I love ritual and traditions. Probably because I didn't have too many growing up. As an adult, I have tried to create many with my siblings in order to bond. I also have a few just for me.
My longest running tradition is reading Howard Pyle's "The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood" every single summer. I usually read it in June or July and finish it fairly quickly. This year, I also am trying a 2019 Book challenge (that you can see on my GoodReads page) so I am already reading so much.
But I have decided that won't stop me. In addition to reading one book a month (huge for me, the slowest reader in North America) I have also been reading Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series. In order to enjoy Robin Hood as much as I always do, I have deiced to put a hold on O'Brian (I am currently reading "The HMS Surprise") and read Pyle. This month, I am also getting through Steven E. Ambrose's "Band of Brothers". Last of the non-fantasy novels I will read this year.
I started this tradition of reading Robin Hood every summer about 6 years ago. I was depressed, un-medicated, had just moved from a place I loved, and decided to take walks in nature to help myself. Nature never let me down. I decided I wanted an adventurous story to listen to while I walked. Depression made it so I couldn't think of anything except the one hero I always associated with adventure: Robin Hood.
I had read Pyle's book before and knew it was an ok read. As I was halfway through the forest I was walking in, I came upon a beautiful, brown brook. That was the one phrase I remembered from the book and for the first time, I could see what Pyle was describing. So Robin Hood it was! It helped my depression a little, I got counseling, and life was a little better.
This book reminds me of a time I saved myself. It's adventure and romance. It's everything I love in a single place. So the tradition lives on and today, I go back to Sherwood Forest!