Reading outdoors

Jim was just up here wondering why, despite my plethora of deadlines, I’m not getting much work done.

"I’m disconsolate," I said. "It’s a beautiful day and I want to go to the bookstore and I have to stay inside and work."

He went downstairs in search of food, and/or to get away from Round 5,000,387 of my continual crankiness, and I returned to dicking around online wasting time.

Then I stumbled on this post from the NYT City Room blog about the pure pleasure, nearly exclusive to the summer months, of reading outdoors. And now that nagging urge has turned into a full-blown craving. I want to go outside and settle down on the grass somewhere with a blanket–since we no longer have grass at our house, it will have to be in some park-like environment–and read. Preferably one of the chunky tempting works of nonfiction steadily accumulating next to my bed, such as The Coming of the Book: The Impact of Printing 1450-1800. (It is, natch, research for The Book.) Or Ideas: A History of Thought and Invention, from Fire to Freud, which is such an awe-inspiringly comprehensive and well- (though densely-) written book that I can only read it in wee titches here and there.

So it’s currently 11:41 Newman Standard Time. I am going to do my penultimatest (because my ultimatest is a goal to which I dare not aspire) to finish up these things I gotta do by 2:15. (Fifteen minutes of wiggle room. Will it be enough?) And then, FSM willing and the creek don’t rise, I will repair to an outdoor space and do some outdoor reading. Maybe to the Jamison Square fountains downtown, though probably not, because too many people, ecch. (N.B.: Jim, apparently no longer so annoyed by my crankiness that he must avoid the room entirely, is suggesting that we go to "Elephant Park," the playground at Washington Park, instead. Fine by me. And Powell’s is right on the way.)

Do you like to read outside? What’s your favorite reading spot, outdoors or otherwise? And what are you reading right now? 


About Molly Newman

Writer, cook and trivia/spelling bee hostess, living it up in North Portland.
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4 Responses to Reading outdoors

  1. Doc says:

    The RV parked in the side yard (does that count as outside?). I can’t read in bright light, and even the shade bothers me. Plus, being outside sort of distracts me from what I’m reading. I’m currently reading something by anita shreve, because she’s on my summer list of authors to which I’m reading all their works, don’t remember the title, something about a dysfunctional family, which is pretty much the subject of ALL her books.

  2. azureavian says:
    red hair girl full of ennui. funny webcomic. it’s not outside reading, but really–bugs, wind, sunburn etc etc etc.

  3. Summer says:

    i love to read out of doors. I have a wonderful backyard shaded with 6 trees and since our landscaping skills are suspect, very overgrown with plants that apparently butterflies flourish on.
    I just finished the last Steven Erickson’s Malazan book of the Fallen- Reaper’s Gale- and now I’m starting one of my guilty pleasures a Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse book. She write yummy um, ” experiences ” twixt’ a man and woman.

  4. Helena says:

    I’ve done a little reading outside this year. We have these thin foam mat things (for putting under sleeping bags) that we put out on the porch, or in the grass, to sit on. Sometimes I manage to sneak in a little reading (or drawing, if it’s not too windy) while Kate’s painting the porch, but usually she wants me to paint the porch *with* her, so that doesn’t happen very often. Plus the shade on that side of the building only lasts till 3:30-ish.
    I’m currently reading Mistborn: The Well of Ascension (the second of a trilogy), by Brandon Sanderson, who is a friend of my brother’s.

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