Reading Here and There

January 22, 2012

I had to chuckle on Saturday morning while reading The Globe and Mail feature “My Books, My Place”. This week’s guest was Kate Beaton, a cartoon artist whose work appears primarily on the web (Hark! A Vagrant) and now in a recently published book format of the same title. Here, along with her illustration above, is Kate’s charming contribution to the Globe:

My favourite place to read is really anywhere so long as I can spread myself out. Couch, rug, bed, whatever feels best. This is because I’m a fidgeter. I flip-flop around a book like it’s the only thing I have to hold onto in a storm.

I wish I could tell you that I read in my favourite café with my legs neatly crossed, sitting next to a peppermint tea atop a dainty saucer, all in a beam of morning light. But I can’t, because I’m lying on my belly, ignoring the fact that leaning on my arms is making them fall asleep. When they do, no problem. I just plop around onto my back and hold the book above my head, or maybe curl around the book on my side in some unnatural fashion, or sit up and balance it on my knees.

Did you just step on something? Oh, that was me. I was rolled up in a blanket on the floor. Don’t worry about it.

When I was a teenager, I even threw sitting awkwardly upside down into the mix, legs thrown up and over the back of an armchair, but had to give that up when I became a Lady because no gentleman worth his salt takes an upside-down person to the altar. Not that I’m fishing for husbands when I’m halfway through the latest George R.R. Martin, but you have to draw a general conduct line somewhere, don’t you think?

Are you like Kate, a fidgeter? I love a big armchair with room to curl … you?

Where and how do you read?

September 21, 2010

 If I could just paint myself into the image above I’d be pretty darn delighted. What a perfect spot to read!  I’ve heard a few conversations lately about where and when we read. I, for one, always have a book with me so that if I’m caught waiting somewhere in my day’s travels I can sneak in a few bonus pages; I frankly panic if I’m without something to read or write upon. Any handbag I ever own must accommodate a trade paperback and a notebook – it’s simply a rule. In reality most of my pages are read in bed before going to sleep. There was a time when my beloved fussed about the bedside lamp shining and over the years we’ve explored a variety of mutually acceptable solutions to this “problem” (as he perceives it).  One year I was perplexed to discover a head lamp in my Christmas stocking. He interrupted my horrified thoughts of cave exploration with “For reading at night of course!” My head-bobbing battles to stay awake “to just the end of this chapter…” are now accompanied by a dramatic light show. I’m determined that the best solution is to have him become a bedtime reader too. I have met with some success recently thanks to Stieg Larsson. The blog at Abe Books posted a piece about Reading in Bed and a lively discussion arose about the variety of positions. Do you lean back surrounded with pillows? Lie face down, propped up on elbows?  Or are you a side-reader? This also applies to beach reading in my mind – I’m perpetually singed on the front because I find it uncomfortable to flip and read lying face down. As much as I savour my bedtime reading I most enjoy cuddling up in a cosy armchair with a blanket and a mug of something. Early on a weekend morning before everyone else rises is even better … if I haven’t stayed up reading too late the night before!

Where and how do you read?

%d bloggers like this: