Tuesday, December 7, 2010

10 Places I love to read

Top 10 Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.


1. Brisbane City Gardens. Smack bang in the centre of the city these gardens sit alongside one of my uni's campuses and nestled into the river. Because of the closeness of the city I often head here after a trip to Borders or Dymocks, heavy book bag in tow, to pour over my new titles. It can get quite busy with joggers, lunchers and tourists but under the right tree (big trunk and extreme leafiness) with the right book all those distractions disappear.

2.My Couch. My couch isn't as fantastic as the one depicted (oh how I want a fainting couch!) but it the simplest and one of the best locations to read a book. Nestled amongst the huge soft cushions I can comfortably lose myself in my novel, fall asleep where I lay if I grow tired and coffee is readily available in the next room. In the winter a blanket thrown of me is all I need and during the summer the open windows and whirring fan are enough to keep me cool and comfortable.

3. Ellis Beach in Cairns. For a year before I began surf lifesaving I sat on this beach reading every Sunday while my sisters ran up and down the beach doing drills and swimming in the warm water. This beach is far enough away from the centre of town (and all running bus routes) that it is rarely frequented by tourists, and is often left alone by the locals for the larger beaches. Underneath a coconut tree the sand is fine and warmed by the sun and molds perfectly around the contours in your body. I could find sand in dozens of my books for years after reading them thanks to my reading jags on this beach.

4. Crystal Cascades in Cairns. I grew up in paradise. Stinking hot though it was in summer and often filled with tourists, my home town was home to many wonderful natural attractions. The beaches were incredibly popular with tourists and locals alike but the natural creek systems like Crystal Cascades were something of a local secret. Crystals (as it is commonly referred too) is cool, green and smells amazing, a combination of the freshest of water, moss and the tropical rainforest. I didn't often get to read here because I was usually with a group of friends and interupted if I tried to read for too long, but it was a wonderful place to calm down, relax, and think and the few times I hid myself away between rocks with a book were quite wonderful.

5. The Bus - I have to be in the right mood to read on the bus, sometimes I simply can't do it, but it is often the place I get my best reading done. Partly because I want to avoid the weirdos that frequent the public transport system (especially at night) and partly to pass the time, most of the texts I had to read for uni were read on the 20 minute bus ride between my home and the university. The gentle rocking of the bus also seems to work quite well for the atmosphere needed for reading in public, quite calming and, although perhaps this is just me, helps extinguish the noise of louder passengers.

6. Walking. I'm one of those obnoxious people you see walking down the street with their nose in their book, oblivious to the people dodging and jumping out of their way. Just like with the bus this is mostly to pass time, I'll read while I walk down to the bus stop or across the uni campus. I don't do it as much as I used to when I was younger, perhaps my books are more difficult now and need a more dedicated reading, or perhaps it was because I found out that this was how Stephen King was badly injured and I'm a little more concerned of my safety now!

7. Coffeshops. I love the romantic imagery associated with reading in nature, but sometimes the isolation is too much and I can't concentrate on the book in front of me. Sometimes having noise and people around me is much more conducive to me actually getting into a book. I'm not sure why, but it's the same reason why I need music or the television on while I study, for some reason extreme distractions =/= actual distractions?! If given the choice I'll always pick a coffee shop with a bit of a bohemian atmosphere rather than one of the Starbucks variety, it just seems more appropriate for the activity. Plus what goes with books better than coffee may I ask?

8.  New York Public Library. I haven't actually been here, but when I finally make the plans for my big US journey this library will be somewhere near the top of my to-do list. I love the architecture of this building, and when you combine that with its age, history, plethora of books, location (oh NYC I have adored you from afar for so long!) and incredible interior this seems like a magical place to me.

9. Rooftop Garden. Again this isn't a location I've read in before, rather it is a rather romanticised imagining of where I'd love to read. I've always imagined that when I eventually settle down for a significant length of time it'll be a big city and I'll live in an apartment building. While I have the freedom to dream about exactly what this apartment would be like (pre-war) I like to imagine that I have a gorgeous, leafy, magical, fairy-light covered rooftop garden. This garden will be my retreat from the busy concrete world below and a place to curl up with a good book and disappear amongst the pages.

10. Bed. This is similar to reading on the couch, although I actually find lying down to read on a couch easier than on a bed, I'm never comfortable holding my book when I lay on my bed and usually roll around quite alot searching for that perfect position! The bed is best for late night reading, especially when it's one of those books you just can't put down. Something about lying in bed, the place for sleep, reading madly is really satisfying. Perhaps it is just that it is a constant reminder that the reading taking place isn't meant to be taking place. Sleep be damned!! Another reason I love reading in my bed is because I have my huge bookcase right beside me, and three shelves above my bed, all choc-a-bloc with books. So I am completely surrounded by my books as I sleep (or read instead of sleeping) and when you have that many books around you it just seems right to have your nose stuck in one!

This was possibly the most difficult Top Tuesday yet, at least for me. Bottom line, I don't really care where I read, just that I'm reading, so finding 10 locations that I love to read in was hard. I will however admit that there is a romanticism in the location of reading, just as there is for writing. No one wants to admit to simply sitting on the couch with a laptop when writing a novel and neither do people want to say they sit on a bus and read, unless that bus is taking you to meet your sweetheart who you haven't seen in months, being pelted with raindrops and is of a more vintage fashion rather than the less picturesque buses you usually catch home.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. You've come up with some wonderful spots to read! I completely forgot about walking and reading. I do that all the time, though I caution my students against it.




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