When school ends and summer vacation starts, kids and parents alike find more time for pleasure reading. Whether you’re lounging at the beach or stretched out on a hammock, the long, warm days of summer are the perfect setting for curling up with a book. But aside from picking the newest novel on the shelves, how do you select the right reads for the season? Here’s an idea: Stick with the classics. Below, consider a few rare, collectible books that are beloved for more than their hard-to-find quality. Whether you find a rare first edition or grab a more commonly found copy, these long-treasured stories take you to other worlds almost as well as vacation can.
For the children’s book lover: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery: If you find a first edition (1908) version of this long-beloved children’s classic, you’ve found a treasure worth thousands of dollars— but even the easier-to-come-by paperback versions are treasures in their own way. Red-headed Anne Shirley has been stealing readers’ hearts for more than a century, and it’s still one of the most-loved girl books of all time.
For the sports fan: Babe Ruth as I Knew Him by Waite Hoyt: Written by a friend and teammate of legendary Babe Ruth, this story documents the famous ballplayer’s career with photographs, stories and records. While original copies of this book are hard to find today, new copies are still being printed by demand.
For the age-old classics lover: The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas: You aren’t picking up a light, breezy beach read when you choose The Three Musketeers, but you are picking up an age-old classic that’s stood the test of time. Bonus features include action, adventure and good examples of comradeship.
For anyone who enjoys turn-of-the-century stories: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith: Escape into the world of the Nolans with this story about a Brooklyn family living in the Williamsburg slums in the early 1900s. An easy read, it covers topics that are anything but simple, exploring deep, poignant themes like childhood and family dynamics that are sure to move you.
For lovers of the South, the 1930s or stories about race: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: Set in 1935 Alabama, this classic novel and winner of the Pulitzer Prize tells the story of a sleepy Southern town and the characters in it. Considered a modern classic, it deals with themes of class, racism, compassion and gender roles.