As I draft this post, I've just spent the most perfect day reading. Because the topic is "Freebie," I get to decide what I want to write about. I'm really disappointed with my own reading as of late and don't want to bore everyone with another list of books that I almost always wind up writing about it. So, I'm going to write about my top ten ingredients for a perfect day of reading. You're welcome to create your own top ten list about whatever you want. Please share your link below.
In my experience, perfect days of reading aren't planned. They just kind of happen to me. All of the days I've woken up with the intention of reading all day get scrapped around lunchtime. But my favorite readings days just sort of developed. That said, there are some common ingredients that you need to have if, on the off chance, you wake up and a perfect reading day unfolds...
1. First of all, you need to sleep in a little bit, but not so much that you've slept through half of the day. Me, I woke up at about 8:15, which is two hours later than I usually get to sleep on a Monday. I was well-rested, but not hungover from too much sleep.
2. Coffee! Coffee is a must every single day. But there is no better way to start a day than to read while you drink your coffee. This has become a total rarity for me, so I was happy to partake.
3. A super breakfast. My usual weekday breakfast consists of a breakfast sandwich of some kind and it's usually eaten at my desk at work. But today was a holiday and, so I made some amazing blueberry pancakes from scratch, doused them in syrup. Then I ate them regally in bed.
4. Good books to switch back and forth between. Obviously. Can't have a day of reading without some books. Personally, I've been reading The Grapes of Wrath and Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses. I think that they strike a great balance--fiction and memoir. I can get lost in the novel for a couple of hours, then take a short break to read a chapter from Dederer.
5. A nice snack or snacks. You can totally pig out on a perfect reading day and there will be no judgment. Food groups don't exactly exist on these days. I stayed super full from breakfast until just now. I am going to eat some popcorn because I have dinner plans, which leads me to my next item--
6. An escape of some kind. Basically, you need to have some sort of option to distract you because feeling obligated to read all day with no escape in sight is not as appealing as it sounds. (Maybe this explains why I suck at readathons...) Tonight I have dinner plans. They make a great addition to a day of reading by giving you a nice break and some human interaction. But you can have any sort of distraction lined up--a walk outside, coffee with a friend, a movie, whatever you can do for a couple of hours and then blissfully return to your books.
7. Quiet. I love my boyfriend with all my heart...but it felt really good to be able to spend the day just reading and not having to worry about anyone feeling ignored or slighted. Granted, sometimes when it's this quiet and I'm this free to read all day, I have a hard time concentrating, but not today!
8. Good concentration. I am totally not one of those people who are blessed with the ability to read while the TV is on. I guess I do OK if someone had selected a show I'm really not interested in, but even so, if there is a loud noise, I wind up looking up from my book. So I just haven't turned on the TV today. At all. It's been really nice, though it is killing me because there is an NCIS marathon on. Also? Really hard to not check Twitter and Facebook a million times an hour, but once I go without checking for a couple of hours, I kind of forget about it. (I really can't find a good picture for this one...)
9. A comfy place to read. Obviously, if you're going to be sitting on your butt ignoring the outside world for long stretches of time, you need to be comfortable. Most of the day, I've been reading in bed with the overhead fan on. This allowed me to stretch out, change positions, and cover up if I got cold or throw off the covers when I got warm. The bedroom also has the advantage of there being no TV to tempt me. But the living room is great for sitting up and reading because I can go with the couch or the chair. I decided to move into the living room to do a little work and read for a bit before going to dinner or maybe watch some NCIS...
10. Comfy clothes. Again, a huge part of being able to sit and read all day is being comfortable. I've stayed in my yoga pants (I'd live in them if I could) and a t-shirt all day. Naturally, I plan to put on real clothes before I meet my friend for supper, but once I'm home? Back in the yoga pants. This is also important if you plan to eat copious amounts of food while reading all day. Tight pants just aren't fun. And dresses just aren't the best for all of the crazy positions you find yourself in while reading for hours.
There you have it. My top ten ingredients for a perfect day of reading. Can't wait to see your top ten list, whatever you choose to write about.
Also--Come back on Thursday for a Special Announcement...