There’s so much more to books than just the physical (or digital) objects they are. The best books, as any reader knows, are an opportunity to be transported to a different world. Whether you’re traveling back in time or journeying to a fantastical world, the chance to immerse yourself in an author’s imagination is priceless. And with books you’ve read before, re-reading them can feel like returning to a comforting setting, even if only in your mind.
Many readers take it a step further by creating an immersive reading experience to enjoy their books through as many senses as possible. Immersive reading encourages readers to pay attention to the sensory details and descriptions in books and seek to recreate them, or parts of them, in their own reading spaces. This might include reading in areas like the book’s setting, listening to music that compliments the story, or theming snacks and drinks to match what the characters in a book would have consumed.
The world of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice offers a buffet of sensory details for readers to enjoy. From walks across the English countryside to dinners in manor houses and the streets of London, readers get to journey with Austen into the world of Georgian and Regency England. If you’re looking to dive into an immersive reading experience with Pride and Prejudice, the ideas below will help immerse you in Austen’s world.
Pride and Prejudice is full of imagery, from the estates where so much of the book takes place to the wild moors Elizabeth tromps through. If money was no object, a truly immersive experience could involve visiting the places that inspired the novel or were used for later films. Austenites might try visiting these sights from Austen’s life or checking out the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, where readers can sip tea while reading and learning about Austen’s life and works. Film fans of the BBC’s 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice or the 2005 version might also want to read in locations seen in the films or even take a two-day tour that will provide plenty of Austenesque scenery as a background to reading.
If a reading pilgrimage isn’t in the budget, there are plenty of ways to bring the imagery of Pride and Prejudice into your home for an immersive reading experience. Look around to see if there are parks or historic homes nearby that, even if they aren’t an exact match, could be an inspiring place to read. Also, YouTube is full of videos to play in the background as you read, whether you’re looking for a rainy day on the grounds of Pemberley or a stroll through the English countryside. If you’d like to immerse yourself beyond reading time, check out these Pride and Prejudice goods that can help you bring your love of Austen into your home, clothing, and office supplies.
To start, check out the soundtracks from the BBC and 2005 film adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, both of which provide soothing classical music to listen to while you read. There are also plenty of fan-created playlists and videos to set the mood for your immersive reading experience. And, of course, if you’re an audiobook reader, that’s a great choice as well!
Besides Mrs. Bennett’s smelling salts, there are plenty of scent options to create an immersive Pride and Prejudice reading experience. Immortal Perfumes has a Pemberley-inspired scent to spritz on before diving into your book, and Ravenscourt Apothecary has one inspired by none other than Mr. Darcy. There are also lots of scented candles to light while you curl up and read, ranging from options with hints of “hasty judgment” and hyacinth to the gardens of Pemberley and even candles containing three-dimensional models of Pemberley. You can also immerse yourself in the scents of the book with this line of soaps inspired by the story.
What is reading without sips and snacks? Start by sipping a cup of tea made with NovelTeas Pride and Peppermint blend or indulging in a glass of classic Chamomile. Once you’ve got those set, try some recreations of recipes from the book, like the white soup served at Netherfield or these tea-time recipes from the Nerdy Gourmet. You can even get a copy of the novel with recipes incorporated to throw the ultimate book club gathering or celebrate your immersive reading experience with other Pride and Prejudice fans with a gorgeous party like this one. And if nothing else, you can always whip up some boiled potatoes.
With these sights, sounds, smells, and tastes, you’ll be able to craft a truly immersive Pride and Prejudice reading experience no matter where you are. If you’re looking to dive further into the world of Austen, check out this reading pathway of her works or these snarky goods for Austen fans. If you’re looking to stage more immersive reading experiences, we have a guide for getting started with that as well.