By: Sydney Kalnay, Training Specialist.

When I was a kid, I spent my summers with my nose stuck in a book. Now that I am an adult…well, not much has changed except how I devour my to-be-read list. Sometimes I miss the comforting weight of a paperback shoved into the back pocket of my shorts, but the tradeoff is that I can bring 100x the number of books with me wherever I go. A perfect balance of old-school comfort and new tech bibliophilic joy!

If, like me, you or your students are dreaming of a retro summer but you’re loath to leave your device at home, try some titles that bring back the vibe of those endless summer days and nights without sacrificing how many of them fit into your backpack, picnic basket, or carry-on.

Take a hike

One of the best things about living in a part of the US where we see all four seasons is the unadulterated joy we feel when the winter clouds recede, the spring rains taper off, and true summer arrives. Whether you want to get out and enjoy the fine weather on your bicycle, your horse, or your own two feet, or sit under a tree and dream about someone else’s adventures, a book about the great outdoors is a perfect way to while away the summer.

Reach for the stars

I was always too freaked out by the thought of spiders and centipedes sharing my tent to do a lot of camping, but the handful of times I ventured into the wilderness, I was amazed at how different the sky looked without streetlights and power lines blocking my view. Are you looking to identify the constellations? Catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights? Explore the idea of life beyond this planet? In any case, looking upward is a great path to looking inward and nothing says, “backyard summer” like stargazing with family or friends.

Summer love

If I divided my reading habits by the seasons, summer would always synonymous with first love stories. The moment the sun breaks through the clouds, I am busy hunting down every new YA romance I can get my hands on. If you, too, dream of a summer spent in a hammock swooning, sighing, ‘shipping, or sobbing, these first love/fleeting love titles might be just the thing to make your heart beat faster and your lemonade taste sweeter.

This summer, I’ll be loading up my device with a mix of backyard games, spooky stories, and tales about finding yourself so I can hit the road (or crawl into my backyard treehouse) while diving deep into some great summer reads, old school style.

What books will you find to kickstart your retro summer?