Guest Post: Six Steps For the Ultimate Reading Experience | Weaving Pages: Guest Post: Six Steps For the Ultimate Reading Experience

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Guest Post: Six Steps For the Ultimate Reading Experience

Howdy lovely readers of Weaving Pages! My name is Becky and I’ve popped over from Blogs of a Bookaholic with a guest post for you today. Rita was asking people on Twitter if they fancied a spot on her blog, and I decided it was a great opportunity to meet a few more people in the blogosphere! The first thing you’ll learn about me is that I use far too many exclamations marks; the second is that I really, really like books.
No matter where I am I always have a novel to hand whether it’s waiting for the train, going to a restaurant or even to the cinema. Busy life as a university student sometimes makes  fitting in my favourite hobby difficult and I often find myself frantically reaching for a spare moment in order to cram in a couple of chapters. It is for this reason that I always try to make the most of the occasional precious day where I can indulge uninterrupted in a few hours of reading. I really do get cranky without my fictional characters to talk to! Since reading time has become so difficult to fit in I have learnt to make the most of it by creating the right environment for optimal enjoyment, relaxation and escapism. So here I present to you my six steps for the ultimate winter reading experience. :) Hopefully they will make the remaining winter months a little more fun!
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Step 1: Grab a hot beverage of your choice.
No session of reading is complete without a warm cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate. The more sophisticated reader may opt for wine, but that’s never been my style. I personally follow the English stereotype of being utterly addicted to tea and can get through six or seven massive cups a day! Not only does having a drink beside you keep your energy levels up and prevent you from having to interrupt your bookish business when you get thirsty, but it also doubles as an excellent hand warming device during the winter months!
Step 2: A comfy place to sit.
When creating the ultimate reading experience it is important that you create maximum comfort! We all know as readers that we can contort ourselves into all kinds of crazy positions when we’re trying to get comfy, and spending too much time in one position can make you feel stiff. For this reason it is important to go on the hunt for the perfect reading chair, sofa or lounger that will be the most comfortable. I often find readers tend to have a favorite spot and I am no exception. I have two preferred places; the first is my bed which I can prop with an endless supply of pillows until I am wedged in at the perfect angle. My second comfy place is sitting in an armchair with my legs sprawled sideways sticking over one of the arms. This may get me a ticking off from the owner of the chair but it is totally worth it!

Step 3: A big slouchy jumper and pajama bottoms.
Nothing says comfort quite like loose and baggy clothing. Wearing skinny jeans and funky tights may make a good fashion statement during the day, but there is nothing quite like changing into snuggly pajama’s and a big soft jumper. It has an instantly relaxing effect, perfect for when you are reading!

Step 4: Light some incense or a scented candle.
I have only included this step in more recent years and it’s amazing what effect it has. Smell has such a strong ability to play with our senses; research has shown it has the ability to relax us, take us back to a memory long forgotten and even make us think a product is better quality and worth more money when it is accompanied with the right smell! I find adding some smellies when reading has an interesting effect. Not only does it help you relax but it can also be used to create a mood that matches your book! If I’m reading a novel set in the past I choose a musk scent and it makes me feel as if I am really there, hidden between stacks of old books or standing within the four walls of a stone castle! If a novel is set in woods there are plenty of woody smells available and if a story is set during summer I opt for something more light and flowery or warm like vanilla. :)
Step 5: Background music.
This has always been a tricky one for me. I’m not a big fan of silence so I like to have some background noise going on while I’m reading. At the same time, too much noise can be distracting. For while I tried listening to my iTunes but that didn’t work either; I liked the songs too much and would end up singing along instead of focusing on the story. After trying so many different things I eventually found that instrumental music was the best choice. I know instrumental music is often associated with classical stuff and general boredom but there’s actually so many wonderful choices out there on Youtube these days to suit anyone. I especially like this
Celtic playlist for when I’m immersed in a fantasy book or more eerie tracks like this one when I’m reading something more serious like dystopia. Just like the incense you can match to music to the mood of your book. It may seem a little random but it works! Why not give one of these a go? :)

Step 6: A cozy blanket.
Now that you’re all settled down in your chosen spot in comfy clothes with your favourite hot drink, and you’ve set the right mood with some smoky scents and appropriate music there is only one thing left to do! Grab your favourite cozy blanket to maximize warmth and snuggliness and enjoy your book!

Do you have you own reading ritual? Is it at all similar to mine? What do you do to get in the reading zone?

Becky is a student, blogger and bookaholic by nature. She revels in imperfections and unadulterated enthusiasm, has an addiction to YA and believes that there is no such thing as too many books! She blogs over at Blogs of a Bookaholic:

Thank you SO much for this guest post, Becky! I think you have a great reading ritual, and I'll definitely be taking your advice!! I'm sure you all love this post as much as I do, so please do go have a look at Becky's blog!

rita xo

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