For some people, it is absolutely no problem to read in the car, the bus or subway, or in a crowded place like a pub or lively park. However, for people that have problems concentrating on the written words will all the noise and sound around, there are only very few excluded places where they can freely dive into the adventure of reading.
It doesn’t have to be this way though. In this article, we gathered some ideas on how to create the perfect reading atmosphere at home, but also on how to be able to concentrate on the novel and story better even when in a not so quiet place.
An important part of feeling comfortable and at ease when reading is the position of your body. Reading should not be an exercise. It’s supposed to be fun, spark your imagination, and take you to a trip into another world or life. And to be able to fully throw yourself into the feelings, it is essential to find a comfortable position.
Many people like to read when lying down, either on their side, stomach, or back. There is no panacea for the right position, and everyone’s different, but you yourself know best how you are able to relax. No matter if you lie on the grass in your garden or a park, on your couch or bed, or even on a cozy blanket or carpet on the floor, as long as you feel comfortable, every place can become the perfect reading spot.
For those that easily fall asleep while lying down, sitting is the better alternative. To prevent back pain, a place where you can rest your back against is advised, may it be the backrest of a sofa or armchair, or a stone or tree out in the nature. Likewise, leaning against a wall or window gives the body some support, however leaning side-wise is a position that should not be kept upright for long to not strain the spine for too long.
Also, don’t forget to open a window or generally get some fresh air from time to time. It will keep you awake and your brain alert and attentive.
Please all five senses
Luckily, some of the main five human senses are already taken care of by reading alone. Touch and sight are senses occupied by the act of reading or holding the book or eReader already. But that still leaves three senses that want to be taken care of!
There is a reason why books and tea seem to go so incredibly well together, they both soothe and let us relax. Make sure to have enough of your favorite or preferred beverage around as well as some chocolate, grapes, or any other snacks. Finger food and small snacks are especially handy because you don’t have to put your book aside to sate the munchies.
Often times, this sense get forgotten, yet have you ever tried to concentrate in a place that reeks of oil or rotten food (unless you like that, of course)? It’s not easy and not nice as well, easily making you feel uncomfortable. I’m not saying that you have to go and find some scenting candles or an incense stick, but making sure to be surrounded by pleasant scents can be crucial for your comfort. Cut grass, freshly baked goods, or your favorite perfume can help.
This last of the fife senses is the most crucial when it comes to concentration and not being in a quiet and homely environment. Not only does your hearing sense want to be pleased, using noise masking sounds and music help to concentrate in a crowded bus or busy spot as well. Just put on your headphones or turn up the volume of your stereo.
The perfect musical background
Many people like to associate certain books with certain songs, however music without lyrics or simple non-musical background sounds may be the better alternative for many. In an earlier blog post we have already presented soundscapes that were inspired by novels and book series, yet there are other possibilities as well.
Reading in nature isn’t always possible, especially when you live in the city or are stuck inside due to bad weather. Turn up some calming natural sounds and imagine sitting on a meadow or in the depths of a forest. Likewise, not many of us are lucky enough live near the beach or be on holiday. Creating an atmosphere of a beach visit, with seagulls and rolling waves is a nice substitute though.
However, every taste is different, or they may differ depending on the book you are reading. Thus why not create your own sound effects background for your reading pleasure? Like Ambient-Mixer user Ozzy866 has done in the personalized Reading Mix for ASOIAF. That way, you will always have the perfect mix for your book, mood, or environment!