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The 5 Most Unique Places I’ve Ever Read A Book

It’s summer. If you haven’t already traveled somewhere for a getaway, then you may be soon. At the very least, you’re probably thinking of where you want to take your next vacation, whether it’s later this year or later this decade.

There’s something about traveling that inspires us to read. We read on planes, on subways, and in cars (when not driving!), but the best thing about traveling and reading is the unique places we get to read in once we’ve reached the destination.

I’m not talking about the “go-to” reading spot. For me, that’s a certain chair at home. I’m talking about some of the most unique, or out of the ordinary, places we’ve read over the years.

Here are my 5 favorite reading spots.

Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

beachreading

This is the most beautiful beach I’ve been to in my life. My wife and actually visited Turks for our 5th anniversary a few years ago. You’ll notice, in the photo above, I chose to read Under the Volcano during the Turks trip—which, of course, is a novel that’s on the Time list.

Well, friends, that was a poor choice. I pretty much hated that book, and proceeded to return home and rip it to shreds in my review here on 101 Books. It’s currently #71 in my rankings.

That just goes to show it’s important to “pair” your reading choice with your reading location. I chose a miserable novel to read in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited.

Delicate Arch at Arches National Park, Utah

1024px-Delicate_arch_sunset

Source: Wikimedia Commons

It’s a bit cliché, I know, but when I was in my early 20s I drove all around the western U.S. on a trip to “find myself” and such. It kind of worked because I figured out I wanted to be a writer during those few months.

My favorite memory from the trip was hiking uphill in the light snow to see Delicate Arch in Arches National Park in Utah. Once I reached the top, I sat across a small canyon with an incredible view of Delicate Arch across the way.

I wrote a little bit, but I also read some from the Bible and Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire. To this day, it’s one of my favorite places in the country—even though I’ve only been once and only stayed for three to four hours.

El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, California

1280px-Yosemite_El_Capitan (1)

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Photos of “El Cap” don’t do it justice. It’s immense. Huge. You can stand in a field of wildflowers below, look up, and the rock climbers scaling its wall appear the size of tiny ants—and that’s if you can see them at all.

I read in the shadow of El Capitan during the same trip that took me to Arches National Park. There’s definitely something about nature that brings out the reader in me, even more, and Yosemite wasn’t any different. That’s one beautiful place.

“The Beach,” Florida

amelia

We travel to the Florida coast every summer. And, every summer, I take a book or two with me. As we’ve had kids, my vacation reading has been cut down enormously, but I still make sure to get a little reading in during the week.

This is truly one of my favorite things to do in the world—sit on a beach under an umbrella, sip on a mojito or some such drink, and read a great novel. I could do that for hours–and have done that for hours in the past. That’s almost as good as it gets.

During our beach vacation this year, from which I returned a few days ago, I was able to knock out about 100 pages of White Teeth. Not bad considering kids and all.

My back porch, Atlanta

NO PICTURE. IMAGINE A BACK PORCH.

When my wife and I first got married, we moved into a little townhouse in Atlanta, Georgia. She was working about 70 to 80 hours a week then, so I had a lot of free time. Some of my favorite memories from those evenings was grabbing a beer, sitting on our back deck on the second floor, and reading a good book. Maybe it’s not that unique, but in my memory that back porch stands out.

I went through a baseball history reading phase then, and I remember a book called The Last Best League—a great book about the best amateur summer league in the world.

I could probably list another 5 or 10 favorite reading spots over the years, but those will do for now.

What about you? What’s some of the most unique or memorable locations you’ve read in over the years?

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38 Comments Post a comment
  1. Brandon #

    Awesome selection.

    My favorite destination reading spot is my aunt’s lakeside cabin up in the hills of Tennessee. It’s a teeny little one-bedroom shack that’s about 50 years old and full of bugs. It generally smells a little musty, but I just throw open the windows, light a fire in the fireplace, and let the tree frogs be my white noise while I drink a few beers and burn through novel after novel on my week off. It’s paradise.

    Like

    July 10, 2015
  2. Isn’t there an irony of travelling somewhere then reading a book to take yourself away from it all?

    Liked by 2 people

    July 10, 2015
    • Maybe. I’ve found that I appreciate the location more when I’m reading in it, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 10, 2015
  3. Great idea for a post.

    Like

    July 10, 2015
  4. My grandmother’s spare bedroom. I stayed up all night to read Pride and Prejudice. I didn’t understand it very well– I was just eleven or twelve– but something made me want to keep reading it. It was the first time I’ve ever been pulled through the whole night by a book.

    Like

    July 10, 2015
  5. Great post idea, and I am so envious that you get to sit on a beach and read. That’s what I’d love to do ideally, but with kids and a husband who thinks nothing can be more boring than reading on vacation, I never get to read much during travel 😦

    Like

    July 10, 2015
    • Yeah, that doesn’t happen a lot anymore. Most of my beach reading was pre-kids.

      Like

      July 10, 2015
  6. It only happens 2 weeks out of the year, but my favourite place to read is a campsite at my favourite campground in Nova Scotia. It’s always shady and peaceful. The beach is too bright and busy to be the best spot for me, although it’s nice for a little while (before kids, that is).

    Like

    July 10, 2015
  7. Reblogged this on Amanda Writes.

    Like

    July 10, 2015
  8. Ha! I had a similar experience. I took “American Gods” with me to St. John a few years ago and was sitting on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world reading this super dark and twisty novel. Luckily I learned my lesson and followed it up with “Bodysurfing” by Anita Shreve, which is the perfect beach/summer book.

    Favorite vacay spots to read: Hawk’s Nest in St. John (provided you get the bit of beach with a little shade), any cafe in Paris (or the Jardin du Luxembourg, on a nice day), around our campfire at Camp Hoover in New Jersey. And of course, on any train or plane getting there. Don’t know how I’d survive travel without books.

    Like

    July 10, 2015
  9. China Beach by my old apartment in the Richmond in San Francisco. I’d climb up on a rock and read until my butt hurt.

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    July 10, 2015
  10. Reblogged this on Cyndi Goodgame.

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    July 10, 2015
  11. One of my favourite spots was at Point Park on Lookout Mountain last summer. There’s one boulder that overlooks Chattanooga, so I parked myself there for a few hours and read while overlooking my favourite city. I think about that on a nearly weekly basis and remember how relaxed and at home I felt up there.

    Like

    July 10, 2015
  12. Great selection of places where you can read…my favorite place fo read good book is at home on sofa-bed…where I can read book in peace…at the moment for me there is not better place for read good book then lie on sofa-bed in peace of my home…

    Like

    July 10, 2015
  13. This post brought back good memories reading “The Agony and the Ecstasy” by Irving Stone in a nearly deserted village of Cinque Terre, Italy on the top bunk-bed of a musty, cold hostel. I don’t remember why that biography of Michelangelo was so compelling, but it’s still one I keep on the shelf for a re-read one day. Great location, great book, questionable accommodations – 2 out of 3 isn’t bad.

    Like

    July 10, 2015
  14. Stephen McDaniel #

    When I was a kid, I fell so deeply into reading my Mother thought I was withdrawing. I specialized in reading in the the most awkward and odd places i could find. In one of the places we lived, there was a six-foot high fence around the clothes line. I’d climb up to the top and plummet into another book. In college, I’d take a book into the local beer joint and find a dim lamp to read under, oblivious to the noise and drunks. In later years, I sometimes had to sit in my airplane while maintenance was being done. I could disappear into my helmet and another world without a qualm. These days it seems more difficult to find writers who can create that alternate world that you enter without being aware of it. Too much formulaic writing, standard plots and cardboard characters. Or maybe too much old fart reading.

    Like

    July 10, 2015
  15. Since I read anywhere and everywhere, I don’t have a favorite place. But your post got me thinking. Wouldn’t it be great to choose a book with the setting you’re visiting: Dickens, of course, for London, A House for Mr. Biswas for Trinidad, The Prelude for the English Lake Country, Dubliners for Dublin, Venice for Death in Venice, A Moveable Feast for Paris, Sussex for Sense and Sensibility.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 10, 2015
  16. J.E. Fountain #

    Great topic. I’m going to reblog this, sort of. I’ll revise it because I can’t bring myself to write “most unique” (it’s me – not you), but I’ll link back to 101 Books. Short version below, longer version on my blog (with pics, links, and video). http://tinyurl.com/pmpyl9q

    800 feet underground – nuclear bunker, North Bay Canada
    Ka Lae – Southernmost point of the United States, aka South Point Hawaii
    Above ground bunker – Korean Combat Operations and Intelligence Center (KCOIC)
    My recliner, with any one of my three Grandsons
    The Library of Congress

    BOOM! Did I win? I feel like I won!

    Like

    July 10, 2015
  17. I think my most memorable reading location was at a cafe in paris, sipping at cafe creme…I spent the entire afternoon reading and people-watching. I need to get back there.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 10, 2015
  18. Right after college I moved up to Ketchikan, Alaska. I rented an apartment in the basement of a house at the top of the hill where you could sit on the deck and watch the cruise ships head back south to the “Lower 48.” It was my first time living so far away from family. Sitting there reading felt like I was looking toward home.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 10, 2015
  19. Reblogged this on oshriradhekrishnabole.

    Like

    July 11, 2015
  20. Reblogged this on Becoming great.

    Like

    July 11, 2015
  21. glovergrace #

    Reblogged this on EverythingGracie.

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    July 13, 2015
  22. This is such a lovely post. You got me thinking about all the places I’ve been privileged enough to go to (& read at, of course). One of my favorite reading-related memories is being on a cruise ship deck as a kid reading a Redwall book while the ship passed beautiful forest with several bald eagle nests & the eagles were flying around… I’ll never forget that!

    Liked by 1 person

    July 14, 2015
  23. Love this post! It really makes me think of all the wonderful places I’ve been blessed to have been able to visit and read a book! Thanks!

    Like

    July 15, 2015
  24. Superb! This really is a useful post, great pictures. I love the idea and execution of this blog!

    Like

    July 16, 2015
  25. Hmmm…this post really has me thinking! I’d say my most memorable place to read has been while I was backpacking through Europe – particularly on the long train rides. Growing up, I used to lay across the rocker on my childhood back porch to read all summer long. I recently moved to a new home as an adult, and finally purchased a hammock, something I’ve wanted for years. I love it so much and it is very quickly becoming my favorite reading spot!

    Like

    July 17, 2015
  26. I started thinking about this too..and I think for me it doesn’t really matter where I am as long as I have a really great book to read. To me, it depends more on the book than on the place, although it is beautiful to read when in a special place. If the place and the book are good, then it is perfect!;)

    Like

    July 18, 2015
  27. These are so beautiful and interesting. I would like to do a kind of ‘reading tour’ of fantastic places to read

    Like

    July 26, 2015
  28. Once I read a book while I was approaching the ground with an open parachute. And it was amazing!

    Like

    August 13, 2015

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  1. To Have and Be and Know | Unbinding
  2. Unique Places Where I’ve Read A Book | A World of Randomness
  3. Buying and selling Books via the internet. - Inexpensive Books

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