26 March 2017 Susannah

Reading in Bed

Woman on a Fainting Couch Reading by George Goodwin Kilburne

From the feedback I have received from my previous post, it sounds as if there have been librocubicularists popping up all over the place! It is a word I’ve been trying to introduce into the conversation whenever possible, as I think it is so wonderful, and I have also been trying to put it into practice as much as possible. In my view, reading in bed is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

But where do you like to read? My favourite position is lying on my side in bed, with the book close to my face, blankets pulled up high. When I start getting sleepy, I can place the book on the bedside table and turn off the light, without having to get out of bed, and the book is ready and waiting if I’m lucky enough to get to read in bed when I wake up. My couch is also a good one for lying on with a book, and I love reading in a hot bath! (I’ve never dropped a book in yet.) I’d also love more time reading by a pool, under a sun-umbrella, at a five-star resort! Do you prefer to read in a squishy armchair, a beanbag, outside in the park, on a train, at the beach or a café, in your local library, in a rocking chair? I cannot read in a car (I feel sick) but I usually manage to complete a whole book on a flight to Europe. I read in queues, while waiting to meet friends … in fact any time I have a spare five minutes … but for lengthy reading sessions nowhere is as good as bed or the couch. Any reading place that allows me to enjoy a glass of chilled white wine as I read is good too.

Claude Monet, Springtime

Claude Monet, Springtime

But in the end, does ‘location, location’ really matter? Perhaps it’s more important to savour every second of reading time that we have, and to make sure we are enjoying the book, whatever it might be.

Let me know what you think, and if you have a favoured reading place or position? Are there places, where, like me, you cannot read? Let’s make a list in the comment area below.

  Susannah Fullerton Are you a Librocubicularist?
  Susannah Fullerton Who are the Biggest Readers?


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Featured image credit- Woman on a Fainting Couch Reading by George Goodwin Kilburne (Pubic Domain), http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/detail.php?ID=80313
Body image credit- Springtime by Claude Monet (Public Domain), https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23610493

Comments (10)

  1. LORNA Nawran

    I’ve joined Fishpond and ordered a book, so Thanks.

    I also love your Big Words and make a note of them ????

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Lorna, you are the first person to let me know you have ordered a book through Fishpond, via my site. Thank you very much. I do really appreciate such orders as they help recoup some of the costs of my newsletter each month.

  2. Carol Noble

    I have always enjoyed reading in bed and recently have a special pillow to support my back. When I was a little girl I would lie on my bed when it was too hot to be outside, crunch a juicy apple as I enjoyed my latest book by L.M.Montgomery or Louisa May Alcott. I was never bored!

    • Susannah Fullerton

      You have just described my childhood heaven – an L.M.Montgomery or Louisa May Alcott book, a bed to lie on, and a Granny Smith to crunch. If caramello chocolate was added, then it was utter bliss.

  3. Kate DeMayo

    The best place to read? As a child, I liked the hammock in summer … but I am definitely fond of reading in bed; in fact, I find it hard to settle down without doing at least a few minutes of reading. I was surprised when a friend, seeking advice for prolonged insomnia, was strongly discouraged from reading in bed until the insomnia improved. Her psychologist stressed that she needed to really save bed for sleeping, and to go elsewhere to read, returning to bed when she felt sleepy.
    Maybe I’m the second Fishpond customer – I have just ordered Trollope’s Dr Thorne, a memoir called When Breath Becomes Air and pre-ordered the fifth “Millenium” book which comes out in September (how’s that for planning ahead?) So your newsletter and I will both benefit. I have only just discovered Trollope, and am enjoying him tremendously.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Kate, I am thrilled that you have discovered the joys of Trollope. I have now read almost all 47 of his novels. I have just finished ‘The Bertrams’ which is definitely not one of his best, but I have really loved almost every one of them. And ‘Dr Thorne’ is superb. There is a film adaptation of it, but it was very disappointing. Have you read ‘He Knew He was Right’? There’s a film version of that too, and the novel is excellent. An extraordinary study of manic depression, but with wonderful comedy in the sub-plots.
      Thanks for ordering from Fishpond via my site. And I didn’t know the next Millenium book was coming out, so I’ll be pre-ordering that too. Thanks for the tip.

      • Kate DeMayo

        Hi, Susannah, the only Trollope novels I’ve read so far are “The Warden”, and now “Barchester Towers”, of which I am onto the third volume. I will, however, keep going once I finish the Barsetshire novels. I am really enjoying his humour, which at times is a bit like Jane Austen’s – especially the witty, pointed descriptions of some of the characters. And the names! Dr Fillgrave (called upon when the dean takes ill), Farmer Subsoil, John Bold, Obadiah Slope, the Quiverful family (14 children), Mrs Proudie (bishop’s wife), Mr Plomacy …
        I don’t know if you read the fourth Millenium book, which was the first one written by an author to whom Stieg Larsson’s notes were given after Larsson died of a heart attack. The author(David Losencrantz, I think, is his name) who I understand knew Larsson, used the notes and his own knowledge of books 1 – 3 to write the fourth. Many critics considered that he did a reasonable job (I agree), in what can’t be an easy pursuit. So I hope book 5 is also worth a read. Apparently Larsson planned to write 10 books, but whether he left material for all 10, I have no idea.
        Back to Barchester!

        • Susannah Fullerton

          Yes, I did read the 4th Stieg Larsson book and wrote about it in one of ym early newsletters. I thought he did a fairly good job, though Lisbeth wasn’t in it enough. I will definitely read the 5th.
          Do continues with Trollope. Yes, he has a gentle humour and a great understanding of the weaknesses of men and women. When you have read the 6 Barsetshire novels, you can begin on the 6 Palliser, or political, novels, which I think are possibly even better.

  4. Ruth Williamson

    While I do not own a “fainting couch” like the one on the beautiful illustration, I must say I love to read either propped up by large cushions on the living room sofa or sitting up in bed with 2 pillows behind me. I cannot read in a car, but long flights are made for that pleasure. My reading light stays on even when some other passengers seem to have been able to find sleep while sitting upright in our cheap seats.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I felt I had to buy an e-reader with back-lighting for long flights, as others seem to get so annoyed if you keep the light on to read. But a flight is a good chance to get through at least one book. I loved your comment about the ‘fainting couch’ in the picture – she does look so elegant, doesn’t she!

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