Summer book overload…send help!

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By Dana Mentink

Hi, all. Dana Mentink here. Summer is a special time for an elementary school teacher/writer. As we settle into that nice long break from school, my summer goal is the same this year as it has been my whole life…to stuff myself with as many books as I can possibly cram in! Since I do best with a schedule, I’ve mapped out a reading strategy in order to accomplish this reading extravaganza.

In the morning, I follow up my Bible reading with a bit of devotional time. Isn’t it amazing how many incredible devotional books are out there? The stack is now teetering on my little table which is filled to capacity with gems! Old classics, modern volumes, and everything in between.

In the afternoon, the pile I’m going to poke around in is of the nonfiction persuasion. Since I’ve just finished writing a book set in Coronado, I’ve got a stack of non fiction books about the island and the history of the historic Hotel Del. Embarking (no pun intended) on a series of dog related books for Harvest House and a K-9 cop story for Love Inspired means I’ve got several titles all about man’s best friend. I keep the fiction books far away during this part of the day because pleasure reading and word counts don’t go together! I’ve got books to write and deadlines to meet, so I must restrict myself to non fiction in the daylight hours. Such discipline, don’t you think? Of course, the car is my loophole. If I must jet out to get some ink or perhaps an emergency trip for paper, why not listen to a book en route? Currently I’m listening to James Herriot’s Favorite Dog Stories. I laugh, I cry, causing people to stare when we’re stopped at lights.

In the evening, it’s fiction time. Hooray! I’ve got a TBR pile of amazing fiction books next to my bed including mysteries, thrillers, sweet romance, romantic suspense, and other books that seem to defy genre labels. It’s my favorite time of day to snuggle up and bust out the fiction. I’m a traditionalist so it’s paperbacks for me, no ebooks here. (I’ve been reading more and more about the negative effects of electronic devices on sleep.) I can devour as many chapters as I can manage before I drift off.

So what do you think of my summer reading strategy? According to my calculations, I should be able to read four to five books a week at this rate. Of course, if I cut out exercising and had the groceries delivered, that would free up time to squeeze in another hour! Acck! Somebody save me!

What’s your summer reading strategy?

Dana Mentink 3Dana Mentink is a two time ACFW Carol Award winner. Her suspense novel, Betrayal in the Badlands, earned a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. She is honored to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired, Harlequin Heartwarming, and Harvest House Publishers. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Visit her on the web at

Comments 0

  1. My goal for the summer was to read 100 pictures books (Martin, McPhail, McCluskey,Seuss etc) to the three (of 8) of my children still home. They are 14, 10 &10 but you’re never too old for pictures books, right? Also reading The Prince and the Pauper (Twain) and Journey to the Center of the Earth to them and my married & pregnant 23 year old who stops by to join us.(We’ve already read Heidi, The Giver, Number the Stars, Call it Courage, the Cay and more.) On their own my children are reading the Kingdom Chronicles, Seekers, Legend series, Boxcar Children etc.

    I’ve started Lynette Eason’s series (No One to Trust) but realized I have books 1&3 not 1&2. (Where is that Family bookstore coupon?) and saw that Dee Henderson has a new one out I need to get. I take books I’ve read to the beach so I don’t need as much concentration and those are usually Brandilyn’s or Terri’s.

    I read suspense and women’s fic but jut can’t do historical or Amish.

    I need to be writing, but with the kids home, that’s not really happening. I did certify in Scuba due to one of my book characters….

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