Share Your Story: Read Outside

Happy summer reading! Our theme for Adult Summer Reading this year is "Share Your Story," and you can learn more about the challenges and prizes at our website. (The "Share Your Story" program is just for grown-ups -- if you're looking for summer reading for children or teens, that's a different page!) I hope that no matter what challenges we have to weather this summer, reading will be your port in the storm.

If you're taking part in the adult summer reading challenge, one of the many ways you can participate is by reading outside. First of all, make sure that you're being safe and obeying all social distancing guidelines anytime you leave your home! Don't go out after 9pm or before 6am, wear a covering over your nose and mouth, make sure to stay at least six feet away from other people, and don't forget your sunscreen, either -- UV radiation isn't taking a break for quarantine. However, it's still important to get fresh air and sunshine when we can. Taking your book outside for a little while is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors!

Does sitting on your own front stoop count? You bet! Settle down in the sunshine and synthesize some Vitamin D while you enjoy your latest read. You can also try something a little farther afield, though. "Green spaces" may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Boston -- we're more famous for our buildings and our traffic! However, we do still have plenty of beautiful outdoor spaces where you could sit down and crack open a book. 

Whether you know it or not, you've probably heard of the Emerald Necklace before. Over seven miles long, the Necklace curves in a rough semi-circle from Boston Common downtown to Franklin Park in Dorchester. If you walked or biked the entire length, you'd pass through the Back Bay Fens and the Arnold Arboretum on your way, too. Interested in plants? The Public Garden is not only beautiful, it's the oldest botanical garden in the United States. Smell the flowers, visit the famous ducklings, and sit down to read a chapter or two. You could also stop off in Olmstead Park, which is named for Frederick Law Olmstead, the designer of the Emerald Necklace. The Necklace contains about half of Boston's parkland! There's plenty of space to put down a picnic blanket and read for a while. 

What if you want to stay closer to home, though? You don't have to go out of your way to find an outdoor reading spot in Boston. The Parks & Recreation Department has a list of local parks and playgrounds available online. It's organized by neighborhood, so just scroll down until you find yours.

I wish that I could invite you to come read in the courtyards and gardens of your local library, but while we're closed due to COVID-19 (and even after we reopen, while the virus is still a threat), it's best not to come into locations where social distancing will be difficult. Once our services return to normal, I hope to see many of you here again!

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