Travel through summer reading lists

Travel through summer reading lists

If you think everybody leaves their town during summer holidays, you are wrong. Me and many people like me enjoy the holiday tranquility of the city. Holidays are not only times to rest and relax but also to nurture and renew.  

If you care about your brain - I would recommend you do - as much as you care about your body, do make a culture program for yourself. 

If you have taken notes of stories you have seen on papers, on TV and in magazines about new books, exhibitions and CDs, then vacations are the time to fill the gap.    

I frequently talk about books on various cities, and I do not mean touristic guides. I’m talking about city monographs and the books by authors who wrote about these places. I cannot imagine the northwestern city of Bursa without Nâzım Hikmet or Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, or the western border city Edirne without Niyazı Akıncıoğlu or central Anatolian Konya without Rumi (Mevlânâ).

A friend of mine who loves to travel obtains almost enough information and knowledge about the places he visits to write a book himself. He takes notes of places he visits and enjoys every moment of it. Visit the museums and archaeological sites of the places you are in. Especially visit the places that are included in UNESCO’s cultural heritage list. If you come back from those places without seeing a venue the whole world admires and cares, that kind of indifference would really shock me. 

Unfortunately, since we focus mostly on celebrity stories from resort towns, we can only hear about the museums and exhibitions held there when we arrive there.

Instead of mentioning İzmir and its cultural activities, celebrity vacation notes from the nearby resort in Çeşme are talked about; instead of mentioning the Gümüşlük Piano Festival in Bodrum led by Gülsin Onay, Turkey’s leading concert pianist, we are talking about celebrities losing weight. This activity, I think, is one of Bodrum’s most distinguished activities. 

I don’t know how many times I have mentioned that newspapers and magazines should balance between celebrity stories and culture and art stories. 

Vacations are different for adults and minors. I learn and read about the abundance of swimming schools from newspapers, television newscasts and ads. Museums in big cities have opened summer courses for children almost in the same abundance. 

These are significant venues for children to receive visual training and for their talents to be discovered. For them to do these activities inside these museums at special activity courts provides children a chance to see other works of art. 

I write about summer reading every year. I will suggest a practical selection method on this. Select the award winning books during the year, both local and international. This is the shortest and the most sufficient method to monitor, to learn about the literary environment of the year.  

The second selection method could be to book supplements or literary magazines. There are also many book blogs on the internet now. Prepare separate reading lists for yourself and for your child. Do not forget to include the DVDs of the films you like the most or the ones you have missed. I can see that many people take DVDs with them alongside books while packing. One should not forget to take Turkish films along also because we should know the production, work and art scene of the society we live in. This no doubt goes for CDs also. Without listening to our music, it is impossible to understand this country. 

I write similar pieces every year. I am even aware that I involuntarily use the same sentences from time to time. Now, I am thinking and wondering whether this is summer advice or summer chatter.