Jessica L. Ryan
Jessica L. Ryan

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single nerd in possession of good amount of free time must be in want of a book.

Seriously, having time to read for fun is one of the biggest perks of summer for nerds like you and me. If you've yet to get into the swing of the summer reading thing, here's a nifty little guide full of suggestions to maximize all of this free time you suddenly seem to have acquired.

There's nothing wrong with reading on your own, but a huge benefit of summer is being able to spend time with people you like -- and meeting new nerds on whom to develop a summer crush.

Lately my dear friend Chelsea (probably the biggest fan of this column) has been organizing outings along the Boulder Creek, with plenty of music and splashing and reading and sunburns. Reading with nerds is also nice because it will usually turn into an impromptu book club where nobody judges you for getting really, REALLY excited about Ken Kesey's many experiences with LSD and everyone knows exactly what passage of "Anna Karenina" you're reading from just the glint of your Kindle screen.

Choosing a summer book can be a bit of a challenge. You don't want to risk your rep by reading some trashy romance novel, but you also kind of want to give your brain a break and just read something easy.

The trick is to strike a balance between "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and "Fifty Shades of Grey."

Speculative fiction is typically mad nerdy, but it's primarily plot-based with less of an emphasis on symbolism and super deep meaning.

I'm personally obsessed with Dan Brown's books featuring Robert Langdon -- hero of "The da Vinci Code," "Angels & Demons" and my heart -- books which a friend recently told me were "written to make housewives feel smart." They're not incredibly dense or culturally significant (besides the travesty of leading to a film franchise in which Tom Hanks wears loafers), but damn if they aren't entertaining. I've been reading Brown's newest novel, "Inferno," and my heart hasn't stopped racing all week.

While most nerds' default position for reading is at a desk or curled up on the couch, summer mandates that you get out of the house and enjoy the sunshine!

Downtown Boulder is chock full of awesome patios or rooftops, like outside of The Cup ($3 unlimited iced tea, holla!) or the cute dining area outside of Spruce Confections. For you southsiders, Amante on Baseline has an amazing roof with a killer view of the Flatirons, and Southern Sun is pretty much proof that God loves nerds and wants them to be happy (seriously though, it's full of books and beer and board games.)

Summer is the opportune time to crack open a brand new book -- or one that is so well-worn the cover's attached with duct tape -- and take in some nerdy words. Just make sure you also soak up some sun while you're at it.

Jessica Ryan is a community manager and CU grad. She writes about nerdy things once a week for the Colorado Daily. On Twitter: @JessicaLRyan.