Winter is coming and our watch continues, the media is reporting worrisome figures from the latest coronavirus pandemic again, and a second lockdown could be on the cards for many in Europe and the UK. The summer has been lovely although socially distanced, and the thought of jumping back into a lockdown feels a little draining. Rishi Sunak, British politician, made news this week in my home country after suggesting that the arts industry was on the ropes, and there was not much anyone could do to save it. Other than “retraining in another discipline” and stimulus packages for arts venues, very little advice or aid has been given to artists, authors and musicians. In fact the future of the entire sector seems questionable. Worry not however it’s not all bad news… 

Technically, all we need to support our favourite authors are a kindle and an imagination. In fact, you probably don’t even need a kindle you can read on your phone if you must… or a laptop! In light of all this terrible news I thought I’d offer you five immersive places to read that you can find in your own home. Without parks, beaches or any public area available to us we have to support our arts practitioners from our bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens.      

Bathroom for Science Fiction & Romance  

The bathroom can create a unique reading experience, depending on the reader. There’s nothing new about reading in the bath, the cliche of the lady reading romance while soaking in the tub on a pamper night conjures an image we are all familiar with I’m sure. However, to the more… childish reader, the bathroom can present opportunities. 

I don’t know about you but I believe the bathroom has the propensity to look like a chryo chamber. The tiling and the metallic surfacing makes me think of hyperspace and aliens. Maybe it’s just the child in me, but when my housemate emerges from the bathroom — clouded in steam with the bright lights silhouetting her, I possess the unearthly feeling of a close encounter! That has nothing to do with her appearance by the way, she looks nothing like an alien… Sorry Meg! I guess what I’m trying to say is simply this: reading sci-fi in the bathroom can be extremely immersive if you have the curiosity of a child and let your imagination run wild!       

The Bedroom 

We all read in the bedroom. I’m sure it’s something everyone does but we can get creative here too. After 50 Shades of Gray’s box office success, this brand of adult erotic literature perhaps might not be something you want to read in public. The bedroom is exactly where this kind of writing is supposed to be enjoyed. For the fully immersive experience you could even tie yourself up while reading… Not really my thing but who am I to judge!

If you found that last one a little gross here’s something a little more wholesome! I’m not sure if you have any kids in the family, even if you don’t I’m sure you remember building dens, so you can watch Disney princess films in the privacy of your own little castle… Whatever it was when you were that age! Why should the fun stop there? I know we’re all adults now… Boring! We can still build dens and read our favourite children’s books in the security of our cuddly constructions if we want to.    

Kitchen… Maybe just for Cookbooks

I wouldn’t suggest building a den in the kitchen or indeed engaging with adult literature, not if you want to avoid the wrath of your housemates or family members. But reading in the kitchen is viable, mainly if you’re already in there doing something. Sometimes I’ll read while I’ve got something in the oven or waiting for the kettle to boil or something. Plus, you could learn a new skill. I mean if you’re going to be stuck at home you might as well learn how to cook right? It’s a win win situation! Learn how to cook while you’re cooking!       

The Garden for Fantasy… If you Have one

Sometimes fresh air is just what we need to relax. Unfortunately, due to the circumstances fresh air can be hard to come by. If you have a garden, reading there could be ideal. You can read whatever genre you so chose but most of all the great outdoors alludes itself to fantasy. Reading about the Fellowship of the Ring traversing the natural landscape while in the natural landscape… What could be better? Not all of us have gardens, and I am indeed one of the unlucky few who must go without. We can read during our daily exercise if it’s something you engage with. The twenty-first century provides us with a huge amount of technology which we can use to enjoy our favourite books… Audiobooks being one. If you’re pushed for time or just love to read in the outdoors, this could be for you. 

The Darkest Corner of the House for Horror… Bring a Candle! 

I guess it’s more of a challenge than an actual solution to the problem. I may indeed rather die than read something scary in such a terrifying place and I’ve never done this. truth be told I think a lot of the horror books out there are scary enough without anything else to add to the experience. Maybe some you guys are huge horror fans and this sounds like just your sort of thing. Play some scary music, turn all the lights off and read about Cthulhu by candlelight, I can’t promise how much sleep you’ll get doing something like this but It will definitely be an experience!

What do you Think? 

Where do you guys read when there is no where to go? I’d be curious to know if anyone already does this stuff, or is it just me and everything I’ve just recommended is extremely childish! Let me know down in the comments.