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Bookworms look to summer as opportunity to tackle growing list of ‘must reads’

This is the first summer in six years during which I won’t block out weekly hours devoted to required reading for honors, AP and other English classes.

How do I plan on spending the next three months of freedom? Working a lot, running a lot, and the event I’m most excited for — reading a lot.

Everyone has those books they’re just dying to read, but credit-hour-cluttered schedules and commitments to having a social life prohibit us book worms from completing “brain candy” style reading during the nine months of campus life.

Several books top my perpetually growing list of “must reads.” They range from my obsession with “Water for Elephants” since I saw Reese Witherspoon and Rob Pattinson dazzle me at the circus to every sappy novel Jodi Piccoult has released in the past five years; not to mention several thousand pages of the Harry Potter series.

Yes, I know. “You’re 19 years old and have yet to complete the magical world of Harry Potter?” I’ve been on book three since December. It’s pathetic, I’m well aware, but I plan on changing that with my hours spent between breaking in my new Asics and making snow cones for sunburnt toddlers.

C.S. Lewis said, “You can never find a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

I completely agree with this simple phrase, but the struggle with being a student is- where is the time to curl up with that steamy Chai and endless novel? Thankfully summer comes, and with summer, thousands of pages of stories that thrust us fairy-tale lovers into entirely different worlds.

Books take “stay-cation” to a whole new level. I know my roommates and I have obsessively tossed around additions to our individual reading lists, but when I asked Tim Schussler, a first-year in engineering he said, “Yeah I pretty much read all summer, but right now I don’t have a summer reading list. I’ll read, but I don’t know what.”

Liz Hembree, a first-year and recent addition to Ohio State’s RA staff said, “I’m really excited to read the Buckeye Book Club book for this year. It’s about immigration and sounds really interesting.”

The psychology major is referring to “Outcast United,” the FYE pick for incoming freshman to read this summer. After hearing Hembree discuss her excitement for her summer reading list, I quickly scribbled down this title to add to my personal collection of novels.

First-year mechanical engineering major Amarilis De Jesus said, “I love summer reading. I live in the country and we have a hammock that is so relaxing to read in.” This mental image of the summer breeze flipping my pages for me inevitably forces a grin across my face.

“There’s always books I feel like I should read like “Of Mice and Men” and all of those classics, but I just don’t want to,” De Jesus said.

No one wants to read a “classic” that usually requires annotation if read in English classes across the country during hours that could be spent swept away in a Nicholas Sparks love story or fighting for one’s life in the Hunger Games trilogy.

Sarah Fox, another first-year in mechanical engineering is excited about her potential summer reads and the ideas her friends offer, “One of my friends gave me a box of books to read. I have no idea what they are, but I can’t wait to find out.”

“I love Half Price Books,” said Fox. “You can find some really good stuff on there.”

Although most are not certain what adventures they will face over summer vacation during the moments captivated in a novel, the consensus is that summer reading is a highlight of our months without midterms and Hall Council meetings, and we cannot wait to see where our reading lists take us.


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