Summer reading the fun way

About this time of year, my grandmother would always say, “It’s the dog days of summer!” As a child, I gathered that she was saying, “It sure is HOT!” And it certainly is!   Do you remember playing outside all day? No one worried about kids and heat stroke or sunscreen, but today it seems the worries for parents are endless. No one, and certainly not kids, wants to be cooped up in a stuffy (but cool) house every day. Summer outings can be expensive, and going to the pool every day can get old fast. So, I wanted to provide you with a few inexpensive or free experiences to enjoy this summer with your child that will also grow their love for reading.

Linebaugh Library: check it out

If you’re looking for a way to stay cool, have fun, and get some education in, Linebaugh Library has events every day of the week! They have a summer reading program, craft time, puppet shows and tons of other fun activities that you and your child can enjoy. You can also open up a library card for your child and check out books or DVDs for free. If you want to know more about picking books your child will want to read, check out my last blog post here.

Barnes and Noble: listen, learn and earn

Barnes and Noble, located in the Avenue in Murfreesboro, has a story time event every week and you can count on the it being a good one! They also offer a rewards program to earn a free book! Read 8 books with your child and record them in their printable reading journal and you can choose from a list of new, free books. Learn more here.

Reading for tokens

Chuck E. Cheese isn’t just all pizza and games. They have a ‘Reading Rewards’ program that encourages a child to read everyday for two weeks to earn 10 free game tokens. Click here to download a calendar for reading.

Good books, great prices

McKay is a gigantic used bookstore and a hidden treasure for those that LOVE to read (or are just starting to LOVE to read). There is one right up the road in Nashville, Tenn. You can trade in your own books for credit. Or, if you are like me and can’t even part with books that you’ve already read, you can shop for used books as cheap as 25 cents. Now, that’s something that doesn’t happen every day! They have DVDs, CDs and vinyl, too. Go to and check it out!

More free books (not just for summer)!

Have you signed your child up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library? Your child will receive a free book each month until they turn 5. This is something you can both look forward to throughout the year! Sign up at

Motivating children is easy. Challenge your children by creating a reading chart and reward system like the one here. I promise you that getting your child to read just one book at day will lead to two, then three, and so on.

Remember reading is priceless gift you are giving your children, and Dr. Seuss said it best when he said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn the more places you’ll go.”

Happy Reading!!