Reading books is alive and well this summer

Book reading is alive and well at Fairfield and our bookstore staff couldn’t be happier. Note that Kindles haven’t become obsolete, but we’re noticing that more and more of our customers are looking for an actual book they can hold in their hands. This is definitely a summer of reader demand.

As a floor person at least three times a week at the Fairfield University Bookstore, I have a front row seat to what our customers are specifically looking for. I usually have a stream of readers requesting various books from our computer search desk and I’m happy to direct them to the many sections with books of all kinds.

One of the important tables we have created for this summer is a large table of summer fiction readings of our most popular beach books and we are definitely seeing these books outselling the same titles on the shelves . I can’t cover all the titles, but I’ve selected a few to recognize.

For example, Colleen Hoover, who has easily written more than seven books that we constantly miss, has my vote for author group leader. We literally can’t keep his books on the table or on the shelves. The most popular tracks seem to be “All Your Perfects”, “It Ends With Us” and “Verity”.

‘Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’, ‘Malibu Rising’ and Taylor Jenkins Reid’s ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’ follow close behind, with Elin Hildebrand – she has a new New York Times bestseller, ‘Hotel Nantucket’.

Other popular works on the table include “Summer Love” by Nancy Thayer, “That Summer” by Jennifer Weiner, and “People We Meet on Vacation” and “Beach Read” by Emily Henry.

I also regularly restock copies of Rebecca Serle’s “One Italian Summer”, Laura Dave’s “The Last Thing He Told Me”, and Delia Owens’ “Where the Crawdads Sing”, now a great movie.

Mystery and suspense remain in high demand this summer with authors like the prolific James Patterson — with or without co-writers — David Baldacci, Stephen King, Lucy Foley, Clive Cussler, Michael Connelly, Preston and Child and John Grisham. I regularly replenish these additional New York Times bestsellers with new copies.

The non-fiction and biography/memoir side of the store is busier than ever and some of the most popular authors I’ve seen this summer include Patrick Radden Keefe (true crime and biography section); Katie Couric, Dave Grohl, Glennon Doyle and Viola Davis.

Nicole Hannah-Jones’ “The 1619 Project” remained a popular history book this summer. And one of my favorites is Malcolm Gladwell’sTalking to Strangers”, “Outliers” and a range of other books. Adam Grant’s “Think Again,” a business book that’s been on and off the New York Times bestseller list, and Yuval Noah Harari’s “Sapiens” are also on the list.

Children’s books and books for summer reading by students remained as busy as our other trade books and our Where’s Waldo scavenger hunt, which includes nearly 20 other stores in Fairfield, is generating a lot of interest. Our Waldo party is coming July 30th.

While my overview of engaging summer readings doesn’t cover all of the authors and titles we have, my goal was to highlight that reading is alive and well this summer and customers are coming in regularly. Really hope we get lots of customers at the next sidewalk sale this weekend. We are fully stocked and ready for even more summer readers.

Steven Gaynes is a Fairfield writer and his “In the Suburbs” appears every Friday. He can be contacted at

About Marcia G. Hussain

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