Bookish Ways To Get Outside More

Gia R.

Staff Writer

Gia R. is from Phoenix, Arizona. She graduated with two business degrees. While studying, her short nonfiction story was published in 2018 in Write On, Downtown, an ASU journal. Since then, she taught preschool students abroad. Now back in AZ, you’ll find her writing, reading, and adoring digital art.

For the longest time, I’ve considered reading a rainy day activity. I get a cup of tea, curl up with a blanket, and open what’s been on my shelf. The soft tapping of water droplets on my window is welcome background noise as I immerse myself in a book. If the weather is a bit colder that day or week, then it’s perfect. It’s the ideal setting for reading! As the seasons shift and it gets warmer and brighter, my reading habits don’t always adapt to this change. I still want to read, but my current reading routine doesn’t allow me to be outside to enjoy the wonderful weather.

If you’re like me and you’ve found yourself in the midst of spring and your TBR, you may find it difficult to mesh the two. You want to go on a hike, but your TBR is calling you. There are so many imaginary worlds and fantastical stories and mysterious characters to be pulled into. You could easily stay inside and read all day, curled up with a pet and a blanket. BUT the weather is amazing and you’re caught between reading or taking a walk. You want to take advantage of this good weather, but you also want to keep up your reading momentum. You don’t want to waste a good day of weather, but you don’t want to skip on your book time.

Well, you don’t have to. There are ways to enjoy some bookish activities outside! Some may depend on where you live while others can be done anywhere you decide!

What You’ll Need

Books (obviously), books in many formats (ebook, audiobook, podcast, hard copy), yoga mat, blankets, coloring books, music, knowledge of nature in your area, creativity, etc.

Now let’s read on to get bookish outside!

person reading book in chair relaxing with ocean in the distance
Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash

Bookish Ways to Get Outside

1. Find, Create, or Participate in a Book Scavenger Hunt

You can browse for books, read them, or search for them! There is a book scavenger hunt in L.A. every Saturday where there are more than 20 hidden books. On Saturday morning, photos of the books and links to their locations are dropped so you can start your little treasure hunt! Want to make some new friends while you go on your quest? Each book has a section for you to connect with others who have shown interest in the book. You can check out the books they have prepared for this week.

Not in L.A.? Consider searching for a book scavenger hunt in your area or starting your own with a small group of friends. Bring your besties and participate in the Book Scavenger game, which allows you to find or hide a book all over the world. Based on the children’s books, The Book Scavenger Series, the Book Scavenger game allows people to search for hidden books in their area or register a book to hide. You can check out the map and the form to sign up here. Happy book hunting!

2. Embrace Plants and Poetry With a Haiku Hike

The University of Arizona Poetry Center and The Downtown Tucson Partnership have put together a Haiku Hike for the last three years. Each year, they select 20 haikus to display along Congress Street and Stone Avenue. Submissions are accepted each year and selections are made by T.C. Tolbert, Tucson’s poet Laureate. Check out the haikus selected and displayed this year here

Not in Tucson? And don’t have anything similar to this? Then you can create your own experience! Select a mild hike and a poetry book or two. Each time you stop to take a rest or admire the view, read a page or a passage. Want something a little closer to home? You can make a little haiku hike in your backyard. This is a great opportunity to get some plants to brighten up your space. Near each plant or pot, you can put mini wooden plant stakes with numbers on them. As you walk around your space, stop at each number and select a different book to read. This is a fun way to get your green thumb and reading on!

3. Seek Out a StoryWalk

Instead of carrying a book with you as you walk, why not read separate pages displayed at various points throughout a walk? You can do that with a StoryWalk. A StoryWalk is basically an area where pages of a book are displayed along a walking route. It can be in a park or near a school. Ideally, the pages are near some form of greenery or a nice area to take a stroll. If you want to know more about it, another Book Rioter covered it in Literacy Among The Leaves: Everything You Want To Know About StoryWalks. Search for one in your area or think about introducing one to your community. 

girl in pink dress reading book on green grass during daytime
Photo by Skylar Zilka on Unsplash

4. Pack a Picnic With a Podcast

Laying outside with your eyes on the clouds and an interesting book playing in your ears? Sign me up! While the weather is nice, why not take your podcast outside? Grab a few blankets, some snacks, and a coloring book. Maybe throw in a puzzle or a sketchbook too. Need a few ideas? You can try some podcasts that are similar to literary novels. Or consider these best fiction podcasts. If you’re not sure what you’re feeling, you can check out this list of 33 book podcasts for all genres.

5. Add an Audiobook to an Activity

Instead of picnicking and listening, you could enjoy a fun activity outside while listening to an audiobook. This could be riding a bike, doing yoga outside, or hiking. It could be in your neighborhood, front yard, or at a park. Scope out some nice nature hikes and let a new story captivate you on your journey up a mountain. Start adding a few books to your list like these middle grade audiobooks or these queer YA audiobooks.

6. Hunt for Little Free Libraries

This is a good opportunity for spring cleaning and donating! You could take a short stroll to a little free library or make it a nice morning adventure by visiting a collection of them. Search for these treasures in your area on the little free library map. While you’re enjoying a lovely day of exploring little free libraries, consider reviewing some tips on the proper etiquette. Don’t have many in your area? You could set one up! For some inspo, check out these little free library plans and unique little free libraries

Whether you’re searching for books or little libraries, I hope you got a few ideas of how to be bookish and be outside!