Sullivan Free Library's Blog

July 6, 2010

More Summer Reading Recommendations

Author Stephen King weighs in with some suggestions:,,20355856_20399391,00.html

All titles in his book list are available through the MidYork Library System.

The July 12th issue of Time magazine (available in both libraries) has an article titled: What to Read This Summer in which popular authors and other movers & shakers list what they are reading this summer.  Some examples:

Janet Evanovich:   Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern

Charlaine Harris61 Hours by Lee Child and The Passage by Justin Cronin

James PattersonMatterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes

Carl Hiaasen: Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and its’ Aftermath by Michael and Elizabeth Norman, and  Magnificent Bastards by Rich Hall.

For the complete list, stop by the library and see the issue.   All titles listed above are available through the MidYork Library System.


July 2, 2010

Oprah’s “What to Read Next” Quiz

Filed under: Literature — Sullivan Free Library @ 3:52 pm
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If you are having trouble deciding what to read next this summer, Oprah has a solution.

On her website, you can take a quiz of ten questions  to help you determine what to read next:

Taking the quiz will result in a recommendation of one book that is right for you, plus a list of additional titles to consider.   I took the quiz twice, changing my answers slightly and ended up with 25 titles from which to choose.  Some I had already read and liked, so there’s a good chance I’ll like the others.

Being the self-proclaimed queen of book clubs, Oprah also offers many other reading resources, lists of “Five Books Everyone Should Read at Least Once”, “Books to Steal from Your Teenager” and “O’s Favorite Books of 2010”.  There are also Reader’s Guides for books that the magazine has recommended.

Chances are, whatever Oprah recommends will be available through one of the 43 libraries in the MidYork Library System.  If you have trouble locating a title, stop at your local branch and ask a librarian for help.

June 25, 2010

The Importance of Summer Reading

All around the country, libraries and bookstores are gearing up for extensive summer reading programs for children.   This is not just a marketing strategy to raise circulation and book sales, but based on hard evidence:  children who read over the long summer break are more likely to do well when they return to school in the fall.  Young readers who don’t continue to read over the summer — especially those who are reluctant or at-risk — are likely to lose crucial ground. One summer off can sometimes mean a whole school year of struggling academic performance.  Summer reading loss is cumulative. Children don’t “catch up” in fall because the other children are moving ahead with their skills. By the
end of 6th grade children who lose reading skills over the summer are two years behind their classmates.

Children need to read outside of school. Research clearly shows that the key to stemming summer reading loss is finding novel ways to get books into the hands of children during the summer break.   Studies suggest that children who read as few as six books over the summer maintain the level of reading skills they achieved during the preceding school year. Reading more books leads to even greater success.

The summer reading programs sponsored by public libraries offer an invaluable service to families by providing free programs and resources to help children maintain reading skills.  Libraries offer incentives to motivate children to read, a wide range of interesting titles at all reading levels and fun programs to get children in to the library involved.

The importance of summer reading is so widely recognized that bookstores and other establishments offer incentives to encourage children to read as well:

Barnes & Noble



New York State

Be sure to visit your local library or one of the links above to find ways to encourage your child to read this summer.  Remember: the best way to encourage skill development in your child is to be a good role model–so check out the Adult Summer Reading programs as well!   Both locations of the Sullivan Free Library have programs for both groups this summer.


May 25, 2010

Vacation Reading Styles

A recent discussion on a library listserv got me thinking about the subject of summer and vacation reading. What do YOU like to read in the summer?

Some people prefer light or “beach” reads in the summer months–books that can be easily set aside when there is something else to do. For this reason, paperbacks are especially popular in summer months, because they are portable and expendible if they get wet or damaged. One woman I know goes fishing with her husband–he fishes, she reads–and saves a pile of “disposable” books throughout the year for going in the boat.

Others prefer to devote the summer months to tackling longer books that are too time consuming during the rest of the year. I fall into the latter category, probably a carryover from my years in college, when coursework never left enough time to read the fiction books I wanted to read. Summer was a time to catch up on all I missed during the rest of the year.

Reading while traveling is a whole other category. Audio books are popular for long car drives, and electronic books are perfect for traveling light. Every biblioholic knows the angst of packing for a long trip–how do you make room for clothing when there are essentials like books that can’t be left behind? There is nothing worse than running out of reading material on a long trip, so we always pack more than we could possibly read “just in case”. E-books make it possible to travel light and have enough books to read because you can load multiple titles on one device.

I recently heard about this “Vacation Reading Plan” that makes perfect sense to me:

1) A book for the trip there–something light and plot driven that can be left behind when finished.
2) A book you’ve been meaning to read–something you can leave behind at the hotel
3) A book that’s a keeper–something you can start on the trip back and finish after you are home.

Leaving books behind has become popular. is a site devoted to “releasing” books. You can sign up with the site, enter a book and receive an ID #, place it in the book along with information about the site and leave it somewhere–an airport, bus station, restaurant–any public place. The person who finds it logs on to the site and enters the ID #. A book can be tracked for a number of “crossings”. It’s an interesting social experiment and a great way to recyle books.

Recommended LONG Summer Reads:

War & Peace by Tolstoy
Anna Karenina by Tolstoy
Middlemarch by George Eliot
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
The Stand by Stephen King
Under the Dome by Stephen King
Cloudsplitter by Russell Banks
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

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