Watch the recording of this event, embedded below:
The publishing phenomenon of summer reading started in the nineteenth century, as both print culture and tourist culture expanded in the United States. Drawing on publishing records, book reviews, readers’ diaries, and popular novels of the period, Donna Harrington-Lueker explores the beginning of summer reading and the backlash against it. Countering fears about the dangers of leisurely reading—especially for young women—publishers framed summer reading not as a disreputable habit but as a respectable pastime and welcome respite. Harrington-Lueker works to shed new light on an ongoing seasonal publishing tradition.
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