Saturday 27 July 2013

My reading routine

My reading for the day sometimes starts at around 6-7am, when on a good day (ie. I've slept well and am up early) I'll make a cup of chai tea and take it back to bed.  This reading, however, is likely to be a handful of pages at most, and occasionally not even that (the 'staring into space until the caffeine kicks in' mornings...).  

My reading usually begins in earnest over breakfast.  This inevitably means a warm chocolate chip muffin (Sainsbury's finest, microwaved for a few seconds) and a big mug of coffee.  I generally sit on the floor, between my sink and the bedside table (a handy breakfast storage device), with my back to the radiator, and read until it's really time to get up and finish getting ready for work.  I'm tend to be half-ready by this point (teeth brushed, washed, semi-dressed) so on a good day I can keep reading until about 9am before I need to put my book down!

The reading then continues at work.  I tend to be most efficient first thing in the morning, so I try to get any book orders, book pricing and shelf-filling done as soon as we open.  Then it's time to catch up on a few blogs.  After that it's right back to my book, as much and as often as the customers allow!  If my eyes are getting a bit tired I might stop and play a game of Spider Solitaire, and at this time of year there are plenty of customers to serve and shelves to be refilled - but generally I can squeeze in a good few pages if I just settle down and make the effort.  This is my reading spot, behind the counter:

And this is what the shelf under the till often looks like!  Graze snacks, a tub of Vittoria vine tomatoes, a stack of books and notebooks (all lugged to work every day in a Bodleian Library tote bag), my Paperblanks diary, plus all the regular shop paraphernalia!

After work, or on days off, most of my reading will once again happen sitting on the floor, coffee or tea on the bedside table, occasionally supplemented by pizza or toasted teacakes or whatever else I'm using as reading fodder that day.  I love to read while I eat - I actually read with more focus if I'm eating or drinking, I don't know why - and only make an exception for a 'proper' meal or something a bit messy, like garlic bread.  Something that requires two hands and would probably end up coating my book!  That's when I catch up on programmes on 4oD or iPlayer, or watch an episode of Nurse Jackie or Gilmore Girls on my laptop instead.

If my bum's getting a bit numb from all that sitting on the floor, or if I just want to stretch out somewhere where I'm less likely to get unexpectedly spidered, then I shift up onto the bed.  I have the rather bad habit of lying flat out on my front like a little girl, book on my blanket, feet on my pillow, which probably does my back no good but DAMN it's comfy for reading! 

Sometimes one of the cats will join me, offering a handy back massage service, eagerly reading over my shoulder, or just zonking out in a ball within stroking distance.

I don't really read downstairs much, even though my two awesome chairs from the flat are now sitting in our living room awaiting moving day.  I do like to read in the garden though, either flat out on a sunlounger on a hot day, or perched on our wooden seat as the sun goes down after work, with a mug of coffee, keeping ever-vigilant for the wasps that like to come down and strip the wood for their nests.  It's peaceful and relaxing, and it gives me a focus I don't always get inside with everyone bustling around.

Aaaand that's my reading life!  Obviously I've not covered things like occasional train or plane travel, holiday reading (roll on October!) and other miscellaneous reading opportunities, but I think this pretty much covers my general reading routines...

Do you have particular places, snacks, times or other routines that have become reading habits for you?