Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Good Place to Read

When you want to read, where do you go? Whether it’s a paperback, on a Nook, or iPhone, readers will read anywhere and everywhere.
But what about when you want to curl up with a good book? Typically, I read sitting in my family room, but that’s only because I can multitask more efficiently there. The family room is where the computers are, and thus the ready internet connection with Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, email. Where the TV is, too. The phone. All the distractions that permeate my days and weeks.
Where do I prefer to read? That’s easy: Where I’m unplugged.
Sitting on the screened porch is my favorite place, with the ceiling fan spinning lazily overhead, the watch dog curled at my feet. A comfortable chair hugs me as I read, the pool beyond tempting me to lay down my book during the summer, the falling leaves now reminding me that the season is changing. A table holds a tumbler of a cold drink to sip on when the action in the story heats up. Although I try to focus solely on the story in my eager hands, my attention is diverted by the rapid hum of wings, accompanied by staccato chirping as they discuss which hummingbird should have access to the ruby nectar. They are very territorial, hummingbirds. Beyond them, others (cardinals, sparrows, wrens, mourning doves) sing and flit between the towering hemlock and the birdfeeder perched on a pole, cleaning up the seed that’s been scattered on the ground by overzealous or picky birds.

Reading outdoors is where I love to read, a preference that began when I was a young girl in Maryland. I grew up in an old farmhouse that sat along a busy road, but the house was surrounded by climbable maple trees and one lovely, sprawling mimosa tree. The mimosa was my favorite tree, mainly because it was easy to climb and I found the perfect Y-shaped branch where I could nestle into the V and read. Sprinkled with those delicate pink flowers, the many tree limbs swayed above me, the blue sky peeking through the fronded branches as I devoured book after book. Sometimes, the gentle motion lulled me to sleep, the tree safeguarding me from the characters in the story I was reading in the library book clutched in my hands.
Fond memories arise from reading out of doors. Being outside also frees my mind from the day-to-day tasks that swarm there when I’m indoors, allowing me to transport to the realms of the tale I’m enjoying.
Reading is a basic part of my life, as a woman and a writer of romantic fiction as well as nonfiction. (You can find out more about my writing and view my other blogs, by the way, at my web site: www.bettybolte.com.) The RWA Southern Magic chapter in Birmingham, Alabama, is hosting their annual Romance Readers Luncheon on November 3, 2012. This event is a celebration of people who read romances and everyone is invited. I’ll be there, along with many other writers, so I hope you’ll try to join in the fun! For more info and to register to attend, please visit http://www.southernmagic.org/luncheon.html.
Now it’s your turn. Please take a moment and share with me where you love to read. Is it a favorite chair? A favorite room? If you’ll leave me a comment, I’ll enter your name in a chance to win a $20 gift certificate to Bed, Bath, and Beyond! So, talk to me…

48 comments:

KJ Montgomery said...

I love to read on my three season porch. I sit with my feet up on a futon. Since my house in on the top of a hill, my view is a huge pine tree and blue sky. It makes it seem that I am alone, in my own world, and that I can almost literally "jump" into the book I hold in my hands.

kittychatalot said...

My comfy bed!

tewanda said...

I like to read in bed. :)

Ingrid Seymour said...

My favorite time is when everyone is in bed. The house is quiet and I know there'll be no interrruptions. I turn on a lamp -- leaving the rest of the room in shadows -- and curl up in the sofa.

Betty Bolte said...

KJ,sounds like your porch is a great place to read! Love your imagery, btw.

Betty Bolte said...

Kitty and Tewanda, I used to read in bed long, long ago, but I found I didn't get enough sleep b/c I wanted to keep reading. My best to you both!

Betty Bolte said...

Ingrid, that time alone is important, isn't it? Time to read, think, just be. Sounds perfect to me.

Lisa J said...

At my desk at work is the place I read most often. I love PDF e-books for this. My boss travels and when I don't have a project, this keeps me occupied.

If I'm at home, the couch in the living room or in bed are my two favorite places.

Betty Bolte said...

Lisa J, you epitomize an avid reader! Wherever you can, right? Thanks for sharing!

RedPeril said...

I love to read on long car rides. Quite the conundrum for someone with chronic motion sickness. (I can't even go to an I-MAX movie without taking a Dramamine.)

I don't know why, but I like looking up and seeing the landscape slide past me. And much to my ever-driving non-reader husband's dismay, I like to read passages to him while he can't get away from me. ;)

~Angela Blount

Betty Bolte said...

Angela, reading in the car used to make me ill, but like you I can do it now. That is, when I'm not doing the driving! And I love your husband as captive audience! Cool!

Twimom227 said...

I prefer to read in the corner seat of my couch... It's a recliner, next to the lamp and end table. I love having a cup of tea, too. However... I will read anywhere and anytime I can! That's the beauty of a large purse, kindle and kindle app on the smart phone! :-)

Jenna Blue said...

Well, ANYWHERE, of course! But tops is probably still in bed. When you are all cozy and it's late and you know nobody is going to disturb you, you can really sink into the story!
Jenna Blue

Betty Bolte said...

Twimom227, there really is something about having a cup of hot tea to sip on while reading that adds to the experience. I love having my iPhone Nook app so I can read anywhere anytime. Thanks!

Betty Bolte said...

Jenna, I think you've hit the nail on the proverbial head. It's about knowing you won't be disturbed that allows us to really escape into the story. Perfect!

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Betty!
Great post! My favorite place to read is curled up on my bed, t.v. going and with absolutely no responsibility for the day! Sigh. Yeah...that's great...

Ingeborg said...

On a warm day I love to read sitting in my backyard. Well that is until a bee comes along and I go running with book in hand.
Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

Betty Bolte said...

Naima, I'm glad you enjoyed the post! Seems like the bed is one of the favorite places for a lot of people. Thanks for sharing!

Betty Bolte said...

Ingeborg, another outdoor reader! Welcome!

Liz Flaherty said...

Good post, and got me wondering. I have half-read books on every flat area around, not to mention the Kindle, but think I'll go with Ingrid's--nothing like that private, quiet pool of light!

CrystalGB said...

I like to read on the couch or on lounge chair on our screened in porch. Thanks for the giveaway.
Crystal816[at]hotmail[dot]com

Roxanne Ravenel said...

I honestly don't know that I have a favorite place to read. I read everywhere and anywhere.

If I had to pick one spot, I'd say that reading in a lawn chair, poolside, on a gorgeous day is a pretty awesome way to spend an afternoon.

JoAnn said...

We just rehabbed our backyard and put in a terrace with a swing and firepit. It's the perfect place for reading with my Nook!

Betty Bolte said...

Liz, Crystal, Roxanne, and JoAnn, you each have touched on a quiet spot, alone, with a great book. Whether inside or out, it seems to be the idea of being alone to really appreciate the story, to be carried away by it. Thanks for sharing!

joye said...

I love to read. Usually, I read on my patio in the summer when i can look out and see my flowers, the birds, and my dogs frollicking in the grass. In the cooler months, i curl up in a favorite chair with my hot tea and my pets at my feet.
JWIsley(at)aol(dot)com

JackieW said...

I like to sit in my recliner chair along with my little dog by my side and read. I really like to read so anyplace is ok with me.
JFWisherd(at)aol(dot)com

Crystal Lee said...

I have several haunts for reading, but one of my favorites is in bed. I look forward to curling up with a choice read at the end of the day, the perfect opportunity to unwind and lose myself in another world.

Betty Bolte said...

Joye, sounds like your patio is lovely! I'm seeing another theme here as well: tea and pets as company. Very nice!

Betty Bolte said...

Jackie, sounds like a nice place to relax and escape into a fictional world. Love it!

Betty Bolte said...

Crystal, you're not alone in loving to read in bed, it seems! Snuggled in, cozy, and focused on the pursuit of reading pleasure. Perfect!

Jane said...

I love to read on the living room couch. I always have a drink(Coke, coffee) and snacks nearby.

Betty Bolte said...

Hi Jane, thanks for sharing! I agree -- reading is thirsty work! And snacks are a good thing to have on hand for those long journeys into other realms. Enjoy!

bamababe30 said...

I like read in bed, but often I tend to fall asleep!! LOL!! I guess I get too comfortable!!!! However, I will read where ever it is quiet. :D

Na said...

My favorite place to read is definitely my bed. It is so soft and comfortable. Often I read until I fall asleep and first thing when I wake up and can squeeze in a couple of pages. My room is quiet and that helps me concentrate.

Betty Bolte said...

Bamababe30 and Na, so you've added to the count for those who prefer to read in bed where you're comfy and it's quiet. Thanks for your input!

Alison said...

I read everywhere, but my favorite place to read is my comfy bed :)

Betty Bolte said...

Alison, you are one of many who love to read in bed! So cool!

Julianne Keller said...

I read anywhere I can take my kindle or book. When the weather is nice, I do like to read on the swing under the tree. I can sit there for hours (and I do) lol!!! I read from my kindle and print books, it's great and relaxing.
luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

D'Ann said...

I like to read in bed!

Donna Coe-Velleman said...

I like stretching out in the recliner when everyone is either asleep or busy in other rooms.

Shadow said...

I read everywhere. I books are attached to my hand. lol
shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

Bama said...

in bed or on the couch or in a chair lol

Melanie Walker said...

Now really, is there a place NOT to read? I haven't found it yet. Driving poses problems ... so it's ill advised - but I have seen a certain segment of brainiacs attempt it. I always used to carry at least two or three books in my purse ... now it's just two nooks and a smart phone, why have only 3 books when a couple hundred will do. In our family we've learned that reading while walking down a steep hill will get you to the bottom faster - but not necessarily all in good condition. Walking across an open field may leave you open to stepping in a pothole and a twisted ankle. As for me lying in bed against a huge pile of fluffy pillows is my favorite ... of course, my Prince Charming looks at it as an opportunity to sneak under the covers to distract me, sigh, I can attest that after 14 children, reading is not an effective form of birth control.

Cari Hislop said...

Like Melanie I used to read anywhere I could including as I walked to and or from school. I've been overly friendly with quite a few lamp posts over the years, but after leaving home I ended up having more quiet time in more sensible places (not that I was always sensible - reading on the way to work isn't advisable, but sometimes irresistible! - if like me you don't drive.) Last summer after we moved here I was able to read outside on my patio and really enjoyed it (the last abode was up the hill from a sewer treatment plant which we didn't know about until after we moved there - hence sitting outside was rarely a pleasure.) We haven't had much of a summer this year so I've ended up reading at my work desk where it's easier to underline passages (to aid my three second memory) without getting ink on the bed linen or husband. If the book is engrossing it doesn't matter where I am as long as I stay alive long enough to get to the end!

Betty Bolte said...

And the winner is... But first, let me say thank you to each of you for taking a few minutes to share your favorite reading places! I enjoyed hearing from each of you.

I put all of your names in a bowl and shook them up, and selected... Donna Coe-Vellen! Congratulations, Donna! Please send me your mailing address to betty(at)bettybolte(dot)com and I'll put your gift card in the mail. If I don't hear from Donna in 24 hours, I'll pick another name and post it here. Thanks everyone!

Betty Bolte said...

Sorry, Donna Coe-Velleman, for misspelling your name! You're still my winner! Please contact me. Thanks!

bn100 said...

I like to read on the sofa.

bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

Betty said...

Ingrid Seymour now has won the gift card!!! Please send me your mailing address and I'll send it next week! Betty at bettybolte dot com Congrats! Betty