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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Queer Summer Reading 2018 Introduction

Welcome to the Second Annual Laina and Luci's Queer Summer Reading Club! Or Queer Summer Reading for short, and QSR for even shorter.

Jeez, can you tell I made the graphics this year? They match my header like perfectly. Honestly, I did not do that on purpose. It just kinda happened.

Alright, so, what is Queer Summer Reading? QSR is a summer event based on the summer reading programs of my youth that my library ran.

When I was a kid, we could only really go to the library in the summer because it was about a mile and a half away, and that's a long walk when you're a kid and it's winter in Canada. I also couldn't walk there alone because it was across several incredibly busy roads. I totally Google mapped that, and google says it's a 30 minute walk one way. (My mom was afraid of public transportation. Don't ask.) That means we needed at least an hour's time to get there, plus, you know, time to pick books out and stuff, and my mom worked a lot, so summer was also one of the only times when that free time existed. Ask me about the time I got heat stroke doing that walk if you ever want me to rant about accessible libraries. Because, yeah, that's a thing that happened.

Anyways, most of them are much more positive memories, and one thing in particular I loved doing was summer reading club. I couldn't do a lot of the activities that libraries did (see above), but that was something I could do, and I loved getting the little booklet and stickers, and filling it out with the books I'd read. I always felt so proud. And I want to recreate that feeling in a way, and Luci goes along with me because they love me ;)

In that spirit, Queer Summer Reading is not a traditional book club where we assign specific books and then discuss them, but a more general thing so everyone can participate.

We do, however, want to challenge you! Our challenge to you is to read four queer books this summer. Two in July, two in August. This year, we want to give special focus to intersectionality, which as you know is a term coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw to describe ways in which oppression is interconnected and can't be examined separately from each other. So you can choose whether the MC or the author has intersectional identities. We encourage reading ownvoices books, or books by marginalized authors over books about marginalized characters by privileged authors.

Some of our suggestions are:

- A book by a queer author of colour, or book featuring a queer nonwhite character
- A queer book with mental illness representation
- A queer MC who is also a religious minority
- A queer MC with a physical disability
- A queer, non-neurotypical MC
- A book with a fat, queer MC

You get the picture, right? Feel free to come up with your own!

We're also trying something new this year, and that something is:


You can download the cards here. This is not the main point of the challenge, but it's a little extra mini-challenge that we thought could be a fun extra activity.


Q. Do I have to be queer to join?

A. Nope! The queer books are the focus, and we want everyone to read them! For guest posts, we do prefer people with experience in those areas, though, to elevate those important voices.

Q. What book do I have to read?

A. Anything you want! As long as it's queer, it counts.

Q. Do I have to read a book? / I don't know if I have the time/spoons to read anything.

A. That's okay too! We want to challenge you, but you can be part of Queer Summer Reading if you just want to read interviews, or join in on Twitter chats, or whatever you want. The challenges are bonus, and just for fun.

Q. When does it start/end?

A. Queer Summer Reading is going to run from July 1st to August 31st. More dates about twitter chats and such will be posted shortly as we finalize things.

Q. I love that banner! It's so gorgeous. Can I have one?

A. Once all our designs are finalized, we will be posting them so you can use them wherever you want! We encourage you to add the button to your blog, or use one of the banners for your blog if you talk about your goals.

Q. Help! What do I read?

A. Anything you want! We will definitely be posting what we plan on reading, though, and we want to have some rec lists. (If you want to write a rec list, tune in soon!)

Q. What else can I do besides just read books?

A. You can do whatever you want! Want to host a giveaway for a queer book on your blog? You can use one of our graphics and we'll boost it! Want to write a blog post about queer books? We'll boost that! Just wanna say we're neat? We'll boost that! And also thanks, we think you're neat too! We'll be doing a lot on Twitter, but we'll also have link-up posts and all kinds of fun stuff.

We're also planning guest posts, rec lists, and author interviews, so if you're interested in any of those, stay tuned. We're going to have more information on those soon as well.

Q. Why are you reusing so many of these questions from last year?

A. Because I am lazy, and many of them are still relevant!

Q. Where I can find out more?

A. First of all, here! All my posts will be under the "queer summer reading" label, so you can click that at the bottom of the post. you'll find more (once they're posted).

You can also follow me on twitter @lainasparetime, follow Luci at @soveryqueer, and follow Queer Summer Reading @queer_reads. We'll be using the hashtags #queersummerreading for general stuff and #queersummerchat for our chats! You can also email us at queersummerreading@gmail.com if you don't have Twitter. Lastly, you can check out our masterlist of posts from last year to get an idea of some of things we did.

Q. I have something else to ask!

A. Leave it in the comments, or send it to one of our twitter handles or the email address above! We'd love to hear from you.

Peace and popsicles,

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