Tag Archives: relax

Bookmark’s progress

booksandmarkPhil: Tuesday’s post wasn’t the one we’d discussed over curly fries the day before but a combination of technical problems and a poorly puss-cat conspired against my friend. As is often the case though, the results made more of an impact, on me at least, than the original plan.

By the time I came to read the post, I’d been on the road for 4 and a half hours sandwiched around a day full of meetings. I was knackered. However, my friends words pushed me into reading a couple of chapters from the book I’ve got on the go and I felt much better for it.

At the moment, I’m in the happy position, for a self-employed person, that there is more work than I can shake a stick at. While my work is enjoyable, work/life balance is a bit off whack. No trips to Italy for me for a couple of months. At the moment, a trip to the Post Office is the highlight of the week!

Anyway, it hasn’t stopped me reading. Dipping into a book for half an hour takes my mind off the pile of projects that consume my waking hours. Unlike watching TV, I can immerse myself in another world. Watching the box tends to be a passive activity involving sitting in front of flickering light as stuff plays out in front of you. Aside from the fact there isn’t much on that I would like to watch, I can do it and think about other things. It’s not really a break.

Reading, like juggling, meditating and apparently even going for a run, clears the mind. The activity takes you out of yourself and forces a conscious break in your thoughts. My brain might be wiring away in the background but the bit I live in is consumed with the story.

That break is good but I find a side benefit from the progress my bookmark makes through the volume. It’s one project that I know will advance reliably as long as I keep reading. I get a sense of satisfaction just seeing how far I’ve read. Not a great achievement perhaps but I like it. Approaching the back of a fat book is especially satisfying as I feel I’ve put the work in and will soon have the sense of achievement that I’ve finished the story. Sometimes, I don’t want it to end but mostly, I enjoy the journey but like to get to my destination. Hopefully that’s a nice, satisfying denouncement with all the loose ends tied up.

Which is why, no matter how busy I am, I’ll make some space to read.

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Filed under Books, Phil

Where do you read?

ReadingCandice: I’ve just come back from a week in Sorrento (very nice, shame about the rain) and it was interesting to see how people are different when they are on holiday. 

We all like to read but when you are in the hustle and bustle of the normal day-to-day I hardly ever see people reading books (or kindles).  The only time I did use to was when I got the train to work but now I drive I don’t see that.  Perhaps, in a lunch break I might see some one in the coffee shop with a book, though it seems more likely for them to be reading a paper as it’s about eating, reading and then getting back to work, rather than relaxing.

Our hotel had a pool on the top of the building.  Sorrento is a bay surrounded by hills and the hotels are all built into the hillside, so they go up (and up and up).  Our pool was on the 8th floor, next to another hotel whose rooms were at the same height, so we could see right into their balconies.  There am I one day, relaxing on a sun lounger, reading some other holiday tosh and I can see the people on the balcony next door.  In the hand of the reader is a greeny grey book I recognise – Inferno.  On the next balcony down is another lady relaxing on a lounger, also reading some thing.  This makes me think, so I look round the pool area and everyone has their nose in something.  The choice varies from Chick Lit to the other half’s reading topic of Ron Atkinson’s biography. 

In our room in the hotel, there are stack of books to choose from all left by previous guests I assume, and there are also ones dotted around the reception and bar area.  In fact, there are books everywhere.

At the airport, while we had two hours to kill before our flight, I again looked around at the people reading.  We had another copy of Inferno on the go, alongside more Chick-Lit and Kindles (that’s frustrating as I can’t see what they are reading!)

I’d love to know how much these people read when they are at home?  I suspect some, not at all.  I certainly know that is true of my husband who only reads the Sunday Times.  From a book publishing point of view I think its very interesting, as I’d love to know where these people bought their books.  I suspect that the market for purchases in the airport is massive as people forget all about books until they are about to get on their flight.

If this is the case, we need to create a holiday friendly piece of literature (which I think we have) than is well marketed at the airport.

But I also think it’s a shame, as people are missing out on the relaxation that comes from reading.

This time of year especially I love to come home from work and then go and sit in the back garden catching the last rays with my book.  In fact, we hardly watch any TV in the summer as we are often found in the conservatory reading and catching up.  But, I suspect most people only do this on holiday and miss out on the great opportunity to disappear into a book after a stressful day at work.

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Filed under Candice, Writing