A couch of one’s own

In the past, I’ve written about my ideal bookstore (heaven is a bookstore and all that), but I don’t think I’ve ever really thought about what my ideal reading spot might look like. I’ve read in all kinds of places: uncomfortable airport chairs while using my suitcase as a footrest, standing in lines, in bed, standing in the kitchen while stirring rice pudding, and all matter of chairs, stools, and couches. Until the last decade, I didn’t have the space or money to really decorate or buy big, comfy furniture in my style.

When it comes to my ideal reading spot, I have a few requirements:

  • Oversize furniture that I can sink into, but not too far.
  • Pillows to prop up my head, because I like to read laying down.
  • Blankets for cold days.
  • A table nearby for beverages and snacks.
  • Soft light.
  • Quiet, but not so much quiet that your ears start to do that ringy/buzzy thing.
  • Plenty of room for cats…because they will take it.

What’s most important, at least for me, is being alone when I read. When I have company, I feel like I need to entertain them. I feel like I’m ignoring my guests if I take off to read. After all, who wants to watch me read? Since I mostly read on my iPad, any audience wouldn’t even be able to see me turn the pages.

When I am alone, cozy, watered (or tea’d?), and fed, curled up with a cat or two, I can relax enough that I can escape into a book. I forget my body and all my busy thoughts about work and chores and focus on nothing except the words before me. My knee stops hurting. My back relaxes. The cats fall asleep and snore. Now that I have my ideal couch, it’s little wonder that I feel like I’m waking up out of a dream when I finish a really good book. I have the perfect platform now to fully be a reader, instead of feeling like my reading is stealing time away from something I “should” be doing.

What does your ideal reading spot look like? Is there anyone out there who likes to read outside? Or while listening to music? Am I a weirdo for liking to lie down while reading, with a foot hitched up over the back of the couch?

5 thoughts on “A couch of one’s own

  1. My new favorite reading spot is outside- under my deck it’s cooler and I have set a chair by a stack of bricks I can put my feet up on. But someday I want to have a short armchair in front of a window flanked by bookshelves- short so that my feet are flat on the floor- because all the furniture in our house is just a bit too tall for me!

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  2. My favorite reading spot is on a bench in a public park on a sunny day (not too hot, not too cold, Goldielocks-kind of a day). I am also particular about the bench (https://frenchmoments.eu/benches-of-paris/) The bench should not be too high (my feet would be dangling) or too low. The gondola style is actually not comfy at all even if they’re stylish. I favor the straight model if someone is not already on the other side, or the contemporary ones.

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  3. Favorite reading spots… I love reading on the sofa, almost exactly as you described minus cats. But I also love the backyard patio chair with just enough rocking motion and the table. I love reading outdoors whether that’s under a tree or in the car with the windows open.

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