When hot weather approaches, it's time to start thinking about what you'll read this summer! Our theme for Adult Summer Reading 2021 is "Digging Deeper, Growing Stronger," and you can learn more about the challenges and prizes at our website. Keep in mind that Adult Summer Reading is only for people age 18 and up. Information about summer reading for children or teens can be found on a different page. Already signed up for Adult Summer Reading and looking for suggestions for the Read Outside square? This post is here to help!
First of all, make sure that you're being safe and obeying all social distancing guidelines anytime you leave your home! Wear a covering over your nose and mouth in enclosed spaces, make sure to stay at least six feet away from other people, and don't forget your sunscreen, either -- getting vaccinated is great for stopping COVID, but it won't save you from UV radiation. 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.
Some parks even come with stories to read! The Highland Street Foundation has sponsored StoryWalk® installations across the city that you can visit. Check out the Parks & Recreation Department's StoryWalk page for a list of locations and a map.
I wish that I could invite you to come read in the courtyards and gardens of your local library, but while the COVID-19 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!