Summer Reading for College Students

Last updated on November 15, 2017

Now that you’re out of school for a couple months, you may be thinking, “Whew—no more reading until August!” And while you could go all the way through the summer without reading anything significant, we highly recommend that you rethinking that decision.

You don’t have to start right away, but you should spend at least some time over the summer reading a book. Which book? That’s totally up to you.

If you’ve done a lot of reading throughout the semester (and who hasn’t?), you should probably start with something light and easy. Something like A Series of Unfortunate Events. Books like this are easy to read, very entertaining, and still tell a good story.

Don’t be put off by books that are typically considered “children’s” or “young adult’s” books—just because they’re easy to read doesn’t mean they’re not good! It’s good to start with something like this so that you’re reminded that there are actually books out there that aren’t textbooks.

Once you’ve convinced yourself that you can still read, and gotten through a short, easy book or two, it’s time to take your summer reading to the next level. It might still be tough to follow a convoluted storyline or keep track of several characters, so we recommend going with a biography or autobiography.

Learning more about one of your favorite actors, musicians, politicians, or other person of interest will keep you interested, as well as help you learn some interesting things that you can use to show off at school in the fall.

Now that you’ve read something light and easy and something a little more difficult, you can graduate to the highest and most challenging summer read—the novel.

It can be intimidating looking at another book that’s several hundred pages long, has a multitude of characters, and probably contains at least seven storylines. But reading a novel as part of your summer reading can be a very rewarding experience.

Books like Treasure Island, Heart of Darkness, and Beowulf are engrossing, exciting, and will keep you turning pages, even though it’s the summer, and you swore you wouldn’t turn a single page until August. You might even find yourself working through a series like The Dark Tower, The Lord of the Rings, or His Dark Materials. All of which are great—check them out!

No matter what you do over the summer, make sure to get at least some reading in. You’ll be thankful for it when you get back to school and you don’t feel like you’re learning to read for the first time again. You might even find yourself reading more than you ever expected.

So pick up a book and give it a shot—you never know where you’ll end up once you open the cover!