there isn’t a lot of time for reading.

And, let’s face it, some of us just don’t have that much time to vacation.

Yet, there’s something about the season that cries out for good reads. And resources to enjoy reading, as well as getting to schmooze with writers and talk about books, have never been better.

One of the highlights of the summer is the popular and expanding Sisters in Crime New England Beach Reads series, which all take place in some of New England’s prettiest sea-side towns.

Some of you may have already gone to Tuesday’s session in Osterville, Mass., which  featured writers Sheila Connolly, Susan Cory, Leslie Meier, Cynthia Riggs and Susan Santangelo.

Tonight’s is in Newburyport, Mass.,  with Judith Copek, Susan Oleksiw, J. R. Reardon, Clea Simon and Edith Maxwell.

Two more are scheduled: July 31 in Camden, Maine, with Janis Bolster, Kate Flora and Vicki Doudera, and Aug. 2 in Mystic, Conn., with Rosemary Harris, Roberta Isleib/Lucy Burdette, Steve Liskow, Jessica Speart and Lynn Marie Steinmayer.

The writers talk about what they’ll be reading “on the beach” this summer and there are snacks and conversation. And beaches! Check out the details at

But even if you can’t attend, it’s a fun time of year to discover new authors and books.

When vacationing, try to make time to seek out a library or bookstore you haven’t gone to before and see what they have to offer.

Check out the local community listings in the newspaper for book signings or writers’ series.

While the beach can be fun, the cool stacks of a library or air-conditioned bookstore can be just as rewarding. When I was a teenager, I used to find a cool, quiet spot in Maine’s statehouse on hot summer days and curl up with a paperback for hours. It was one of my favorite summer hideaways.

So, yes, summer and fun reading go together, whether it’s at the beach or in some dark corner.


About Maureen Milliken

Maureen Milliken is the author of the Bernie O’Dea mystery series. Follow her on Twitter at @mmilliken47 and like her Facebook page at Maureen Milliken mysteries. Sign up for email updates at She hosts the podcast Notes from a Cranky Editor all by herself, as well Crime&Stuff with her sister Rebecca Milliken.
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4 Responses to Summer time and the reading is easy…even without the beach

  1. Nancy Gardner says:

    I agree, Maureen. We are going to Quebec City soon and one of the items on my summer reading list is Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny–set in, you guessed it, Quebec City.

    • Maureen Milliken says:

      Nancy, I bought that when I was in Quebec City last September! Loved QC by the way and was thrilled to discover it’s now a four-hour ride from my home. I plan to set a mystery there myself sooner or later.

  2. Edith says:

    Some of my fondest summer memories are of reading under a tree in my back yard in Southern California with an aluminum mug full of homemade chocolate milkshake. Nice post, Maureen!

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