Summer reading addendum

This article was written by Phaedra Norrell, a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in the School of Biomedical Sciences at Kent State University, working in the lab of Erin Reed-Geaghan, Ph.D., in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 

Summer reading is a great way to improve your mental health, and, as previously highlighted here in The Pulse in an article written by second-year pharmacy student Sophia Bruno, it can also improve cognition!

So, if you are looking for books, let me give you some places to ponder! 

The brand new NEOMED little library located in A200

Your local library! 

Get involved with your local library! For example, I’m a resident of Stow, and the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library (SMFPL) runs a summer reading program via Beanstack every summer, for all ages. Beanstack is a gamified platform, where you can join events hosted by your library, earn badges, and sometimes, even get rewarded! The SMFPL hosts a raffle at the end of the summer, and names get entered based on Beanstack participation and events completed. Many other libraries have a similar system for summer reading. I encourage everyone to take part and join the fun! 

Local libraries are also a great resource for digital reading, with large online catalogs of books and other digital media that can be borrowed on your favorite device, through services like Libby, Overdrive and Hoopla. 

The Portage County District Library Book Box

Don’t forget the book box located in the NEW Center! You need a Portage County library card to use the lending machine, but now is the perfect time to get one if you don’t have one! 

County Libraries

It’s easy to forget about local library systems when you’re a student. But, as a reminder, there are not only local libraries, but whole library systems in each county in Ohio. For example, the Akron Summit Library and Portage County District Library are both open to all currently living and/or working in Ohio. To find your local and county libraries, visit the State Library of Ohio website.

Little Free Libraries

Little Free Libraries are small collections of books found in the community, typically in a structure that looks a bit like a birdhouse from a distance. These are places to borrow and trade used books within the community. Your local library may sponsor some locations near you or there may be some that are completely community driven! Check to see if you have a registered Little Free Library near you

Used Book Stores

We’re incredibly fortunate to have multiple great used bookstores nearby if you are looking to purchase! Last Exit in Kent is a book and vinyl record shop, with a coffeehouse in the front (what more can you ask for)! There’s also Mythical Bookworm in Munroe Falls and Snowball Bookshop in Barberton.


You can also always buy from a traditional seller, like Barnes and Noble or Books-A-Million, however, I’m going to encourage you to support your local and county public libraries and small businesses before heading to larger stores. This not only helps your wallet; it helps your community, too! 

Now you have places to look for books, but if you still don’t know what reads might be right for you, check out some of the following places! 

Like Facebook, but for book recommendations and reading lists! Follow your friends, create reading groups, join challenges, view reading lists and more! 

If you are on TikTok, then you already know about BookTok – but this group of influencers have a never-ending list of recommendations, and it’s a few clicks away. Open your app, and just search #booktok to jump down the rabbit hole! 

Much like BookTok, there’s a community of reading influencers on YouTube as well – search your favorite genre and find a treasure trove of reviews and content! 

The NYT Best Sellers List
See what’s trending across the U.S.! 

Your Librarians!
Ask your librarians about their favorite books or what their next read is! 

My Recommendations

I’ll leave you with some of my own recommendations and the best reads I’ve finished in the past few months! 

  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – The first book of the Grishaverse, where a reluctant hero comes into her own. 
  • The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green – A sarcastic and witty series of essays about everyday life. 
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – Echoing the recommendation made by Sophia Bruno, this retelling of the Iliad is beautifully written and incredibly heartfelt – this one is a book I couldn’t put down! 

Armed with these resources, get out there and have some fun reading this summer!!

What are you reading?
Share you summer reading recommendation with The Pulse! Email and tell us the book, author and why everyone should read it.

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