Photo by Raj Eiamworakul on Unsplash
I can’t deny I have a voracious appetite for books. People often ask me how I get time to read or how I read so many books. Well, first off, I’ve stepped away from my phone and the computer (except to write this of course.) Less screen time has made more time for everything else – more favourite people time, more sleep time, more gym time, more baking time and of course more reading time.
Also, when I first started flexing my reading muscle, I read in bed and that was pretty much it. Now I treat reading like an 80’s Martini advert, I’ll read anytime, anyplace anywhere.
Recently I read Bookshop on the Corner (also known as much more suitably named, The Little Shop of Happy Ever After) by Jenny Colgan, who in the introduction argues that books “can change your life, always, for the better. ” She also gives some cracking tips on where to read which has inspired me to do the same. So, for your reading pleasure here are 13 of my favourite spaces to curl up with a book.
1. In the bath
Although I do enjoy a good bath I get bored very easily unless I have something to read. The great thing about baths is that you can unashamedly spend a long time in them and make the most of a good book. Now, I don’t have an ereader so real books are my jam. I am now a dab hand at bath reading and have never got a book wet yet. I keep the bubbles at a respectable level, my hands above the bubbles and a hand towel next to the bath – just in case! If you prefer to consume your books electronically, it’s perfectly safe for you to read in the bath too. Jenny suggests turning the pages with your nose (if it’s big enough!) or wrap your ereader in a clear plastic bag.
2. In Bed
In contrast to the longevity of bath reading, bed reading can be surprisingly quick because no sooner do you get stuck in to your book than your body goes on a one way ticket to Sleepy Town. This is all well and good but the next evening when you pick up where you think you left off, things can get quite confusing.
I actually kick started my reading habit with a book before bed but I’ve found that it’s totally backfired on me. These days when I read before bed, I just cannot put the book down and feel compelled to continue reading way past my bedtime. I have on occasion even pulled an all nighter!
3. On a Sunbed
Reading while sunbaking (having generously slipped and slopped the sun cream obviously,) is one of my favourite holiday activities. Reading on a sunbed is definitely not to be mistaken for reading on a towel which is thoroughly uncomfortable although reading on a sunbed is almost a fine art. Reading into the sun is too squinty, reading sitting up, cross legged is not flattering (for me at any rate) and lying on your stomach is too sweaty (unless you like to get stuck to the sunbed.) For the optimal comfort in sunbed reading experiences, may I suggest choosing an adjustable sunbed under an umbrella? Bonus points if there’s a side table on which to perch your cocktail!
4. On the street
I’m sure in the olden days it was totally legit to walk along the street with a book in front of your nose. In more modern times, everyone has swapped the book for a mobile phone. Everyone except me that is. I am totally old skool and you will often find me walking the streets of Sydney reading a book, it’s my favourite kind of multi-tasking.
5. In a Book Club
I’m actually a bit of a rebel and am reluctant to join a real life book club because being told what to read makes me feel like I’m at school although I can totally get on board with the wine and cheese element. I find online book clubs like the A Box Of Bookclub much more forgiving and relaxed and have to concur that reading book club books has made my bookshelf much more diverse. It’s a great way to find new authors and genres and of course, the only thing better than reading a good book is discussing a good book.
6. Stolen Book Moments (SBMs)
I can steal book time like a boss. These days I don’t leave home without a book. If I’m waiting in line at the supermarket, if I’m a few minutes early for my bus or my train or if I’m in the doctor’s waiting room, I’ll read my book. I’ve even taken to arriving extra early to places just so I can squeeze in some SBMs. Those magical minutes really add up!
7. On the commute
I’m not keen on travelling to work sardine style but reading transports me away from my stuffy train carriage in to another world. I consider reading on my commute as my reward for having to get up at sparrow’s fart and go to work and it’s much more worthwhile than playing on my phone. Those work emails can wait!
8. On planes and trains but not automobiles
Nothing makes a long haul flight pass quicker than a good book (although noise cancelling headphones are an added bonus) – believe me, I know. Train journeys are my favourite, not least because it’s as if they are built for reading, especially if you’re lucky enough to find yourself in a quiet carriage. Wish I could say the same for cars though, car reading will almost certainly result with one’s head in a sick bag. Or is that just me?!
9. In Hospital/Doctor’s Waiting Rooms
In recent years, I’ve spent way more time than I’d like in doctor’s waiting rooms. I have always maintained that the waiting is always the worst part, especially when you’re at the very pointy end and your medical professional of choice is only one door away. Not only will a good book will whisk you away to another dimension (because let’s face it, those out of date magazines are just not going to cut it) you won’t mind when your doctor is running late… Because bonus time! See, there is always a flip side!
10. On the Balcony/In the Garden/ By the Fireplace
Now I know I’m hedging my bets here but this will largely depend on whether you live in a house or a flat and whether you live in a hot or a cold climate. I don’t have a garden but I do have a balcony which surrounded by trees, plants and a water feature is a most tranquil oasis. Depending on the day and the time, nothing gives me greater pleasure than stretching out in the sun with a cup of tea or a glass of wine. It’s the ultimate escape except I don’t have to leave the house to get away!
11. In Restaurants
I didn’t really get how or why people could enjoy eating alone with only a book for company until I tried it myself. And then I realised that you’re never really alone when you have a good book. Don’t knock it until you try it, kay? These days I’ll find any excuse to take myself out for lunch or dinner as long as I’ve got a book to accompany me.
12. At the Hairdresser’s/Nail Bar
I love having my nails and/or my hair done – and the only thing that takes this experience to the next level is a good book. So once my hairdresser and I have chewed the fat, she puts me and my foils under the heater and I put my nose in my book. It’s a most satisfactory arrangement. It’s a similar scenario at the nail bar although things can get a tad tricky when it’s time for the manicure, have you ever tried to read a book one handed?!
13. At the airport
This is not the same as travelling because I don’t know about you but there’s a special type of anxiety that can only be experienced at airports. I don’t know whether it’s the sadness at saying goodbye to loved ones or my fear of flying but it’s something that only a few glasses of bubbles and a good book can fix. It’s worth nothing that there should be a correlation between the length of your book and the length of your journey – you don’t want to be caught short and your book to finish before (or even worse, during,) your flight and don’t forget to allow extra pages for delays because there are always delays. If you really want to splash out, treat yourself and buy a book at the airport – a shiny new book for a shiny new adventure – because everyone knows that dollars spent on books at airports are like calories consumed on holiday – they just don’t count!
So there you have it there are 13 of my favourite places to read a book. I guess if I’m being really honest, I should also add the loo to the list but that’s just too much information, don’t you think?
Have I missed anything out? Do you read somewhere different? What are your favourite places to read?
Linking up with Denyse for Life This Week