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If you think summer reading is an innocent pastime—spending long, lazy days getting lost in a book—think again. Summer reading is dangerous stuff, folks. Sure, the ability to focus intently on a clutch of printed paper and immerse yourself in unseen worlds populated by unseen people may seem harmless—especially in a year as fraught with violence and upheaval as this one—but it’s not a lifestyle to be undertaken lightly. There is a price to pay…albeit one with immeasurable dividends: intellectual development, increased empathy, broadened horizons, entertainment, and much, much more!

That said, Bas Bleu’s editors would be remiss if we didn’t alert you to some of the dangers of summer reading. Forewarned is forearmed, after all! We’ve limited our cautionary list to fifteen warnings, in honor of those fifteen precious weekends between (and including) Memorial Day and Labor Day.

1. Beware sunburn!
You know the drill: You applied SPF30 like a champ before you hit the pool deck, but then that guy in chapter six did that thing to that other guy that had you racing straight through to chapter twelve. Three hours later, your skin hates you.

2. Beware losing miserably at Pokémon Go!
Because who has time to chase digital critters around town when there are new books to be read?

3. Beware heartbreak!
The more you read, the greater the danger of losing your heart to yet another fictional character.

4. Beware being out of touch!
Reading constantly may leave you unable to dish about this summer’s blockbuster movies or terrible reality shows. (Except Love & Friendship. You probably saw that one…and read the source material.)

5. Beware alienating your travel buddies!
They just want to sightsee in an awesome vacation spot, yet you insist upon dragging them into every bookshop you come upon in said new town.

6. Beware bruises…and water up your nose!
Those surprise plot twists will knock you right off your hammock or pool float.

7. Beware parenting fails!
When you have your nose in a book, you’re much more likely to miss your kid’s swan dive. (All seventeen attempts.)

8. Beware library fines!
You’ll have to fork over some serious cash if you return water-logged or sandy books.

9. Beware blowing the back-to-school budget!
Yes, books were on the teachers’ lists…but for the children, not for you.

10. Beware unemployment!
Your boss will notice if you play hooky from work every time the day promises perfect reading weather.

11. Beware luggage fees!
Packing an extra suitcase full of books to be read on vacation will not endear you to the baggage handlers.

12. Beware hunger!
Subsisting solely on cold drinks and snack foods because you can’t stop reading long enough to eat lunch—or dinner—isn’t good for your health.

13. Beware overuse injuries!
You risk a permanently sore arm and shoulder from holding up your book to block the sun while reading in your lounge chair or on your beach towel.

14. Beware restraining orders!
The librarians at your local branch may accuse you of stalking if you insist on being on hand when they unlock the doors every morning, when they lock them again at night, and when they unload the book deposit box…which surely contains that new novel you’ve been dying to read.

15. Beware too much of a good thing!
Water, water is everywhere this summer, so take care not a drop threatens your next page-turner!

Happy reading, bluestockings. And stay safe out there!


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