“Why do we call them the dog days of summer”? I once asked my mom. She shared a charming guess: that the dog days were those hot August days when you didn't want to do anything but lie on the cold kitchen floor, like a dog.
The full truth is as old as Ancient Greece. The Greeks named the dog days of August after the days when the “Dog Star,” Sirius, rose early in the day, as the morning star. They associated the rise of the Dog Star with high heat, drought, lethargy, and sudden thunderstorms. They also blamed it for mad dogs, fever, and general bad luck. Over the years, we’ve come to see the seasons differently, but Sirius, the "bad dog,” is stuck with its lousy rep.
Still, the dogs days are beloved for their invitation to take it easy, read travel books, and soak up the sun. If you’re way ahead of the curve and you’ve been reading all summer, bring your summer reading log back to the library this month and choose a free book for your very own!