Reading adds enjoyment - and prizes! - to summer

Are you a fan of John Grisham? The late Michael Crichton? Danielle Steel? All three have new books out this summer (Grisham’s “Camino Ghosts” and Crichton’s “Eruption” are available now, with Steel’s “Resurrection” due June 25.)

Perhaps you have yet to read Hinsdale author Cristina Henriquez’s latest novel, “The Great Divide.”

Or maybe you’re a middle schooler working your way through the “Percy Jackson” series or a preschooler sounding out words in your first “I Can Read!” book.

Regardless of your age or preference, reading enthusiasts are invited to join the Hinsdale Public Library’s summer reading program to make discovering new titles even more fun this summer. The program began June 1 and continues through July 30, so there is still plenty of time to sign up.

Kids can pick up a log at the Youth Services Desk and update it every time they read for a chance to spin the prize wheel at the library. The library will gift a book to those who finish the program (while supplies last).

The library’s storytime sessions can serve as great inspiration for young readers. The next one at Burns Field is set for 10 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 26, with Laura Smetana reading her new book, “My Love for You is Like a Garden.” A craft and cookie will be part of the fun. If it’s raining, head to the library instead.

Teens also can stop by the Youth Services Desk to grab a log to keep track of how many books they read and collect prizes along the way.

Adults can fill out a ticket when they read or listen to a book or watch or attend any adult program this summer. Each ticket returned to the library is good for a chance to win a Starved Rock Lodge gift card.

The library will wrap up its summer reading program with a special HPL After Dark family blues concert on the lawn from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 28, featuring the Bear Williams Trio.

For adults, reading can be a wonderful escape to exotic places during those weeks of summer spent at home. It also can be a wonderful way to while away a morning on the front porch of a lake house or an afternoon at the beach.

For kids and teens, reading can help improve attention spans, stimulate brain development and prevent the loss of academic gains made during the school year. Reading also can help children learn empathy and provide comfort to younger ones, especially when someone is reading to them.

And with the Hinsdale Public Library right in the center of town, finding your next great summer read is just a walk or bike ride away.