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
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
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
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
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?