Summer Fun and Adventure

School is out, or about to out, depending on where you live. The usual mad dash, day in and day out rush to activities has taken a sudden turn into another mad dash into keeping children occupied, finding sports activities that will not eat into what little time you have to enjoy your family.

A standard household of Mom, Dad, and 2.5 children no longer exists. In so many ways, we are drifting further and further from what was once considered the norm, and no one seems to know how to find the brake pedal, to stop the insanity and bring peace back to our lives.

Might I suggest a good book.

A book, you say. What good will a book do me?

Ah, I say. Come with me and I’ll introduce you to a wonder you’ve forgotten. Remember those halcyon days of summer you experienced as a child. Swimming lessons, baseball, and the library’s summer reading program filled in what school did for the previous nine months. Mom and Dad didn’t hover over a computer or stare at the television every night after coming home from a job. Mom would curl up on the sofa to scan the pages of the latest romance. Dad might have a science fiction novel open on his lap, or perhaps the latest thriller.

You and your siblings, having grown tired of those marathon Monopoly games, would be lying on the floor between your parents. Depending on your tastes, you would be leafing through the pages of the latest Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew novel, or perhaps adventuring in another country. We were families, together, but still apart then. We were all off in our own little worlds. Only those worlds weren’t so little. From travel to far off planets, to sighing over the adventures of the latest teen passion, to struggling to learn the big words in a children’s novel, we were all discovering the joy of reading.

Reading will take you to places you’ve never been before. You’ll find yourself on many journeys of any and all sorts—Romance, adventure, action, fantastical places, delving history, and most of all, enjoying yourself.

Day to day, we rush through our lives. Sometimes, we fear we will never enjoy ourselves again, so great are our responsibilities. Other times, we wish for an escape, for that legendary rainbow to transport us to another land, a place where our worst experience will be to see the flying monkeys chasing us. Yet, we realize the reality of our humdrum lives is to go to the job, take care of the kids, or to spend yet another day cleaning the house and wishing for a better life. Even our children have fallen into this humdrum, boring existence.

This is not a reminder that we all had great childhoods, but a hint that those adventures we enjoyed so much are not only still there, but there are many, many more places we can go, experiences to be had, and they’re all at our fingertips.

The typical library summer reading program is no longer the same. Instead of a weekly visit to hear about the latest children’s novel, most libraries offer visits by the authors who created those books, or a gathering of Magic enthusiasts, or perhaps a magician or artist. Children aren’t lumped together from pre-school to teens. Each age group has their own program, and what programs they are. Even adults are included in this adventure of locating the newest phenomenon recently released to attract their attention.

Not only does the library offer these programs, you can connect with the internet on wi-fi, grab the latest coffee concoction, and meet your friends. Voices are still hushed, but they carry an air of excitement at all these modern halls of books can offer. The typical librarian isn’t the gray haired older woman of years gone past. It’s not unusual to see men at the checkout desk, or in charge of events and other sections. A children’s librarian no longer hisses a “Shhhhhh!” in the direction of happy children, but is more likely to get down beside them at a table to assist with an art project.

Have you discovered your local library? Have you met the local author there? Did you know most libraries have their teen and adult programs in the evenings, to accommodate our changing lifestyles? Stop by one and discover what makes the modern day library so much fun.

Oh, and you’ll soon discover social media has nothing on the fun you can have at the library!


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