Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Where Do You Like to Read?

Woman Seated in an Armchair
Henri Matisse
A regular feature of the Huffington Post is to ask authors their favorite places to curl up with a book. When asked - Where do you like to read? - mystery writer P.D. James replied:

I am an obsessive reader and am rarely without a book which I read whenever I have the opportunity.

My eyes are always drawn to the written word, even an official notice. I am particularly fond of re-reading old favourites and discovering in them new pleasures and greater understanding.

I always read at night before sleeping, but have not yet discovered the most comfortable way of doing this. When I have time I mostly enjoy reading in my drawing room where there is a good light and a comfortable armchair, and often do this until I fall asleep and wake to find it is early morning.

First of all, I love that she has a drawing room (so Downton Abbey) and I want one. I suppose I could rename my living room but I am not sure that it would be the same thing. A drawing room is a place to entertain visitors and I find that I use my living room to entertain myself more than visitors.

But moving ahead, I have two places to read in my newly christened drawing room. One is an armchair with an ottoman for my feet and a very good light. The other is my chaise lounge. It alternates between being a reading spot and a napping spot.

I too read at night before sleeping and, like Ms. James, I have not been able to find a comfortable position that lasts for very long. No matter how many pillows I prop myself up with eventually my neck is bent over so far that my chin rests on my chest which is definitely painful. Then if I shift my position and slide down to lie flatter, I just seem to doze off much too quickly. 

I know there are special reading-in-bed pillows but they look quite cumbersome and really, what does one do with it during the day? 

If anyone has a suggestion on how to read comfortably in bed, Ms. James and I would appreciate your guidance. 


  1. I do read in bed, though the pillows have to be rearranged frequently!

    1. Kat,
      Maybe I will just have to accept that rearrangement of pillows is just part of the luxury of reading in bed.

  2. My favorite reading spot is also in bed, though the pillows are never quite right. Since having cataract surgeries, good lightening has become an issue, so, I find myself reading more during the day with natural light when I can. Oddly enough, the best place is in my car, with the sun roof letting light in overhead. You can imagine me, alone in the car, reading . . .

    Your posts always inspire, Belle, and get me to thinking. Thank you.

    1. That is funny about reading in the car. I love to sit in my car and talk on the phone! It seems so cozy, the seat is comfortable, and there are no distractions from the conversation. I might try reading there.

      I know what you mean about light. The light over my reading chair is very concentrated and bright. One good thing about an e-reader is being able to enlarge the font size and with the lit screen I can always see the text.

      As to reading in bed, I guess I will just keep fighting with the pillows.