Kick Back, Relax, and Grab a Book: A Guide to Summer Reading

What are the benefits of reading?

  1. Strengthens the brain. It has been shown that reading helps the networks and signals in your brain get stronger as proven by MRI scans.
  2. Increases ability to empathize. When you read, you often connect with the characters in the book, opening up your feelings and beliefs of others. According to Healthline, this is called “theory of mind” which is a set of skills that help with building and maintaining social relationships.
  3. Improves vocabulary. The more you read, the greater your vocabulary becomes as you are exposed to new words and phrases.
  4. Helps slow down cognitive decline. According to the National Institute on Aging, reading helps improve cognitive functioning in older adults.
  5. Decreases stress. Reading for 30 minutes has shown to lower heart rate and blood pressure. Try reading before bed to help you unwind and prepare your body for a restful night sleep.
Here are some fun ways to incorporate more reading into your summer.
  1. Read in different places. Challenge yourself and see how many different places you can read this summer….in a tent? under the stars? at the beach? on a boat? Changing your scenery is a great way to enjoy some fresh air and all the sights and sounds of nature.
  2. Pick different themes. Pick out a theme that you enjoy. Do you want to read about a story that takes place at the beach, or in the mountains? In a different country? This will also help you expand the types of books you read.
  3. Join a book club. Reading and sharing with others can make reading more fun and you can get different perspectives on the plot and characters.


Here are the top best selling books to get you started.


  1. Tom Clancy Zero Hour by Don Bentley
  2. Sparring Partners by John Grisham
  3. Meant to Be by Emily Griffin


  1. James Patterson by James Patterson
  2. Happy-Go-Lucky by David Sedaris
  3. Finding Me by Viola Davis

Books for your mental health

  1. The Body Keeps Score by Bessel van der Kolk
  2. Hope and Help for Your Nerves: End Anxiety Now by Dr. Claire Weekes
  3. Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions by Russell Brand

Looking for other book enthusiasts in your area? Be sure to visit one of Acenda's Family Success Centers to meet others in your area who may want to start a book club this summer!