I’ve always read whatever I want, whenever I want. So does everyone, right? Well, I thought so, too. Then I heard about this whole ‘seasonal reading’ thing. It started over the summer while watching a YouTube video by one of the more popular booktubers, someone who’s reviews I like, but whose reading tastes usually stray far from my own. This particular video was about ‘good summer reads’. Curious, I watched on. What were ‘summer reads’? Were those like ‘beach reads’, another term I’d heard bandied about for years but never quite grasped the concept of? My only idea of a ‘beach read’ was ‘book clung to like a lifeline when family and/or friends drag you kicking and screaming to the beach. Usually comes with side of sand and gross, sticky watermelon seeds.’
I get it now, I think. Books that fit a season thematically somehow, sort of like pumpkin spice coffee and apple pie is a ‘fall only’ thing. Scary books help to drive the love of and hype for Halloween. Christmas themed books help bring the warmth, charm, and magic of the season. Something light and happy, maybe with themes of change or new beginnings are good books for spring.
Honestly, it sounds lovely. I envy those with the ability to read seasonally, to purchase a ghost story in March and somehow wait for October to roll around before reading it. Getting so in sync with seasons, to be able to post all the lovely seasonally themed Instagram photos, it sounds nice. I envy it, even.
As much as I’d like to partake in all this seasonal hype, I find I simply can’t. It’s just never something I’ve done, and now that I’m trying, I find it difficult to impossible. I’ve never really believed in seasonal themeing as a whole. This is probably most apparent with my cooking habits. Have a hankering for pumpkin spiced coffee in April? No problem. I’ve got whip cream and the appropriate spices in my cabinet. Feel like a hearty bowl of stew on a hot July afternoon? Just whip up a batch. Don’t mind the now sweltering first floor of the house. Just crank up the AC!
Reading books that aren’t horror right now feels a bit like shouting into the void. I stand here, hoping for an answer, for something, anything, but know I’m really only shouting to myself. There are plenty of horror novels on my shelf I’ve yet to pick up. I’ve planned to read Lovecraft Country for months now. I picked up a book called Night of the Living Trekkies that I’ve been meaning to read, too. And that doesn’t count the half a dozen Stephen King novels on my shelf that are still unread.
The closest I’ve come to a Halloween or Fall read is the graphic novel Dollface. I mean, it’s got zombies and ghosts. That counts, right?
What I want to read is The Book of Dust by Phillip Pullman, a new installment in a world that helped solidify my love of fantasy and left such an impression on me that I later wrote one of my major college papers on The Golden Compass, the first book in the original trilogy. Yet, look as I might, no one is talking about this long awaited for title despite being released only a few weeks ago. I feel like an outlier. I suppose I am one.
One of these days I’ll get around to reading all the horror novels I’ve accumulated. Maybe I’ll even hold off on posting reviews until the correct time of year. But, for now, I think I’ll just admire seasonal reading from afar.