The Sword and Laser discussion

Reading Rituals

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message 1: by JRush (last edited Nov 18, 2011 04:29PM) (new)

JRush | 64 comments So when I sit down to read the next S&L pick there are things that have to be in place first or my reading experience just wont be the same. For example…

I have ‘the chair’ (because apparently I’m eighty years old) that I sink into along with my feet blanket.

I often put on some music, usually the same artist for the entirety of the book. This is my favorite ritual because there so many songs that I randomly hear that will take me back to a specifically memorable part of a book that I finished years ago. This happens every time I hear Yo-Yo Ma play the prelude from Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 it takes me back to Stephen Kings The Stand, right to the tunnel scene in the beginning of the story.

When I am home I really don’t like background talking, so the tv has to be turned off.

Although I can’t control this I do love to read in the rain. Its my favorite!

These are a few of my reading rituals, what are some of yours?

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Mine involve chicken entrails, a slinky and 5 quarts of motor oil...

message 3: by aldenoneil (new)

aldenoneil | 1000 comments I occasionally cover my head with a pillow to block out noise from the TV that my spouse insists on keeping in the bedroom.

Yours sounds better.

message 4: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Tricking the cat into leaving the couch so I can lie down.

It never works. Five minutes later she comes back decides to go to sleep in the exact same place as before, regardless of the fact that my chest is now there.

message 5: by JRush (new)

JRush | 64 comments Ala wrote: "Mine involve chicken entrails, a slinky and 5 quarts of motor oil..."

I too have one with similar ingredients but it falls under the 'getting rid of my crappy boss' ritual.

message 6: by Paul (new)

Paul  Perry (pezski) | 490 comments I really don't understand how people read in a room with a TV on! Turn the damn thing off

message 7: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (stewartry) Ala wrote: "Mine involve chicken entrails, a slinky and 5 quarts of motor oil..."

A slinky what? Are we talking catsuit or scanties?

message 8: by aldenoneil (new)

aldenoneil | 1000 comments Paul 'Pezter' wrote: "Turn the damn thing off"

There's a marriage at stake here, Paul.

message 9: by Anne (new)

Anne Schüßler (anneschuessler) | 836 comments I wish I had a reading chair. Sigh. I think this needs to be a project.

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Tracey wrote: "Ala wrote: "Mine involve chicken entrails, a slinky and 5 quarts of motor oil..."

A slinky what? Are we talking catsuit or scanties?"


message 11: by Remington (new)

Remington | 38 comments I can read almost anywhere anytime. Although I prefer to read in bed. The only problem with this is that I usually fall asleep after an hour no matter what I'm reading.

message 12: by Kate (last edited Nov 18, 2011 04:28PM) (new)

Kate O'Hanlon (kateohanlon) | 778 comments I also prefer to read outside, but since I am Irish and it is always raining I make do reading in a sort of pretzel shape on the couch trying to angle towards the light from the hall because the wiring in the living room is terrible and the lights are usually blown.

I also enjoy reading with the tv on because too much quiet makes me edgy.

Due to poor upper body strength I'm happiest reading hardbacks on airplanes where I can rest them on the tray table.

Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2859 comments aldenoneil wrote: "I occasionally cover my head with a pillow to block out noise from the TV that my spouse insists on keeping in the bedroom.

Yours sounds better."

My spouse has a nice cushy pair of headphones so we can coexist in the living room when I read (which is a lot). I sit in an overstuffed chair by the window that looks out to my garden, with a row of used coffee cups and water bottles on the window sill. Cringe, but true. If it is a new to me book, my dog has a sniffing ritual that must first be attended to. I keep an iPad close by for looking things up or changing music or checking email....

message 14: by Andrew (new)

Andrew (adrew) | 426 comments I'm pretty lucky in that my significant other is not big on TV such that there is usually a peaceful environment for reading, which is normally on the living room sofa, cup of tea within reach, or in bed before going to sleep.

I like others love reading outside, and whilst having fair weather more often than not (unlike Kate), unfortunately don't get out as much as I'd like. When I do it is normally on one of the benches at a local park, or on a rug under a handy tree, sometimes with a tea or coffee in travel mug.

Audiobooks I listen to all over the place however - exercising, commuting, house cleaning etc..

@Jonathan: I'm assuming when you put on music it is normally just instrumental? not songs with lyrics?

message 15: by Kev (last edited Nov 18, 2011 05:54PM) (new)

Kev (sporadicreviews) | 639 comments I'm easy. I'll ready pretty much anywhere I can, noise or no. (though noise and TV can be distracting)

If I'm on a comfy chair in the living room, I usually end up sideways with my legs draped over an arm of the chair. I have "the chair" in my bedroom, it's an old cushy rocking chair that's been in my family for years. It's specifically for me to sit in and read, or to pile a bunch of stuff on when other flat surfaces aren't available ;-)

Doesn't matter where I'm reading (or what I'm reading), I usually get drowsy and sometimes doze off - especially if it's later in the evening. That's my favorite thing to do - settle down with a good book and doze off while waiting for my wife to get ready for bed.

message 16: by Remy (new)

Remy | 24 comments I get an hour long lunch break at work, so that is where I get the majority of my reading accomplished. I am almost always alone in the break room, so no distractions except for country music that I can't control. At home, I am forced to read when the wife and child are in bed, but I typically use that time for video games.

message 17: by Brad Theado (new)

Brad Theado | 217 comments i can read anywhere. usually I am reading while the wife watches a crappy show like Desperate Housewives or Pan Am. TV doesnt bother me. Favorite place to read though is the bath tub.

message 18: by Esther (new)

Esther (eshchory) I read mostly on my commute but take a book everywhere so get a few lines read whenever I have to wait.
At home I'm normally too tired - in contrast TV requires so little brain power - but at weekends I often curl up with a book and then my family know that 'Mummy is gone' and won't be back for a hour or so.

message 19: by Paul (new)

Paul  Perry (pezski) | 490 comments aldenoneil wrote: "There's a marriage at stake here, Paul."

my apologies, i wasn't aiming this at the couples situation - i've been there. it was just a general gripe about people who have the tv on as wallpaper whatever they're doing.

message 20: by Remington (new)

Remington | 38 comments @Brad. I do the same thing. Usually when my wife is watching Biggest Loser or Top Model.

message 21: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimherdt) | 71 comments I've recently gotten in the habit of reading at the dinner table after dinner is over. My wife is a big movie buff - if the book in engrossing I don't have a problem blocking out the noise. I've also come to learn that the gift of a great pair of wireless headphones can save a marriage! lol

Cheers, Jim

message 22: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaelbetts) I think I want to try Jonathan's ritual next time I sit down to read.

message 23: by ~ (new)

~ Well I usually do most of my reading on the bus/train/tram but now that we're finally re-entering Summer down here in the Southern Hemisphere I've taken to taking my book out into the backyard and sitting scantily clad on a beanbag while I read. I've gotta say the sun really makes me feel more alert, reading wrapped up in blankets during winter I always feel half asleep.

This is perhaps extraneous information but I've also gotten into the habit of only listening to Podcasts and Audiobooks while walking, so if I want to hear what Alan Sepinwall thinks of the week's TV or get another chapter of 'Snuff' into me than I need to do it on my feet either outside or on the treadmill.

tl;dr: With the right habits in place books can make you both fit and tanned, not just smart.

message 24: by Paul (new)

Paul  Perry (pezski) | 490 comments Luke wrote: "With the right habits in place books can make you both fit and tanned, not just smart. "

I couldn't agree more, i love my audibooks/podcasts while walking or cycling!

Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2859 comments When I go on vacations, I also create reading rituals there. On our last cruise, this was my reading spot - on a hallway that was only noisy at night, across from the coffee shop. I think we went here around 10 am and read for a few hours before wandering somewhere else (during at-sea days).

I know I have a picture of my reading corner at home somewhere around here. Post pictures of your reading spaces!

message 26: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4144 comments HAH. I love reading on cruises. Or maybe I love cruises because I get to read so much?

I don't have a "ritual" for reading as it were. I read wherever I can. If I'm at home, I'm probably sitting on the couch with the cat either curled up nearby or him trying to be a pain in the keester. Or I might be on my Poang chair. Either way, I'm probably using my Slanket (like a Snuggie but made with better materials). If it's nice outside, I'll sit out on my deck. Once in awhile, I'll read in bed...but I try not to do that until I'm actually ready to wind down and GO to bed.

Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2859 comments terpkristin wrote: "HAH. I love reading on cruises. Or maybe I love cruises because I get to read so much?"

Seriously, so true! One year I packed five books and was sorely underprepared when we got trapped in fog in port for three days... now I never go with less than 10!

message 28: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaelbetts) Five? Ten?! What the I don't even

message 29: by Anne (last edited Nov 22, 2011 07:05AM) (new)

Anne Schüßler (anneschuessler) | 836 comments Sodon wrote: "Five? Ten?! What the I don't even"

I used to pack seven to ten books for a two week vacation that was primarily relaxing (i.e. in France) and I get to finish most of them in the two weeks.

On vacations that are more about driving (or walking) around and seeing stuff, one or two books is usually enough, because the only time I get to read is on the plane and at night before sleep.

And when I say used to I mostly mean that now that I have a Kindle I don't need to worry in advance or have to physically pack any books.

Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2859 comments Yeah cruises are different - I don't go to many shows or events on board because they're kind of silly. Just read and hang out and read and sleep. Oh yeah and eat.

message 31: by Will (new)

Will (longklaw) | 261 comments I usually put on a podcast or some procedural TV show rerun. For some reason I can't really listen to music while I'm reading. I mostly read on the living room couch.

message 32: by Andrew (new)

Andrew (adrew) | 426 comments Never been on a cruise myself, but I can appreciate how it would be ripe for some reading. That spot looks prime Jenny.

Anne, ten books in 2 weeks is a fair effort. I'm assuming these are moderate sized books? I tend to like to read some none fiction too which I just never seem to burn through as fast. Plus a lot of fantasy/sci-fi is on the rather wordy side. Love, love, love my ereader for not having to lug around books and always have the option for something else should a fancy takes me.

message 33: by Mitchell (new)

Mitchell (mitchbones) I always read for 30min-1hr before bed until I get so tired that my eyes don't focus on the words and I space out, that is usually my cue to go to bed.

message 34: by Amy (new)

Amy Pilkington | 104 comments I used to be able to read anytime, anywhere, with any background noise, but that's changed lately. I always make sure I have my iPod headphones with me simply to plug my ears with. (Also, to stop people from interrupting. I've noticed that people are much less likely to interrupt someone who is listening to headphones [or appears to be] than someone who is reading, for whatever reason.)

At home, we have a very small apartment, so I don't have a lot of options. The only real ritual is weekend mornings before my boyfriend is up, since I can usurp his comfy video game chair in the second bedroom. There's better light in there before the sun comes up. I will usually read for 2-3 hours in that spot until he gets out of bed.

In the evenings, I relocate to the papasan in the living room, switching from my eInk Kindle to the iPad if the sun has gone down. Even with both lamps on, the living room is too dim to read. The backlight bothers my eyes, but if I turn it all the way down, it provides just enough light to make up for the lack of it in the room.

At bed time, it's back to the Kindle for reading in bed with my good lamp. :)

message 35: by Achim (new)

Achim Barczok | 4 comments I don't have a specific reading ritual, but as Jonathan, I like to turn a certain band or album on that later will always remind me to the book.

TV while reading will distract me, but I love it to have some undistracting background noise, like rain, or kids playing in the park or even people in a coffee shop. I remember as a kid I would sit in the bed and read books while my little brothers were playing Lego in the room - perfect!

message 36: by Matthew (new)

Matthew (bluewoad) I don't have any ritual -- I have 8 kids, so there's no such thing as 'a quiet spot' in my house. I just open a book whenever and wherever I find an opportunity. I have lots of books I 'pick at' and leave them all over the house so that there's always a book nearby when I find the opportunity to read. Most of my reading, though, gets done on my commute and at lunch. On nice days (not too many in Seattle), I read outside. Otherwise, I close my office door (to keep staff from pestering me) and just kick back with my feet up on my desk.

message 37: by Andrew (new)

Andrew (adrew) | 426 comments @Matthew: I think earplugs would be about the only course for quiet with 8 kids :)

message 38: by Brett (new)

Brett (bbell) | 3 comments I usually read with the TV on, can't read with music get to in to it and get to distracted. The TV on the other hand turns away the silence in the room and I am able to drown it out easily.

I usually have to spend a few minutes getting comfy in my chair, but then it is on until I get interrupted by life or a bathroom break.

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