Our Summer Reads, Vol. 3 – Raquel Reyes

Summer is finally here, and with it, the best time of year to curl up with a book, free – at least in our heads – of all obligations to read anything out of obligation. Long-anticipated leisure reads, lakeside picnics, and much-needed sunshine. This June, the Attic on Eighth writers share what it is that they’re looking forward to reading this summer season.

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My highest priority reading list at the moment comprises of one hundred and five titles. There is a little bit of overlap, but the next holds two hundred and fourteen, and the third just over four hundred. There’s less, on the rest, but the rest is still a handful of other lists. Do we all not save every #bookstagram photo with shiny new titles to look up and read later? Of course I panic that I’ll never get to them all, and of course none of these include any shiny new books yet to be released. But I probably panic more when I think of a title and can’t remember if I’ve noted it somewhere or not. And so the lists. Champagne problems.

Summer, with its endless days and (in my case) midday storms that set a mood to do nothing else, gloriously allows me to at least try to make my way through the behemoth, figurative piles. I don't actually have a large library, to be honest, and I don’t usually buy many books (not for lack of desire, just convoluted self-discipline). I mentioned in my last summer reads childhood haggles with my local library, and the practice stands, if you think about these hundreds of books, because for every two books I buy I probably end up loaning another five out in a row. (For those wondering, all of my lists are in fact saved in my Libby app, which allows for easy access when I need a new read, or when searching for inspiration in the local shops.*)

At the moment my summer reading list contains several new releases and acquisitions, as my birthday last month resulted in entirely book-based presents and a shopping spree at my local used bookshop. I’m also hoping to get through releases from the last year that I still haven’t managed, such as Sally Rooney and Ottessa Moshfegh’s works and picking up where I left off in Lauren Groff’s Florida earlier this year. I’m tentatively considering titles that have made their way onto my attention in the last few days, thanks to upcoming productions or being quintessentially discussed as summer reads, such as The Goldfinch, The Idiot, and Little Fires Everywhere. I don’t usually care about reading the book first, but these are titles I’ve had on the backburner for a while and feel their added presence on my Twitter feed might be a sign. Or a sign that I should get off Twitter. A girl can dream.

I read whenever I get moments throughout the day, clutching books from room to room like some semi-grown-up security blanket, keeping a page goal in mind that I’ve usually chosen ahead of time for each title (the number of pages I read in the first hour of starting a book, or the total pages divided by the number of days I want to get through said book in, whichever feels more emotionally urgent), but not being hard on myself as long as I read at some point in the day. As for order, I’ve always lived by that urgent feeling, and pull whichever book screams for my attention loudest at any point in my life. I don’t always get to the shiny new book immediately, but as long as I have it somewhere, I know it’ll find me when I need it.

Focusing on summer ideals (or idylls, if you'll allow me) — not including titles I've already knocked out — these are the ones currently shouting their way to the top:

*This post is not sponsored I just really love that app.

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Raquel Reyes is Creative Director at The Attic on Eighth. She enjoys styling photo shoots, dramatic hair accessories, and old fashioned cocktails.

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