(What? I like to prove that I'm not totally disconnected from the mainstream on occasion.)
(I know, that's pathetic. What can I say.)
Also, it'll probably not be Wednesday by the time you're actually reading this, but I'm starting it on a Wednesday, so whatever.
Have you guys ever stopped to consider little things that just make reading better? (Yes, I'm sure you have. I'm surrounded by fellow bibliophiles, after all.) Well, today, as the title of the post may have informed you, I'm here to share some of the things that I've observed. Call them tips or tricks to "a better reading experience," if you will.
Okay, have y'all noticed?? It is SO NICE to hear the "soft tapping" of someone's computer keys while you're reading. It's like a soundtrack to the writing of whatever book it is you're reading.
(I'm assuming this works best with computer keys. I can't say from firsthand experience, but I imagine a typewriter's keys -- wonderful though they may be -- might be a bit too loud and "punchy" to be relaxing.)
Couches are a must. Definitely my favorite piece of furniture on which to loll while reading. (Although a chair -- if it's of the right size, shape, cushion amount, etc. -- can also be quite nice.)
A month or so ago, I was reading (A COMPLETELY AMAZING AND HEARTRENDING BOOK, but more on that later) while on a family trip. We were in a lakehouse, and there was an L-shaped couch and an incredible fleece blanket, and boy, I snuggled in there and READ TO MY HEART'S CONTENT.
And it was satisfying.
Case in point. See above.
- If it's nice outside, a swing -
Swings also work. Dangling your feet, swinging -- or more like rocking -- to and fro listlessly, caught up in the story but conscious of the pleasant world around you . . .
Well, I mean to say, Jeeves, that one could do worse.
Working off of the swing thing, spring is a very aesthetic time in which to read. Specifically outdoors. I mean, everything is just so pulsing and green and beautiful and fragrant and -- I should stop now before I get into my full-blown rant about spring. (Which might come later, when spring actually makes up its mind to BE A THING this year. Ahem.)
- The winter season -
Tragically, I haven't yet had a lot of experience actually doing this, but there's definitely something very inviting about reading (preferably near a window) during a snowfall. Magical, as they say.
(I assume -- due to Pinterest pictures -- that autumn is also nice and aesthetic and cozy for reading, but I'll admit, I haven't found that to be overwhelmingly true in my own life? Like, in theory I agree, but in terms of experience . . . not necessarily.)
As I mentioned on my other blog, my first year of college has actually been surprisingly full of fun new books. (I guess not having literature classes prevents you from burning out in your leisure reading.)
So, anyway, I've gotten to read a fair amount in the past 8 months or so. The three best new-to-me books in that time frame -- as in, the ones that have really nestled somewhere in my heart and Touched Me -- have been:
- The Book of Sorrows* by Walter Wangerin Jr. -
This was STUNNING and AMAZING and touched my soul. (Of course, I'm already comfortable and familiar with "epics" about animals and animal communities, so if you're not, it might not have the same impact on you.)
*It is the second part in a trilogy, just FYI.
- The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman -
Another heartbreaking one. Probably more so, because there's less hope interwoven throughout it. But there's still enough to keep it from being depressing, for me.
Honestly, though, this one got under my skin and has stayed there in the few days since I finished it, in a way that I almost don't like because it's difficult to get rid of. (But, like, I still loved it. I still think it was amazing. I just am slightly unnerved by how the story clung to my thoughts and emotions. Does that make sense? Y'all relate?)
- Bella at Midnight by Diane Stanley -
This was a positively charming retelling of Cinderella that came to me at precisely the right time and I loved it completely. I don't really know how it could be improved, other than perhaps cutting out the whole thing about the magic ring. That seemed sort of distracting and unnecessary to the plot, BUT STILL. Frabjous book. I was very satisfied. :)
(There was also an excellent book on theology by an English chap named Michael Lloyd (the title of the book is Café Theology) that I found inspiring, encouraging, and helpful. I didn't necessarily agree with everything he said, but on the whole, I thought it was a great treatment of basic Christian doctrine.)
Welp, that's all for now, folks.
What are some of your favorite "reading aesthetics"?
What's the best book you've read recently?
(Also, no, as you can see, it is not still Wednesday.)