When I was a kid summer holidays kicked off with a big family trip to our favourite bookshop (the now sadly defunct The Lion and the Unicorn, although you can visit their new shop, The Alligator's Mouth, which is almost as brilliant), where we were each allowed to choose two new books to read over the summer. Coming from a big family this was one of the only times - besides birthdays and Christmas - during the year that we got new books, and it always kicked the summer off to a magical start.
Then there was the library service summer reading challenge, which they still run to this day, where you read books and wrote little reviews and got prizes (bookmarks, stickers and the like) and sometimes even to put your reviews up on a special board they had. It was practically like I was famous seeing my own words up there for all the library patrons to read.
Of course reading is always a brilliant and treasured thing around these parts, but there is something especially great about summer reading. Taking your books outside to sit in the sun, reading on the beach, longer daylight hours... It all adds up to more reading time!
One of the best things about those family bookshop trips (still one of my favourite things about shopping with fellow booklovers) is that we'd all exchange books and check out what the others had bought and then we'd talk about them over the summer. Reading definitely gave my family a talking point and helped us to build the relationship that we have today, so when I started Ninja Book Box it was always in my head to try to recreate this experience somehow.
All of which leads me to the introduction of our first Summer Reading box! We've pretty much gone to the bookshop for you and picked out a load of brilliant independently published books. We also have three different types of box available. Each box will contain three books and you can choose between an adult-only box, a family box containing adult and kids books, or a kids only box. Options for kids books range from baby all the way up to teenagers, so everyone can join in whatever your family looks like! We will also have an online book group and will be encouraging people to talk about their books together.
Although this box won't contain gift items like our boxes usually do there will be a few little ninja extras to help you along your summer reading journey. The box is available for pre-order and will be shipping between the beginning of June and the end of July, and you can save 15% by looking around on #ninjabookbox on twitter and Instagram for referral codes.
What are some of your favourite books to read in summer? I usually go back to adventure stories (hence the theme of our box!) like His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman, summery YA such as Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, or books that are just plain gorgeous like anything published by Persephone. We'd love to hear yours!