1 November 2023 admin-Cheryl

Where do you read?

Woman walking dog reading a favourite book

When I was a child, my mother had a bookseller come to stay for a night at our family home. I loved listening to his stories of selling books, but one thing he said especially intrigued me – he used to read while walking to work. He walked through busy Auckland city streets, over pedestrian crossings and into his shop while reading a book, and he had never had an accident. These days people often read their phones while walking, but you may want to consider taking a walk with a book. It helps with weight loss, it gets you into the outdoors and yet it also means you can manage more reading, so there are many advantages. Obviously, some care needs to be taken not to walk into lampposts or, worse, a car. The activity is sometimes called ‘readwalking’. Perhaps one day it will be an Olympic activity? It’s the opposite of being a ‘flaneur’, so perhaps a walking reader should be called a ‘lecteur’?

Others choose to read while on the treadmill at the gym, which does help to make the awful activity slightly more bearable, but it can be tricky holding your book in place and turning pages without losing balance, so perhaps audio books are better for the gym.

I often listen to audio books as I walk, which is safer, but there have been times in parks where I’ve had a physical book (nothing too heavy) as I’ve walked. However, I do find it needs to be a light read in all senses of the word. I also adore reading in the bath.

Do you read and walk at the same time? Do you have some strange places to read books? Tell me your thoughts by leaving a comment.

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Featured image- Woman walking dog reading a favourite book, Image by iwat1929 on Freepik

Comments (9)

  1. Lynette

    Please Susanna, dont encourage people to read their phone while walking. I cant tell you how many people do this,bump into you, and yes forget to say sorry…

  2. Helen Gentle

    My granddaughter and I, both bookworms, used to laugh when I’d pick her up at primary school. I’d be occupied reading a book standing in the playground as she came around the corner equally engrossed in her book!
    It runs in the family. My aunt ended up locked in a sunroom/vestibule, in her English house, for 18 hours overnight before she could attract any help. She had no water, food, toilet or even a rug. None of this worried her. Her greatest problem was she had nothing to read!!!! She took up keeping a book (not a key, you’ll note!) in the sunroom, “just in case”!!

  3. iana Paulin

    My favourite place to read is in bed with a good light behind me. No matter what hour, I could not sleep without reading first. You will probably say I have said this before.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I feel the same. I always read, even if it is only a page, before going to sleep.

  4. Sue

    As a child I used to read walking home from school. I also read on the treadmill and static bike at the gym. I always take a book in my bag and read in queues at supermarkets and airports and I have also been caught reading at the Mall on the travelator pushing my shopping trolley. !!!!!

  5. Trudie

    Hi Susannah,

    I often walk and read. I also am known for reading while brushing dogs and horses. The best fun was reading on my way home from a trek, on the back of my horse. Other riders rolled their eyes, but as I was the leader that day… I was reading The Horse and His Boy (CS Lewis) as I had finished The Silver Brumby at breakfast. That is probably why I can read in moving vehicles. I am in a car as I write this.

    BAD (book acquiring disorder) reader

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Gosh, you are lucky to be able to read in a car. It has to be audio books for me in a vehicle. I suffer from the same disorder as you!

  6. Melody

    I practiced readwalking when I was a child, after reading a book called ‘Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth and Me’ in which the narrator was convinced that Jennifer was a real witch because she could readwalk without tripping over.
    It was not a very useful skill when I was growing up in the country, due to needing to look out for snakes, cow pats, rabbit holes and other hazards!

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Yes, readwalking on uneven terrain and with the chance of encoutering snakes is definitely not a good idea!

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