Reading is one of the greatest pleasures on earth, but not all reading locations are equal. Where you read a book your mood at the time, the weather and all kinds of other factors affect how your imagination interprets the book and ultimately your enjoyment of it. The memories you create on a first reading are particularly important, imprinting on your imagination and flavouring your interpretation of the book on subsequent readings. Here are some ideas for enhancing your reading experience through location alone.
Great places to read a book
Reading on the bus is all very well, but choose carefully and you might just enjoy your book that bit more.
In the bath.
Reading in the bath is a wonderful way to relax. For some people (any parent anywhere, people who live with housemates or relatives) the bath is one of the few places you can guarantee a few minutes to yourself. Probably. Unless someone REALLY wants to tell you a bad joke or ask where their keys are. I wont lie, there is a huge risk of book dropping with this activity.
Don’t take first editions or your favourite expensive hardbacks in the tub, though readers in the UK could take advantage of this handy device. Do keep a dry towel next to you so you can dry a hand before turning a page. Do also take a glass of wine, tea or whatever drink speaks to you of comfort or indulgence.
By Nemo (via Pixabay)
In the home of a new friend or partner.
Reading is a quiet activity but as any preschooler can tell you it's also a great bonding activity. Reading together, whether you're reading out loud to on another or reading your own books but together is a great way to find out if you're comfortable with one another. A friend or partner you can be comfortably silent with is a keeper. Someone who interrupts a good bit should only be given so many chances.
(Don't read alone here in the dark)
One of the most fantastic ways to connect with the book you’re reading is to enjoy it in a place connected to the text. That might be the place it’s set or the place it was written, for instance. Being physically part of the location of the book brings it alive and adds much to your imagination’s fodder, bringing depth to the experience. It’s a wonderful thing to read a book like Kate Atkinson’s ‘Behind the scenes at the museum’ while sitting in a coffee shop in York (Or the museum gardens, weather permitting). Beware of taking this to extremes. Dracula is a great book to read in Whitby, but sometimes the imagination needs little help. Reading in a ruin at midnight requires nerves of steel, a lot of socks, a good torch and a very loyal friend to share a thermos of hot tea.
Reading in bed is a natural way for many people to unwind as part of a night time ritual. There’s a reason that bedtime stories are such a key feature of childhood. As well as introducing us to a love of the written word they lull us to sleep, relax us and give our dreams fodder for helping us work out the problems of the day. It’s no different as a grown up, except you don’t have to read under the sheets any more. Unless you want to.
Choose your own adventure.
Reading is one of life’s rare pleasures that can fill any amount of free time you like. A five minute bus journey and a 3 day retreat are both perfect amounts of time to fit in a little reading. The place you read does affect your enjoyment of the book, though. A crowded waiting room will never have quite the appeal that a romantic garden on a warm summers day does, though we may be glad for the escapism.
Where’s your favourite place to read?
(Title image my own, a picture of my favourite book with a favourite tipple, in one of my favourite places; the sofa).