If it's May, then it must be time for "beach reads." According to Bookriot, the summer season officially begins every May with a wave of new books billed by publishers as beach reads. And if it's the perfect season for beach reads, then it's also the perfect time for a Beach Read Giveaway at the Forest Public Library. Before you pack your bag this summer, take a guess to win ours! The patron who guesses the correct number (or closest to the number) of seashells contained in a large vase at the circulation desk will win a bag so full of goodies and books that it doesn't even require a beach! Really! A patio, a park, or even a picnic table will do!
Beach reads comprise one of the most anticipated book lists of the year. Libraries, celebrities, websites, social media, and periodicals publish their choices for summer booklists or beach reads. Just as every beach bag has its necessary contents, such as sunscreen, beach towels, flip-flops, and refreshments, every beach read has certain criteria that place it on the list.
According to an article written last year (https://bookriot.com/what-makes-a-book-a-beach-read/ ), there are five main characteristics of a beach read: 1) carefree joy, 2) compulsively readable, 3) summer settings, 4) romance, and 5) low stakes. According to the article, a beach read doesn't necessarily have to check all the boxes to be considered; however, readers quickly identify these characteristics when they are making their summer selections.
Just as tourists travel to the beach for fun and sun, relaxation and rest, and excitement and escape, readers choose beach reads to achieve the same objectives. Whether on vacation or staycation, lawn chair or armchair, the books are written to make us simply feel better about the world, about other humans, and even about ourselves. Beach reads do not belong to a certain genre or follow a predictable plot, but like a great vacation, they elevate our mood, afford us a different perspective, and provide a distraction from the sameness of everyday life.
The two books included in the library's Beach Read Giveaway are Hello Summer by Mary Kay Andrews and A Week at the Shore by Barbara Delinsky. Both books are written by authors who are known for their beach-themed novels. Other writers include Elin Hilderbrand, Mary Alice Monroe, Nancy Thayer, and the beloved Dorothea Benton Frank.
As beach read season begins, be sure to visit the library for vacation-friendly novels. And if you pack a beach bag, a balcony bag, or a backyard bag, be sure to include a beach read book! Check out these online lists and find your favorite!