Seasonality in Novels

Here’s a question: how much do you think about seasonality in the books you read?

For the last couple of weeks at work, on my breaks and at lunch, I’ve slowly been reading John Ajvide Lindquist’s vampire novel Let the Right One In (translated into English, obviously, since thanks to IKEA the only words I know in Swedish are “lingonberry” and “Allen wrench”). The main portion of the book takes place in October, and, as it takes place in a suburb of Stockholm, there are many descriptions of the cold and ice and snow and mastodons and whatnot. Both because of the season and because of the book’s subject matter, it would make a great Halloween read. I can’t say that I’ve ever really paid attention that much to appropriate seasonality in the books I read, but it definitely feels a little strange to read about Oskar’s cold hands or how freezing Eli should be in only her thin pink sweater when the Californian June sun is beating mercilessly down upon me during my break. I might set it aside to pick up again in a few months, but I might not.

I’ve been thinking about making my reading more seasonal, because now that I’m out of school and out of my parents’ house, it feels like the seasons are much less defined. I rarely make a big deal out of holidays on my own because I’m a lazypants, and now that I’m a Real Adult Human Being I don’t get a summer break, and it seems like the different parts of the year easily slip by without any real demarcation of what makes those seasons special and distinct from each other. I miss the big to-do of making paper jack-o-lanterns or snowflakes, of handprint turkeys and Easter egg coloring. (Maybe I just need to get back into first grade arts and crafts?) Reading with the season might help me slow down and appreciate each season for its own special offerings instead of whizzing through them with little to no consciousness.

What about you-all? Do any of you bother to match up your reading materials with the weather or season that’s going on in real life? Is this important or only silly? Are there any books you’ve read recently (or not) that feel particularly rooted in a season? Jessica sent me a really interesting blog post for writers some time ago about considering the season of the story that you’re writing and how it might or might not impact the plot and characters, but I’ll be danged if I can find it. Maybe if we ask real nice she’ll post it up again.


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