In the last decade, the number of colleges that assign summer reading to incoming freshmen has soared. The National Association of Scholars has tracked and analyzed 290 such programs—the most comprehensive study of “common reading” programs to date. The study reveals national patterns in book selection. Major findings include a widespread assignment of books that promote liberal political views; a preponderance of contemporary writing; and a surprisingly low level of intellectual difficulty. The NAS recommends seven steps colleges can take to improve their book choices.