In a perfect world, we could always read exactly how we want to, in the place we want to. Even though it isn’t always possible, I wanted to talk about some of my reading preferences and the reading ritual I try to stick to when I can. I previously wrote about writing rituals and realized that thinking about what works best for me has helped me to lean towards the things I prefer, the things that help me be more productive, whenever I can.
- Location -
I read in a bunch of different places: on the train, waiting in line, on my lunch break, etc. I listen to audiobooks while I commute and work, so the settings for my reading activities are often varied and, usually, a bit stressful. However, in a perfect world, I love to read in bed. It is where I am the most comfortable and cozy, but it is also where I can get the most uninterrupted reading done. I like to snuggle into pillows and blankets, but you may like to find a comfy chair to sit in or take your books to a bustling coffee shop. Find where you like to read the most and try to do more of your reading there.
- Atmosphere -
This can seem like an unimportant element, but I definitely believe it is not. Personally, I love to have candles burning or a diffuser running. I like the lights to be bright enough to read, but dim enough to be cozy and relaxed. If you like to read outside with the neighbors mowing their lawns and dogs barking across the street, go for it!
- Music -
This one may be a bit controversial. I like to put some music on low when I read, especially classical music or movie soundtracks. I find silence distracting and honestly a bit unsettling. However, if you like the full chatter of a coffee shop or just plain silence, do what works for you. But if you do try listening to some music, you could play around with making playlists for the books or genres you are reading. It can be a really fun way to enhance your reading experience.
- Snacks -
Do you drink tea and eat cookies while you read? Maybe you like to have a beer and much on some popcorn? Personally, I’m a big fan of dried fruit and tea when I read, though I have spilled tea on my book or my bed more than once. If snacks help you get into the reading zone, go for it!
- Attire -
At last, we come to clothing. As I mentioned, I love to read in bed, so I like to wear leggings and sweaters or comfy t-shirts. Are you sensing a pattern here? I always go for the things that make me feel the happiest and most relaxed so I can let everything else fade away and just be absorbed by the story.
Of course, it doesn’t always work out that you can read exactly how you want to. But, if you develop a ritual, you can use your reading time to wind down and de-stress too. Play around with your routine a bit, tweak different elements until you find what you like. It isn’t going to be perfect every time, but it should help you to figure out how you read best and what allows you to really get into a story and engage with it more deeply. So, if you already know your ultimate reading ritual, go for it whenever you can!