Every book lover has a special place they prefer to read. The act of reading is a very intimate one, and deeply personal. For some it’s comfy at home on the couch, for others it’s in a noisy cafe, and still others prefer their favorite chair. I was thinking about this while I was chatting with a friend about books. We started talking, not only where you read, but how readers prepare for reading a new book. Starting a book is very much like deciding to spend time with a friend, and this often requires preparation.
I am not one of those readers who needs a special cup of tea or candles, but rather I seek comfort when I’m about to indulge in a new book. I’m more particular about where I read. I find that if I’m reading a mystery or thiller, especially a nail-biting one, I like to be sitting on the couch with all the lights on. It’s as if the lights protect me from being too gripped by the book to be scared by it. I don’t read scary books in bed before I fall asleep, because then I listen to every creak in the house, the heat, and the occasional outside animal noise, and convince myself that a character, usually the bad one, from the book is about to break into the house.
Interestingly, my dog, who is forever batting my hands off my laptop when I’m writing on the couch, just gently lays her on my leg when I’m reading. Of course the tradeoff for not being constantly redirected by her paw is I have to scratch her head while I read. This is oddly cozy for both of us. Sometimes, I stretch out on the couch if I’m not reading a mystery. Then the dog just rests on my chest and I occasionally use her head as a book holder, which she’s gotten used to.
My new favorite place to read is my window seat upstairs. This is the part of the house where the sun streams in during the afternoon. The seat is so comfortable, inviting and large enough that the dog and I both have plenty of room to stretch out. The beauty of this arrangement is we’re both enjoying the sun. Allie spends her time looking out the window and napping in the sun, and I read in peace. I particularly like this because there is something wonderful about reading in the warmth during the winter.
So, readers, where do you like to read? Do you have any new book rituals that you find set the mood for a new book?