A couple of weeks ago my friend was sitting quietly on a plane reading a novel. As the flight attendant glided past she paused to observe the phenomenon. “Well, you don’t see that very often anymore,” she remarked before resuming her patrol.
If people don’t read on planes any more it’s a very sad thing. Planes are a magical cloud cocoon liberated from bothersome distractions. If you’re heading overseas you have the luxury of reading for hours on end without having to check text messages or worry that you’re late for something. Sometimes it’s not just what you read, it’s where you read. I read Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach on the pebbly English seaside. I read the longest biography of Henry James ever written on a winding train through the Swiss Alps. And I read Stephanie Laurens’ The Brazen Bride while sitting cross legged on a bridge in Pyrmont.
After many years on the hunt, here are my Top 10 Reading Spots (in no particular order) – guaranteed to enhance a great book or distract you from a bad one!
1. On top of a cliff, overlooking the ocean
2. Under a Magnolia tree
3. In a tent, with a torch
4. On a 13 hour flight
5. At a quiet cafe on a weekday, while everyone else is at work
6. Sitting in an armchair that has been moved into a sunny backyard
7. At a dull sporting (or religious) event
8. Waiting in a slow-moving bank queue
9. In the kitchen, while cookies are baking
10. In bed, after a long day