Friday, February 1, 2013

Beach, Books, and Me

Does the time of year influence what you read? It often does for me. I confess that in the middle of summer you will most often find me reading a story set at the beach, be it lakeshore or seashore, or an island, or at least somewhere that shouts "summertime" to me. Maybe because I grew up and still live in a beach town and many a summer afternoon has been spent at a local beach. My favorite thing is to read a book set near a beach while on a beach. I can't imagine anything I'd love more right now when there is snow falling outside and it's 13 degrees on the first of February! I'd love to feel warm sand under my toes instead of pulling on warm socks and boots to venture outside and clean snow off my vehicle. Unfortunately, the beach picture here doesn't do much for giving anybody a warm glow. But I digress.

While I love reading beach books in summer, September starts me thinking of reading a mystery or maybe a ghost story. Something about sliding through the last days of summer and into the autumn months puts me in a more melancholy or grayer frame of mind. I love the build up to Halloween and the smoky air and the crisp leaves that signal we are heading into the last weeks of the year. I love reading stories then that reflect a more somber mood and the aura of there being a thin line between this world and the next.

Of course quickly on the heels of autumn's mystery comes the holidays and all their glitter and glory. I turn to stories set at Christmas and in wintry settings, because I haven't yet become tired of the cold and snow and having to scrape car windows. I love the nice warm fuzzy feeling that Christmas stories can give you, much like a nice cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows. Both go a long way to dispel any chill you might feel from December's short days and long nights.

This time of year brings a few Valentine stories or maybe some set in New Orleans during Mardis Gras. I usually find myself reading a hodge podge of books, stories that don't really fall into any seasonal category, or starting those books that have been too long on my TBR shelf, which has grown to several bookcases instead of shelf. At the moment I'm into a a mystery/ghost story (because I really do love them anytime of year) and a western historical just put on my Kindle and also finishing up a Christmas story (to go along with the quickly falling snow). But I'm thinking when those are done, I might have to reach for one of those beach books that beckon, in the hope they will take me away, at least for a little while, from February's windchill. I mean, why wait for the season when you can escape into the moment and let a summer story give you that same warm glow.

So what book is on your nightstand or ereader right now? Does the season influence your reading habit?