Summer: A Break in the Routine

July 5, 2019

For those of us with a busy work schedule, the summer really may be just a seasonal variation on the workaday routine. We trade the winter’s snow shovels and our bulky, itchy clothing for summertime windshield sun shades for our cars and light cotton shirts or blouses for our bodies. And as always happens, we who are not on vacation endure the annual challenge (a ritual, almost) of attempting to dress suitably both for hot (and, here in the Washington, DC, area, very humid) outdoor temperatures and the indoor reality of persistently bone-chilling air-conditioned offices. Good luck on that one.

Still, summer is—or ought to be—recuperative. We all need to have some downtime and to enjoy a chance to rest, have wild adventures, be with family, or just totally jettison The Routine (even if only temporarily). A summer break offers just that opportunity to gain perspective, replenish our creative spirits, ponder (but not in too much detail) our next writing project, and rediscover that our office or workplace will somehow get by without us for a week or two.

As every successful creative writer knows, an essential key to quality writing is reading, reading, reading. What better way to reconstitute oneself than with a good book, an empty schedule, and no “to do” list, while situated at a relaxing hideaway at the beach, or in the mountains, or just seated at a quiet, pleasant patio with a garden view? If you don’t make your summer special, you may have only yourself to blame.

To make it all simple, I’m happy to report that there’s no shortage of fabulous summer reads. Barnes & Noble have provided a wonderfully easy-to-access website to help you find just the right read. Over at The Atlantic, Rosa Inocencio Smith has put together The Books Briefing. And right here in the nation’s capital, the Book World Editors of the Washington Post have provided multiple summer book lists, but you might just start with this one, “The 20 Books to Read This Summer.”

As for me, I have every intention of tackling that tall pile of books on my bedside table, or at least as many as I can fit into my saddlebags as I head off on my motorcycle to the beach.

Happy summer from AWP!

Chloe SchwenkeChloe's Signature

Dr. Chloe Schwenke
Executive Director

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Kevin Killian, 1952–2019
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