Summer Reading Ideas

Beach huts - Exmouth, DevonThe days are longer and the weekends more leisurely making this a fantastic time to read a book!

Whether you’re reading to stimulate your mind, want to loose yourself in a stirring adventure, or to learn something new, here are a few ideas for a perfect summer read.

A few tips before you start:

  • Why not tackle the pile of books by your bed? Sift through them and get rid of the ones you will honestly never read.
  • Look for books that will fit into the time you have available. Consider collections of short stories, essays or poetry if you don’t have much time. Choose some longer or more challenging books if you are going on holiday.

Visit your local library

Your local library will be happy to help you find the right book. If you have read everything by your favourite author, then your librarian can recommend other authors who write in a similar style. Some libraries have reading groups that you could join, and most will have seasonal recommendations.

Use Devon Libraries online catalogue to find out if the book you want is in stock then reserve it from your library or online. You could even borrow an audio book to listen to in the car.


Ask friends for recommendations. They may be able to suggest some hidden gems.

Have a look at the TV Book Club recommendations for summer 2011, for example:

Richard and Judy’s book Club is still going strong and includes podcasts and reviews of the books they recommend.

The Channel 4 TV Book Club has suggestions, book notes, summaries and author profiles that will help you make a decision.

LibraryThing  is a cataloguing and social networking site for book lovers with over one million members worldwide.  You can add your own collection and LibraryThing will come up with recommendations based on the books you already have. You can also find members around the world who have a similar taste in books to you. Checking out their ‘virtual bookshelves’ can give you some exciting new suggestions. It’s really easy to register – you don’t even need to give an email address to sign up.

Goodreads  has over 5 million members and is a book recommendation service. You can join online reading groups (e.g. Stephen King Fans) or browse the service’s top shelves to find more recommendations.  The reviews and recommendations can vary considerably though as they are added by members.

Amazon features books old and new, with reviews, recommendations, top 100 charts, and of course if something takes your fancy – you can buy it! The site also includes reviews of audio books, ebooks and the ability to download Kindle e-books.


There are also websites that designed to generate suggestions based on the books and authors you like.

What should I read next? has over 75,000 titles and is quite fast at offering suggestions. If you are looking for something similar to well loved book – this is a fast and easy site to use.

whichbook? is a quirky site. Instead of choosing from a book list or genre, suggestions are made based on your reading mood using a combination of sliding scales between the two opposites, happy or sad, funny or serious, safe or disturbing, sex or no sex.

There are 20 million different permutations possible, so if you’re not sure what to read this is the perfect solution to help you find something new.

Enjoy your summer reading!