Four Types of Books On Everyone’s Summer Reading List

"Study drawing shows the allegorical figu...

“God, I can’t believe I have 49 more shades of grey to get through. Maybe reading in the nude will make this seem like less of a piece of shit.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


When temperatures rise and the television becomes a hopeless vortex of reruns and boredom, people start turning to books again. Most people have a stack that they want to get done between the end of June and the beginning of September. Well, to help you get organized, here’s a list of the four most common specimens:

1. That Book You’ve Been Meaning To Read: Everyone’s got one. It can usually be identified by its presence on a bookshelf, covered in dust, but with a curiously pristine spine. No dog-eared pages, no coffee stains, no notes in the margins. Usually weighs more than the cat, or possibly two cats if you picked up this particular book in a lit class in university. You know it’ll be good for you to read it. Hell, it’s a fucking classic! People are probably judging you right now because you haven’t read it. You’ve just got to get around to it. And maybe stop using it to prop up your couch. Chances of completing: 1/6, unless Armageddon happens and there’s nothing else to do. Then 1.25/6.

2. That Book You Pretend You’re Not Reading: You’re so fucking embarrassed to be reading this one. Often sketchy, incredibly popular but also hated, this is the book you badmouth on the internet. But you heard so much about it that eventually your curiosity got the better of you and you started reading. You’d just die if anyone caught you reading this, which is why you either do it on an e-reader, so no one can see the cover, or in the privacy of your own home. In bed. Under the covers. With a flashlight. Chances of completing: 5/6, but you’ll develop a nervous twitch.

3. The Wild Card: It lured you in with its flashy cover and catchy title, and you added it to the stack. Now it’s time for it to prove what it’s made of or get the fuck out of Dodge. Chances of completing: Roll a dice. Take off two points if the protagonist has an endearingly obscure hobby (luthier, competitive origami, artisanal sex-swing constructor) or if the words ‘nuclear reactor’ are involved anywhere in the back cover copy. Add one if there’s lots of sex/violence/witty dialogue.

4. The Old Favourite: You’re read this book so many times it’s falling apart. Rounded corners, broken spine, herds of old book marks lost in the pages…but you love it anyway. Maybe the summer you first read it, you were having a good one. Or maybe it’s just a damn good book. Either way, when the mercury rises, you find yourself searching your shelf for it once again, thinking that maybe this is the year you finally update to a new copy, one that isn’t held together with a rubber band and a prayer. But you never do, until it finally gives up the ghost and drops into a watery grave in the kiddie pool. Farewell, old friend. Chances of reading: 6/6, and then you’re going to have to buy a new copy and give the old one a proper burial.