Hilton Head beach on a shimmering summer day. Comfortable lounge chair? Check. Umbrella for shade? Got it. Snacks? Yup. Long awaited best seller? Oh yeah! Everything was in place for an anticipated, much needed time of leisure. I picked up Nicholas Sparks’ newest and proceeded to read the first paragraph…and never got past it. Whether I was too distracted by the sailboat on the horizon, the warm sand between my toes or just the sheer immensity of the water, I don’t know. I just know that I could not concentrate and trying to read was a waste of time. I needed my favorite nook at home.
There are folks who can read anywhere, as evidenced by the New York City subway riders, who can hold on to the pole with one hand and focus intently on a book or newspaper held in the other hand…and still know when their stop comes! It’s a skill I never acquired, even when I lived in NY and rode the subway on a regular basis. For some of us, where we read is almost as important as what we are reading.
During my online travels, I came across a delightful website called “the boo and the boy: reading nooks for kids.” It showed some of the most charming and creative spots in which kids can hide away and lose themselves in a good book. For adults there are other sites which will encourage you to create or find a nook of your own such as this one and this one. Readers may enjoy Paul Deen’s Savannah Style, which has a section on book nooks, as well as Southern Lady Gracious Spaces: Creating the Perfect Sanctuary in Every Room.
There are some people who can read comfortably in odd positions and places. ..
…while others are happiest only in the most luxurious settings.
After taking an informal poll of where people read, I found that a few actually enjoy reading in cemeteries. Honesty compels me to admit that I generally don’t have an inclination to visit graveyards and found the thought of sitting among tombstones and reading a good book a bit unnerving. Then I came across this picture of Highgate Cemetery in London and understood how reading in this sylvan setting could be possible.
To borrow from a favorite Seuss book, Green Eggs and Ham “Would you, could you in a house? With a mouse? In a box? With a fox? Would you, could you here or there? Would you, could you anywhere?” Although I am usually in the habit of carrying a book with me at all times ( just in case I have a flat and have to wait for the HERO truck), my beach experience has shown me that for anything heavier than a fashion magazine, I need my nook. How about you?