Kari Kelly

Kari Kelly, children’s book buyer for Curious Iguana, holds up two popular children’s books for the summer.

The only thing better than a good read is a good summer read, in my opinion.

And who better to talk about summer reads than the folks at Curious Iguana.

I popped in last week to talk to Marlene England, owner of Curious Iguana, and her staff about some good summer reads and how they pick their books to display on the “summer reads” shelf.

England said usually people are looking for lighter reads in the summer, but not always.

“I had a customer the other day who wanted a really good book she could sink our teeth into,” she said. “She wanted to read something a little heavier while she was on vacation, so it really depends on the reader.”

Most of the summer reads the store has on display is a compilation of staff favorites. While there are many fiction books, there’s also a few mystery novels, historical fiction and other genres.

“We try to appeal to everybody’s reading tastes on this table,” England said.

“Historical fiction is really popular right now,” said Lauren Nopenz Fairley, operations manager for Curious Iguana.

She said the store keeps selling City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert, The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton and A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.

But with any genre, England said most people prefer paperbacks in the summer, especially if they’re traveling.

“I get that with parents a lot,” Nopenz Fairley said. “They want paperbacks because they’re traveling and they don’t want their kids to lug around big books.”

She added that the summer is when publishers put out paperbacks specifically for summer reading.

“A lot of the books that came out in the fall or for the holidays come out in paperback in the summer for summer reading,” she said.

That’s not just for adult books either, kids books for summertime are popular as well.

“During the summer the most important thing is to find something that the kid wants to read,” said Kari Kelly, the children’s book buyer for the local book store. “I really like to encourage adults to let kids read whatever they’re into, whether it’s a graphic novel or just a fantasy book. During the school year they have to read certain things so you just want them to continue to read regardless of what it is, even if you might not like it.”

She said some popular kids books are books about summertime, like The Last Last-Day-of-Summer by Lamar Giles.

Fantasy is also popular during the summer as well as graphic novels.

“It’s the length of a chapter but it’s all done in comic graph style,” she said. “It’s all pictures, and sometimes adults want kids to shy away from that, but they’re really great for kids who are stuck in a rut or kids who aren’t the strongest readers.”

Summers not over just yet, so if you’re looking for your next summer read head over to Curious Iguana or C. Burr Artz Library to find the next book to, as England says, sink your teeth into.

Follow CJ Fairfield on Twitter @FairfieldCj

(1) comment


Great content, and I’m glad to see Curious Iguana featured. Having a local independent bookstore is critical. However, there are several grammar and usage errors in the copy. That is disappointing.

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