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The Ideal Reading Environment

September 30, 2019



books

I take a book everywhere I go, and throughout my day I try to squeeze in five minutes of reading here and there. While I prefer a comfortable reading environment, I can and will read anywhere. I have accomplished much reading while standing in line, waiting in the car for my girlfriend, and passing the time to be served at a restaurant (no shame, when I eat out alone I often bring a book). However, these environments are not ideal. I love to read around the fireplace in the winter, or in the shade of a tree in the spring. I fell in love with books like Anais Nin’s The Four Chambered Heart while sitting by the pool in summer months. In the fall, I like to bring my compilation of Modern American Poetry to Shadyside park.

These are some of my favorite places to read. However, they don’t compare to the reading refuge I had in my childhood home. A book sanctuary, the living room in my parents old house was the perfect reading environment. Cozy and comfortable the room was decorated with plush furniture that was rarely sat upon. There was a large picture window that looked out over a giant oak tree, and in the corner sat a shiny spinet piano where I performed some of my best renditions of The Moonlight Sonata.

I remember wishful afternoons of lying on the couch and feeling like I was in the shade of that old oak. With my books stacked five high, I spent whole days reading. This is where I learned about Kerouac, Christ, and the poetry of Theodore Roethke. Looking back, my youth seems like one long day-a very good day, and an essentially formative day. The books I read, the dreams I had, and the sheltering walls of my parents house made me who I am. Sadly, my folks sold that house sometime ago, and I have not yet discovered an equally suitable place to read. I may never again find the ideal reading environment. Fortunately, however, it existed for a time, and while I could, I fully embraced my lovely reading nook!

Written by: Brett Wiley