One of my favorite summer vacations is very close to home: reading on my porch.

As much as I love reading a good book, I love being outdoors. My shaded back porch is the perfect place to combine two of my favorite things.

I’m perfectly content to listen to the birds, drink a glass of lemonade or iced tea, feel a cool breeze, and read a good book.

OK, so it’s not quite the same as a sandy beach with the roar of the waves and the sound of the seagulls. But the price is right, the travel time is short and I can go back again and again.

Reading can be like a mini-vacation when and where you find the time to open a book.

You can take a reading vacation in the comfort of air conditioning, relax by the river, relax in a local park, sit in a comfy chair at your library or wherever you like to hang out.

Books allow you to travel to exotic places, go back in time, meet new people, or reunite with familiar friends. You can even travel to the future.

This summer I took a trip on the Lincoln Highway and traveled through Oklahoma and Botswana. Right now, I’m revisiting Brooklyn in the early 1900s.

Your local library is filled with destinations. Library staff can be your travel guide and direct you to books on all kinds of subjects.

They can give you a big mystery to solve or help you escape into a summer romance. If you enjoy visiting museums while on vacation, check out the art and history books section or take home a documentary.

For those who like to take lessons on vacation, you can find practical DVDs, cookbooks to learn how to make a dish from another part of the world or books on all kinds of hobbies.

Don’t forget that you can take your children or grandchildren with you on your reading holiday.

Remind them of the joy of reading by joining your local library’s summer reading program.

Seeing you read is a great example for them. Reading together can spark great conversations. You might even win a few prizes in the summer reading program, like pool passes and backpacks for other adventures.

You may want to plan your visit to the library around one of the many special events and fun programs offered at your library this summer.

We offer spy camps, zoo animals and polka music, to name a few. All ages can find something to enjoy.

Babies have new sessions designed to explore the senses, tweens and teens have robotics and crafts, and adults have assistive technology sessions and story programs. Join the new creative writing group or the new mystery reading club.

Watch for Dutch doubles that appear in parks and at events in the area. The list of summer options is long.

Stop by the library for a schedule, check us out online, or follow us on Instagram or Facebook to keep up to date with the latest offerings.

Don’t have a library card? Summer is the perfect time to enroll. Think of it as your passport to great places.

We registered several people for the maps this month and updated the maps for those who haven’t been in a while. It was so fun to see the library bustling with activity.

With the current intense heat, the library is a cool place to visit. Kids can hang out in the tree house, at the train table, or explore the flight lab before checking out their books to take home.

This summer, take the time to forget the to-do list, choose a cool place, pour your favorite drink and go on vacation.

Re-read a favourite, check out a classic, do something serious with it, or go for some plushies. Wherever you want to go, a book can take you there, and your library is a great place to start.