Cartoonist Bill Watterson’s characters Calvin and Hobbes know how to embrace summer.

CHECK THIS OUT: Got summer? Your library does!

Anne DeGrace writes about how the library can fit into your summer plans

“It’s a cruel season that makes you get ready for bed when it’s light out,” said the inimitable Calvin of Bill Watterson’s popular comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. Many of us can remember exactly what it’s like to lie in your summer PJs listening to the sounds of older kids still playing outside. And yet, most of us would go back in an instant.

Summer is the stuff of happy memory-making at any age, and the library wants to get out and make them with you. Here are five ways to take the library along with you on your summer adventures.

• Beach-Reading! Also known as Forest-Reading, Hammock-Reading, and Shade-Tree-Reading, summertime reading is all about the book that carries you like a happy dog galumphing through a field of daisies; in other words, endlessly engaging.

There are a number of ways to enjoy books this time of year, including page-turners from our shelves, books from other libraries through Interlibrary Connect, and books from our eBook collection (much lighter in the beach bag). Want to sip a cold drink while flipping idly through a magazine? We have those, too, in all formats.

• Audiobooks for the road! Books on CD or MP3 are great for the car. Playaways (books on their own little MP3 players) mean that the kids in the back seat can each have their own favourite book to listen to, letting the miles go by smoothly; for adults, it’s great to have someone read to you while you’re out in the garden. Downloadable e-Audiobooks make a sunny summer story as close as your device.

Of note: The Friends of the Nelson Library hold their annual A/V sale on Wednesday, July 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. by the front doors. That means you can pick up audiobooks, CDs, DVDs, and vinyl that you can keep forever for a donation to this amazing group that supports your library.

• For the younger set, we have Exploration Backpacks for check out that contain binoculars, aqua magnifiers, nature guides and more. It’s the season of birds and bugs and tadpoles — something for young explorers to dream about once they’re tucked in bed. Kids who’d like to be out in all kinds of weather might check out A Kids’ Guide to Building Forts by Tom Birdseye, available in the children’s section along with a gazillion other awesome summer reads.

• The library is a great resource for outdoorsy folk, with fishing, backpacking, boating, mountain biking, and hiking guides. Where Locals Hike by Kathy Copeland is the go-to guide for the West Kootenay. We’ve also got Fly Fishing BC’s Interior by Brian Smith, and the classic Whitewater Trips and Hot Springs in the Kootenays by Betty Pratt-Johnson, so you can get wet any which way you choose. Want to make those memories indelible? Learn to take unforgettable travel and nature photographs through Gale Courses, free with your library card.

• Find us at Wednesday markets during the summer (dates TBA). Make your own “I Love Summer!” button (or choose your own design), go on a “Blind Date with a Beach Book” with our free grab-bag, find out about the amazing programs available for kids 6 to 12 in our Summer Reading Club, and learn about the Teen Summer Reading Challenge. Don’t have a library card yet? No worries! You can sign up for one there, without ever having to go inside.

Calvin, the kid, and Hobbes, the stuffed tiger (who is very much alive) careen through summer days in ways to which we should all aspire. Let’s see how many ways we can join them this summer.

Anne DeGrace is the adult services co-ordinator at the Nelson Public Library.

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