It’s a wonder that I get any reading done given that I am never fully comfortable with the reading spot I choose. I’ve spent most my time this year reading and finishing books at home, yet I always find myself wondering how I could make it more cozy for reading. I’ve definitely felt my reading spot impact how I’ve engaged with some of my more recent books. For example, I recently wrapped up All the Light We Cannot See. I was distracted while I read the book at home. However, when I went outside yesterday (on the rare warm day), I got fully engaged. Oddly enough, I was able to read the book better at my office than at home.
Last year, I lived in another apartment and had a longer commute. I did the majority of my reading on the train, and was fully engrossed in my books. This year, my commute is shorter, so public transportation is no longer a good spot. In my new apartment, I live downtown, so all the coffee shops near me are fully packed. The weather hasn’t been enticing enough for me to venture beyond my one mile radius to another neighborhood cafe.
So how do I solve my present dilemma on reading spot? How does one get the “perfect” reading spot? Here are some ideas that I’ve started thinking will help.
1) Shifting the focus from perfect spot to the perfect people for a reading experience
Two my friends and I started “reading dates” last year, where we would literally just get together just to read. We’ve been pretty successful at just limiting the talk for first 20-30 minutes and then getting into our books. Places that I previously had a hard time reading for long time were suddenly more appealing because I was with friends. The warm feeling from sharing a love for reading distracted me from some of the things that I disliked about particular places for reading.
2) Changing the time of day for reading
My friend and I were just talking today about the benefits of morning reading. When I first moved into my new apartment, I had woken up early just to read. I would take a shower, heat up tea, and read for 15 minutes. Those 15 minutes were a relaxing way to start the day. Because my mind was still waking up and, I wasn’t focused on my location and purely engaged in the book. The winter months made me regress into sleeping more rather than readings. With the summer coming, perhaps reinstating the morning reading will be easier. Morning reading will perhaps be the jumpstart I need to feel cozy in my apartment again.
3) Determining whether certain spots require certain types of books
I love big books. I love that big books allow me to get into a character, a place For several years, I would only read books 500 pages and above. Naturally, I didn’t read much those years. I’ve now shifted towards reading shorter books, both as a way to increase my reading and also to diversify what I read. I seem to have the most problem reading serious, longer books at home, while having no issues while outside. On the flip side, I get less distracted reading shorter, lighter books when at home. Perhaps the serious mood in my apartment – much of it due to my still needing to add more decoration is causing my brain to revolt when adding more serious material through reading. Moving forward, I am going to pick my book for the day based on where I am, and see if that gets me closer to finding the best reading spot.
I would love to hear your thoughts about reading spots and how you chose yours. Please comment below or tweet me at @classicsgal.