by Lee Cross
It’s the same every year; Christmas, you don’t have time to read… there’s family everywhere, food litters every available surface and TV is actually pretty good for a change = time for reading severely diminished.
Then January strikes; the obligation month of the year if you’re a reader, working your way through the books acquired as presents, even though no one asked you if you wanted to read the latest spy thriller by the hottest crime writer… Has to be done, though. You can’t begrudge your loved ones loving you, even if they aren’t obsessive book worms.
Finally, February! A little time to get some serious reading done! Here is my top tips for enjoying a good solid month inside reading.
Buy an armchair: Sofas are great for watching the telly or having a spot of company over, maybe even a little snuggling up, but you can’t beat an auld arm-chair for a good bit of reading. Second-hand is fine, a little broken down too… you want to feel at absolute ease, free to spill a little bit of tea on yourself should you get carried away.
A nice open fire: You can’t underestimate how amazing an open fire is to read in front of. They generate lovely clean heat and soft light, although it’s the subtle background noise and burning smell that’s the real magic. All your senses are effected in a way that’s alien to the modern world and it helps your mind slip the bonds of reality.
A nice cup of tea: Yes I’m English and we do like a good brew up but I’m also a coffee junkie (I don’t drink, smoke, gamble or rap… I need at least one senseless addiction in my life). When you’re at home though you’ve got to be careful of pushing your attention span beyond its normal limits, burning the candle at both ends is never a good idea. A nice cup of tea is always the sensible reading choice.
A room with a terrible WIFI connection: Said a blogger to an online audience… I know right but I’m reader first and foremost. Don’t get me wrong, the internet is great when used with sense and grace but with social media beeping your phone every thirteen fucking seconds (if you’re lucky / unlucky – depending entirely on how you view your free time and the word ‘friendship’) it’s hard to get any serious reading done.
The complete absence of children: Insemination… even the word leaves a nasty taste in my mouth (as it should in yours). Make sure children are safely dispatched to another room (one with WIFI, cold drinks, no fires and lots of sofa space) or tied up in the yard out back… the noisy little bas-…brutes.
And those are my tips for having a good February reading. I won’t recommend any books – personally, I’m going with some Bukowski, Midnights Children, this random Dark Elf book I was given, and re-reading Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting – but you guys read what you love, it’s February after all.