Our Reading Lives

What’s Your Favorite Place to Read?

This is a guest post from Katherine Marciniak. Katherine is an over-caffeinated avid reader and writer. She was featured in the anthology Once Upon an Apocalypse, and loves to beta read and edit when she has the opportunity. She’ll do more impressive things after she’s finished her tea…and this next chapter.

Twitter Handle: @MarciniakKatie

A long time ago, I mastered the art of reading in places where and when I wasn’t supposed to. In middle school I openly read Oliver Twist in math class despite the fact that my teacher put me front row center in order to help me pay attention. Around the same time I also boycotted a classroom game in English class in order to read the same book. I’ve read at my brother’s little league games, backstage during play rehearsals, and during family gatherings. Heck, I even used to skip ahead to read the gospel for the next week during homilies in church.

Despite this (or maybe because of it?), I’ve made it my life’s mission to find the perfect reading places. I’ve tried many, and they all seem better on paper than they do in person. Reading during math class, for example, is less than ideal. The teacher calls on you unexpectedly to do Algebra and you have to pretend you have an inkling of what’s going on.

College gives one many opportunities, though, and one of those opportunities is to try reading in a variety of places. The great thing about it is that a lot of other people end up reading or studying in a variety of places, too, so you’ll never be alone.

Which might be the first problem. Reading tends to be a solitary activity for a reason.

But that aside, let’s take a look at some sounds-great reading places:

The lake

My college is tiny and it has two equally tiny lakes on campus. They’re fantastic to sit and look at, to walk around, and most importantly, to read near. Some pros of sitting and reading by the lake include getting an Instagram-worthy picture of your book and the lake. You can even put it on Instagram and caption it #amreading so everyone knows what you’re up to. Cons include the fact that benches just aren’t that comfortable and if you bring a blanket you’ll always end up sitting on top of sticks. Also, there are bugs. Also, if you do that Instagram thing you might spend more time doing that than reading, and then the sun might set, which will make another fantastic picture, but then it will be dark, which is not exactly conducive to reading.

smiling in the library by josh felise

The library

I mean, come on, it’s literally made for reading. But even in the quietest designated areas in the library there are people who gather to work on a group project loudly and simultaneously gossip about what Troy and Gabriella are up to this weekend. Pros: comfy seats, lots of books, great for a rainy day. Cons: other people studying might make you remember that 20-page paper you’re trying to avoid.

Your room

Home is where the books are, right? There’s nothing better than getting into bed after a long day and snugging up with a book. Pros: can be as comfy as you want with instant access to your own books. Cons: a roommate who needs to get up for an 8 a.m. class which forces you to read under the covers with a flashlight like you’re eight years old.

So my search for the perfect place to read continues. I might be a bit cynical, but I have actually given up reading during class. (I’ve been told it looks suspicious to have a novel hidden in your accounting textbook).

Help me on this mission to find the Holy Grail of reading spots! What and where is your favorite place to read?