Cold weather allows time for winter reading

There’s nothing quite like the joy of curling up next to the fire with a good book.

There’s nothing quite like the joy of curling up next to the fire with a good book.

Whatever your literary preferences may be — detective fiction, romance, fantasy, science fiction, young adult, non-fiction — the way a book can get right down to your soul and bring relaxation and excitement all at once, with the possibility of a little learning thrown in for good measure, is hard to beat.

This time of year is especially ideal for reading.

It’s cold outside, it’s cloudy, if the snow isn’t falling from the sky making it hard to drive, it’s covering the ground making it hard to walk.

The answer, as it always tends to be for me, is to read.

The problem is that sometimes finding the right book can be hard, especially at this time of year when you’ve probably already read a bunch of books and you’ve covered all your usual bases — you’re up to date on your favourite author, you’ve read that book everyone’s been talking about for a year, you’re all done the books you’ve gotten for Christmas and you finally got around to reading that book a friend left you.

Reading challenges are a great way to break out of this slump of not being able to find something that satisfies, especially if it’s one that takes you to a place you don’t normally go, as far as reading is concerned.

For those who’ve never done a reading challenge before they’re pretty simple. You select a goal, say read 100 books this year, and then you read those books.

But, if you’re having the problem I just talked about, not knowing where to start, you can tweak your challenge to be a little more helpful.

In fact, I’ll go one better and suggest a fun little reading challenge to help get things going.

Read five books that have something to do with Summerland.

Since you could easily read five books written by Summerlanders, we can be a little more specific and do it this way: Read two books written by Summerlanders. This is the easy one. Off the top of my head I can think of at least six authors, if not more living here.

Follow that up with one book about Summerland—it could be historical, it could be about the geography, it could be about the orchard industry, anything. Just find a book that’s written about the community.

Up next try a book that’s set in Summerland — sure, it’ll likely be written by someone who lives here, but if you count this as your book set here and find two others written by residents, you’re actually reading three Summerland authors, which is even better than just reading two.

Round off your list with a book about someone from Summerland.

There you go. A little light reading to help get anyone who may not be sure what they’re going to read next through the next little while.

If you’re not sure how to find one or more of the book types that I suggested, head down to the library and see what they have on the shelves.

Happy reading!

Douglas Paton is a Summerland writer and musician. If you know of a local arts and culture event, contact him at