“The trick is to teach yourself to read in small sips as well as long swallows.” -Stephen King
By Matt Freeman
It’s summertime and the reading is easy. That’s how the line goes, right? But, more often than not, the books we said we’d read, and the daytrips to the beach we said we’d take, just haven’t quite happened. Yet. (Insert hopeful instrumental music here.) But the summer isn’t over yet! Not only do I have some tips to help you get through your reading list—beach or no beach—I also have paired another book suggestion with each tip. . . just in case you need more to read! 😉
1. Bring the Beach to You
Set up a beach blanket, get out the sunscreen, tie up the hammock…or turn on the AC inside, and put on a beach screensaver on the TV. Whatever your setting preference, you don’t have to be at a literal beach to read at one. Get creative and have some fun with it! BONUS: It saves on traffic and gas.
DIY Beach Read Suggestion:
Is It Any Wonder by Courtney Walsh
Can a promise made as kids bring two people back together as adults? In this Nantucket-set beach read, “master of the genre” (Midwest Book Review) Courtney Walsh delivers a sparkling inspirational romance about first love and second chances.
2. Catch up on reading during a lunch break
If you’re at the office- or working from home- take 10 to 15 minutes of a lunch break to read. Even if it’s a portion of a chapter, small steps of progress add up: Take a walk with your book, get outside and scroll through your e-reader, or knock out a few pages waiting in the drive-thru line! Why not?
Lunch Break Suggestion:
A Piece of the Moon by Chris Fabry
Here you’ll find an inspiring southern fiction story from the bestselling author of War Room. When eccentric millionaire Gideon Quidley receives a divine revelation to hide his earthly treasure somewhere in the hills, he sets out to find a fitting hiding spot, choosing only a few Bible verses as clues leading to untold riches of gold, silver, cash . . . and one very unexpected—and very costly—item.
Treasure hunters descend upon the hills of West Virginia, including those surrounding the small town of Emmaus, where TD Lovett and Waite Evers provide the latest updates and the beating heart of the community on radio station Country 16.
3. Choose Binge-Reading over Binge-Watching
“Binge Reading”: Not sure if that’s an actual phrase, but, I call “dibs” on the trademark! If lunch break reading is not your thing, or you may not have that time available with your schedule, what if you skipped the next four episodes of a show tonight (and tomorrow), and picked up the next four chapters of that book you want to finish? Try it! You may be able to save a few more bucks by cancelling that Netflix account.
Binge Reading Suggestion:
Under The Magnolias by T.I. Lowe
Magnolia, South Carolina, 1980
Austin Foster is barely a teenager when her mama dies giving birth to twins, leaving her to pick up the pieces while holding her six siblings together and doing her best to stop her daddy from retreating into his personal darkness.
Scratching out a living on the family’s tobacco farm is as tough as it gets. When a few random acts of kindness help to ease the Fosters’ hardships, Austin finds herself relying upon some of Magnolia’s most colorful citizens for friendship and more.
4. Designate a “Beach Reads Retreat”
It’s easier to get some reading done when you’re at the beach, than it is when you’ve got the laundry or other chores staring at you, around the house. But, when a beach day is not in the shells (womp, womp), you can make a dedicated effort to take a day off (yes, you read that correctly!), or at least an afternoon (let’s be reasonable, people), for a reading retreat. It can be a refreshing way to focus and enjoy those pending pages. BONUS: You don’t have to deal with sand getting in everything.
Reading Retreat Suggestion:
Immerse: Messiah from the Immerse Bible Series
Messiah is the first of six volumes of Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience, which is designed to take the reader on a new and unique journey through every book of the Bible. Focusing on the Gospels, Messiah delivers Scripture to the reader as it was originally created: without chapter or verse breaks. It’s more like sitting down with a paperback book, and this makes for uninterrupted reading of God’s Word. The end result is a Bible developed for the purpose of being read and understood, not referred to. Messiah is a new way to interact with God’s Word.