Guest Post — Shannon L. Alexander

10 Bookish Things To Do This Summer

Summer is here, and I couldn’t be happier. As a writer posing as a stay-at-home mom, summer is a blissful break from the busy school-year grind. Here’s a quick list of some of the fun things I want to do this summer.

1. Take a tour of your favorite book setting.

I live in the Indianapolis area, which makes a tour of all the places Hazel and Augustus visit in John Green’s THE FAULT IN OUR STARS mandatory.


Photo of Funky Bones at The IMA. Augustus says, “…the bones are just far enough apart that if you’re a kid you cannot resist the urge to jump between them.” I say, I’m a grown-ass adult, and I still can’t resist.


If you can’t actually travel to your favorite setting (because some of us are still waiting for their Hogwarts acceptance letters), then use the magic of the Internet to make a virtual tour.

Set up a Pinterest board, like my Bookish Travels—Hogwarts board, and load images, maps, restaurant menus, etc. that would come in handy if you were to—let’s say—open an envelope and find a ticket for the Hogwarts Express inside.

2. Make camp at your local library for an afternoon and read All. The. Books.

3. Reorganize your bookshelves.

Mine are currently in rainbow order, but you could organize by author, genre, publication date, book size, or whatever else fits your fancy.



4. While we’re at it, perhaps we could even build a new bookshelf!

Here’s a collection of ideas I’ve started on my Pinterest board (aptly named) Bookshelves.

5.  Donate gently used books.

My children are growing and their reading habits are changing, so we recently weeded out all the “I Can Read” books in our collection (except for the few that were absolute favorites) and brought them to school for the teachers to have. In two days, both boxes were empty.

But it’s summer, you’re saying. What do I do with the books RIGHT NOW?

If your school is closed, look for local literacy groups that may be in need of books. Or check out Better World Books. You can find local drop boxes here. No drop boxes? Simply fill out this form and Better World Books will send you a free shipping label (because they are made of awesome).

6. Create fan art (or fan fiction)!

7. Make a playlist for your favorite summer read.

I challenged my friend Gwen to do this for her awesome Tumblr blog Create 365 at 39. Here’s her response to the challenge.

8. Practice Random Acts of Bookish Kindness by “gifting” a book to someone.

Purchase a book you love and leave it in a public place with a note saying that it is free for the taking.

Or visit your local bookseller, purchase a gift certificate from them, and then hide that certificate in one of the books or on a bookshelf in the store.

I always tell the bookseller what I’m doing. Then they get to be in on the fun!

blog39. Prepare a meal (or snack if you’re not in the mood to do much cooking) for your favorite character. Make sure it’s something that they’d like!

My kids and I just read R.J. Palacio’s WONDER (you can check out our family review of it here). In honor of August (Auggie) Pullman, we’re having Auggie Doggies for lunch (aka hot dogs)!

10. Read! (Duh.)

What bookish things are you hoping to accomplish this summer? Leave a comment below with more ideas for all us book nerds of summer!



Shannon Lee Alexander is a wife, mother (of two kids and one yellow terrier named Harriet Potter). She is passionate about coffee, books, and cancer research. Math makes her break out in a sweat. Love and Other Unknown Variables (Entangled Teen/Fall 2014) is her debut novel. She currently lives in Indianapolis with her family.

Connect with Shannon on Twitter @shanlalexander or visit her blog for more information at Wandering Through the Words.


Charlie Hanson has a clear vision of his future. A senior at Brighton School of Mathematics and Science, he knows he’ll graduate, go to MIT, and inevitably discover the solutions to the universe’s greatest unanswerable problems. He’s that smart. But Charlie’s future blurs the moment he reaches out to touch the tattoo on a beautiful girl’s neck.

The future has never seemed very kind to Charlotte Finch, so she’s counting on the present. She’s not impressed by the strange boy pawing at her until she learns he’s a student at Brighton, where her sister has just taken a job as the English teacher. With her encouragement, Charlie orchestrates the most effective prank campaign in Brighton history. And in doing so, he puts his own future in jeopardy.

By the time he learns Charlotte is ill—and that the pranks were a way to distract Ms. Finch from Charlotte’s illness—Charlotte’s gravitational pull on Charlie is too great to overcome. Soon he must choose between the familiar formulas he’s always relied on, or the girl he’s falling for (at far more than 32 feet per second).


About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

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About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

5 Responses to Guest Post — Shannon L. Alexander

  1. Bethanne says:

    OMG! That book gifting idea is soooo awesome. And I know it, because I got a chill thinking, “what if I went to BN this weekend and found a GC between two books!” LMAO 😀

    So glad you came by, today Shannon. Wave to my parents on the west side. They’re missionaries in Indianapolis, so…they live off of the university campus down there. Sure wish I could visit. 🙂 <3

  2. Nina Croft says:

    I’m sticking with number 10 and plan to read my way through A Song of Ice and Fire – for starters!

  3. What a fun list. I have a Pinterest and it’s sadly neglected…might have to fix that! Thanks for the great ideas 🙂

  4. Molly McLain says:

    I sooo need to organize my bookshelf, and as much as it pains me to say it…donate a bunch of books to the Salvation Army. I love the idea of making a new book shelf too! Might have to put some serious thought into that one! Thanks for being here today, Shannon!! 😀

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