The practised bookworm, it seems to me, is adept at making any environment into a perfect reading spot.
On a train or aboard a plane.
In the car or at a bar.
With the cat or on the mat.
We’ll even read in our socks, while taking tea with a fox.
Us bookworms just don’t care, we’ll read our books anywhere!
Wait – where was I going with this?
Oh – right. The perfect reading spot. Have you figured this one out, lovely people? I really struggle with it. I love reading outside, but if it’s warm enough to be comfy the mosquitoes are out, or it’s too hot and the Little Furry Muse tries to sit on me, turning the reading session into an instant, hairy sauna. And on the off chance that it’s a lovely Goldilocks, mosquito-free temperature, she’s claimed the outside two seat thingy, so I’m stuck with a chair, which doesn’t work too well with my anti-chair stance on life. Or, of course, it’s so cold I have to swaddle myself in a blanket, and then my fingers get too cold to turn the pages.
The beach is good, because I can pop in for a swim whenever I need to, but then you get sand in the pages — or in the Kindle casing, as I discovered recently when I spilled water on mine and had to pull it out of the case (my e-readers have a hard life). And sunblock’s not great for them, either.
There’s also the issue of water on the pages, whether paper or virtual, which brings me back around to indoor reading, and more specifically baths. I love reading in the bath. It feels wonderfully indulgent and decadent, but I have to keep a towel handy to wipe my fingers every time I turn the page. Plus the Little Furry Muse sits next to the bath and stares at me, making me feel guilty for not providing her a lap to sit on.
I do have a reading corner, with a wonderful purple chair sitting below my bookshelves. I love that corner — every time I look at it it makes me happy. But do I sit in it?
I do the Friday book chats in it, so I do use it. But mostly the chair holds either the Little Furry Muse or the outside cushions, because although the chair’s cute, it’s not sprawly. I like sprawly.
But not too sprawly. The floor doesn’t have any nice corners to cuddle into, unless I move the coffeetable and use the corner of the sofa. That’s quite good. I’ve even been known to — gasp — sit in the sofa. It doesn’t count as a chair.
Yes, I’m picky.
Surely there must be better reading nooks out there? Surely there’s a better way to finding a reading spot than all this trial and error nonsense?
Well, there was only one way to find out. I turned to stock photos, because they always know how things should be done.
First up, a hammock. Yes, excellent choice for reading outside! I love hammocks. I just need some trees, or an awesome giant wooden frame. And a fish pond. Although, that does kind of look like perfect mosquito territory. And unless there’s a dismounting platform on the other side, I’d place good money on me ending up in that pond. Probably regularly.
Indoor nooks abound online, and can be pretty amazing. Some of them are just gorgeous, and I love how bright this one is. But – I’m not sure how comfy it looks. Those cushions are all a bit small and squishy. And I know it says “read”, but there’s barely an afternoon’s worth of books in there. I’m unconvinced.
According to stock photos, reading standing up is really popular. I think I only do that when I’m standing in line, or waiting for a bus or something. Ooh. Maybe they are too. Maybe the book was so good, they didn’t notice everyone else leave? I’ve been there.
Now I want to know what they’re reading.
I did want more guidance on reading outside, and now I can see I’ve been doing it all wrong. I’ve been far too casually dressed, and my accessorising has been abysmal.
*Googles outdoor chandeliers*
I am definitely just not set up for outdoor reading. Although – mightn’t this get a teeny bit sweaty and sticky? On the other hand, if it keeps the mosquitoes out…
I can see I have more research to do. And I may need a bigger garden.
How about you, lovely people? What’s your favourite reading spot? Are you an indoors or outdoors reader? What’s the most amazing reading spot you’ve seen? Let me know below!
And for now, this remains my perfect reading spot. When the mozzies aren’t out.
bookworms, reading, reading nook, reading spots
Bed. Or I have an armchair, that has a flip up legrest. Either will do. I am not an outside person.
I find bed is good for short periods, bit then my back gets sore. A flip up leg rest sounds most comfy, though!
It is most comfy, and also for watching TV, in the rare event of their being something worth watching.
It does happen on occasion ?
I am a sprawler from way back as well 🙂 The couch seems to be the best spot so far. Sans cats it can accommodate a good curl-up or sprawl.
Sprawling is so necessary to good reading! I mean, if you’re settling into a really good book, you need to have space to change position regularly. No one wants pins and needles… ?
I love this very scientific presentation of your research. I find that as I get older, I prefer decent lighting to the romantic, sit-by-the-fireplace reading spot, like the study in your first photo that WILL MOST DEFINITELY RUIN YOUR EYES. (And don’t let anyone tell you differently.) Reading nooks always look so pretty in pictures, but really, window seats aren’t as comfy as photos would lead you to believe. I think my problem is that I want the comfort of my bed with the back support of a chair but the poof of an overstuffed couch. My favorite reading places (not in my house) have been where there is an almost-double-wide stuffed chair with a large ottoman, so I can curl up or stretch out and still have cushion, arms to rest on, or leg support, depending on the mood. And if I’m reading a long time and need to change positions frequently . . .
I’ve always loved the photos of the outdoor stuff, but the weather here doesn’t stay nice long enough to make it practical. I’d end up having a beautiful hammock that was great for a few weeks in the summer, then too humid to want to be outside, then damp from rain in the fall and spring, put away for the winter snows—you get the idea. Though I may need to look into chandeliers for my backyard trees, just to class up the place, you know?
I think every well-styled home should have chandeliers in the trees. It only makes sense.
And I’m so with you on the trickiness of that perfect reading spot! I used to have this amazing round chair that was big enough for both the Little Furry Muse and I to curl up or stretch out on, and which had loads of big back cushions. It was by far my favourite chair and I’m still waiting to live somewhere that will suit another one. One day…
Of course, one day I also want a garden room that’s actually a library. It’s not too much to ask, right? ?