A Great Place to Read a Book.
A great place to read a book is a fun project. I hope you will follow along with me and discover wonderful books to read, and places you can’t wait to visit. The idea for this book came from a few of my neighbors and friends. Some of them know how they’ve influenced me and inspired me to indulge in this project. My friend, Dale Diesel, pointed out to me one day that I frequently pause on our walks and hikes to note beautiful places that I’d like to return to – this would be a great place to read a book, I frequently say. I have Bob Pavey to thank also. He doesn’t know it, but a conversation we once had confirmed for me that I need to write this book.
I love to go for hikes in Big Sur. The scenery is magnificent and inspirational. I never go anywhere without my writing note-book and a book to read. There is something magical about finding a tranquil place in which to relax and let go of the everyday concerns of our busy lives. Typically, I love to read sitting with a view of the ocean.
I read as a writer. I stop to consider the author’s style, the language, the detail of scene and character development. It is very important to me that the author conveys a natural and detailed sense of place. I want to be where the story is at! I want to see and feel and smell and taste along with the people in the story. I want to feel with the characters, share their emotions and laugh and cry with them.
I enjoy reading analytically. I’m used to reading in this way, and unlike some of my friends and colleagues, the occasional stop and start nature of the analysis doesn’t throw me out of the story. When I pause in my reading I like to think about the book as I melt into the rhythm of the place in which I am reading.
I learned to read early. Reading was one of the few things I was good at. I hated gym classes at school. I was terrified of times-tables in beginning math class. I wasn’t very coordinated in ballet class, which I soon gave up. Dick and Jane delighted me. I became absorbed into their simple lives. I desperately wanted their dog. I even longed for a sibling when I saw how Dick and Jane played with each other. I changed my mind though, frequently.
Books are my friends. I am comforted by shelves lined with books. I’m sure that like me, many of you skim book shelves when you go to someone’s house. Books tell a lot about a person. I find that talking about books with people can help deepen a relationship. At the awkward social event, sharing our thoughts about books we discover we have in common with people can help to release the tension, and often artificial constraints of the situation.
I love the Coffee shops with sofa’s, the sound and scent of the dark beans grinding, the steaming mugs of fresh brewed coffee, and on the lucky occasion when I find a ‘reader’s’ coffee shop, the take one-leave- one book shelves entice me to stay. At quiet times when the coffee shop is not busy, this can be a great place to read a book.
I will be travelling a lot this summer. For many people, travelling is the only time they can read a book. Stuck on an airplane, a book is a great place in which to forget that screaming infant beside you, the four-year-old snotty kid behind you who kicks the seat back with increasing ferocity, the bum-ache you’ve got from sitting too long, need I go on?
I left Big Sur again last week. I’m sitting up in bed in London as I write this. It is just gone five in the morning here. I wonder how many writers sit up in bed to write. I can tell you that I’ve read many of my favorite books sitting up in bed. As a child I read sitting up for the permitted half hour before lights out and snuggling down to sleep. By the time I’d rounded nine years old, instead of hiding under the bed-tent pressing my flashlight up against my hands to do scary illuminations of hands and fingers; I was using the light surreptitiously to read without being discovered.
Today, as an adult, I can read whenever and wherever I want to. Over the next twelve months, I’m going to blog about the books I’m reading, and the places I’ve chosen in which to read them. I’ll probably waffle along about the various twists and turns my life and thoughts take as I read. So, watch this space, and join me in the read if you’d like to. I’m currently reading The Woman who walked Into Doors, by Roddy Doyle.
Until I become more familiar with how to manage my blog I’ll post sections from this in the general posts area.