Letter from the Library Director:

Summer Reading Encouragement @ Your Library

We are officially into summer, so it’s time for a reading list check-in. How are you doing on your 2023 reading goals? If you’re not where you hoped to be, no worries because summer is the perfect time to catch up on your TBR stack, listen to audiobooks, and binge some of the amazing book-to-screen adaptations that are streaming.

 Need some extra motivation to get back on track? Here are some ways to help make reading a habit:

  • Create a reading list. Create a list of books you’ve always wanted to read but never had the chance. You can also use lists others have created, such as Goodreads.com, or displays/reading lists at your local library.
  • Eliminate distractions. Separate yourself from your phone, TV, and Internet. 
  • Read every day. Schedule reading into your day. Make sure your everyday purse/tote is big enough to fit a book or e-reader, so you’re never without your current read.
  • Create a reading journal. Write down quotes you like, record what books you have read, and jot down any thoughts related to the book and any comments you have on what you have read.
  • Engage with other readers. Talk about books with your family, friends, and neighbors. Check out the monthly book clubs at SJCPLS. 
  • Variety is the spice of life! You won’t always want to dive into a big meaty chapter if you don’t have the time for it. So, read a variety of different types of books at the same time, including nonfiction books. Stay flexible! Ask your librarian for some recommendations.
  • Try out different formats (like eBooks and audiobooks). If you experiment with other formats, you may find a way to finish more books. These formats make “reading” books while folding laundry, washing dishes, commuting, and even exercising easier. Need help with downloading? Ask our staff for assistance.
  • Stop reading books that aren’t inspiring you. The thing about books is that they take the same amount of time to read whether you don’t like it at all or if it changes your life forever. If the book you’re reading is boring or not what you imagined, simply drop it and start reading a different one. You can always return to the book you gave up on later if you want to.

I’m all for anything that encourages people to read, use their public libraries, and think about how to squeeze in a few more pages before bed. With six branches throughout St. Johns County and a traveling bookmobile, you are sure to find some books to fill your summer!

Debra Rhodes Gibson

Library System Director, St. Johns County Public Library System