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Stop! Hammock Time

Highbrow, lowbrow, thoughtful, silly. Lie back, relax, and disappear into whatever beautiful book you choose, starting with these all - star picks is one of life’s most delicious worries, but it’s a worry nonetheless. If you don’t arrive lakeside with a book you like, you could end up having to pick something from one of those shelves that cottages always seem to have, the kind filled with books that were on bestseller lists half a lifetime ago, and outdated Peterson Field Guides and children’s puzzle books from the 1950s. Worse, you could end up on your phone. And if you’re on your phone at the cottage, why even bother going? You may as well bring the desk from your office and set it up by the dock.

What to read at the cottage

A trip to the bookstore in search of a perfect cottage read can be confusing, especially when you’re rushing to pick one just before heading out. The book you want to read in the city isn’t necessarily the one you want to read at the cottage. In the city, you’re thinking about getting better at your job and being a better parent to your kids, if you have them, and maybe improving yourself if there’s any time left. At the cottage, you should stop thinking about all that nonsense. Good cottage reading shouldn’t be anything that can help you. It shouldn’t be something you really ought to read, to impress your friends, or whatever. Reading at the cottage should be like life at the cottage: beautiful and pointless.

You could, if you wanted, find a new book. They publish tons of them. And it might be great, this new book that you’re gambling a chunk of your summer on. But there’s another way, and I guarantee it. I call it the P.G. Wodehouse method. P.G. Wodehouse, mainly famous as the author of the Jeeves stories, believed there were two ways to write: “One is making a sort of musical comedy without music and ignoring real life altogether; the other is going deep down into life and not caring a damn.” The corollary to this statement is that there are two ways to read: go high or go low. Either pick the finest expressions of the human spirit or a pick a well-made commodity.

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About Cottage Life

Summer is the time to kick back and relax in the pages of the Summer 2018 issue of Cottage Life. You’ll read about a unique book club of remote islanders that comes together each year to bond over the love of a good story. Then, take a page out of their book and dive into our summer reading guide with all-star book suggestions and summer must-reads. Plus, do you have the classic cottage bookshelf? Enter to win a prize by taking our cottage bookshelf quiz and sharing your Cottage Shelfie pics. Then, meet cottagers who aren’t satisfied with just a quick dip, and find out how to take on a swim challenge at the lake. Feed unexpected guests with our 7 easy dockside treats: happy hour recipes and solutions to make your next dock party a no-sweat affair. That said, if you’re the type to relax by keeping busy, we have a tool box full of puttering projects to consider: fix a broken cooler hinge, build a marshmallow catapult with the kids, quit stubbing your toes with this clever new dock hardware, get on top of exterior maintenance, and be inspired by a 20-something who DIY’d a sweet little cabin of his own on his parents’ back 40. Plus, read our essential guide to keeping your cottage road in shape—how to finally tackle potholes, washboarding, and beaver dams. Grab our Summer 2018 issue, fire up the old autoreply, and lie back in the hammock. Summer’s finally here!