Wednesday, 7 September 2011

When Time Stands Still

Get Reading, Australia's largest celebration of books is on again this September. The challenge? To read the recommended 50 books you can't put down.

To help, the good people at Get Reading offer the latest 2011 list of books for readers to download. They also encourage young and old to find their way to Reading Rooms in most major Australian cities where author appearances, quiet browsing and comfy chairs provide the right atmosphere for sinking into a good book.

This made me think about my own favourite reading spots. In the summer, my reading room is outside. I have a cane rocker on the porch, beside the long arms of our quince tree. It's no coincidence an old rusty double-sided clock sits above me, screwed into the wall. Some might lament its faded face, stuck eternally at quarter past 4. I think it's perfect. Time stands still when I'm gardening or lost in a good book and if my broken outdoor ornament agrees, who am I to remedy this?

In Melbourne's winter, nothing beats reading in bed against the honey glow of a lamp. Could there be a more perfect reading room? Add the fingertips of rain against the window, a lit fire and peppermint tea, and I may never leave.

Oh and at this point in my life, the book must be made of paper. I may be tempted by a backlit iPad one day... but for now I'm holding onto the dog eared variety to be shared with friends when I'm done.

What about you? Where are you drawn to, when the clock stops ticking and a good book finds its way into your lap? Tell me about your perfect reading room.

Dorothy Adamek is a Melbourne based writer of Historical Romance. Read more at her Ink Dots blog.


  1. Hi Dorothy,
    Lovely post. I love reading while being able to hear the birds or listen to the rain falling.
    thanks Jennifer ann

  2. Hi Dorothy
    I love to read on my back verandah in the winter! That's because I live in Qld and I can lie in the sun with my head shaded from the glare. And, yes, the peppermint tea perfects the experience.
    However electronic readers are hopeless in that situation. There is too much glare!
    Thanks for a great read! Jo

  3. Oh, you are so descriptive. Your words are just delicious. :) I love to read in bed, snuggled under a doona, perhaps with a hot chocolate and nothing to disturb my sojourn into another world. (There is nothing worse than a "Muuuuuummm!!!" to drag you grudgingly from that world.)

  4. Hi Jennifer Ann, I couldn't agree more about the birds! While they're not so welcome in my veggie garden, I do love their song :)

    Hi Jo, how blessed you are to enjoy the outdoors in winter! All of us Southerners are just starting to taste the change of seasons. Still too cold to read outside in Melbourne today, but we look forward to better days ahead :)

    Hi Amanda, aren't you just the best friend to weave 'delicious' into our words this morning! You made my day :)

  5. I love sitting in the cane chair on the front veranda in the winter sun and for days below 20 degrees sitting there in the sun is lovely. I get the afternoon sun although in the morning if I go the other end of the veranda I get sun. As we didn't get much summer last year the front was great. when its warmer out the back I have the cane double seater where I am in the shade but still get some warmth.
    I also like reading in bed. Oh im in SE South Aust and its gone back to winter here.
    I like print books but I do love my Kindle. I can get some books I cant get here in Australia and I also get send pdfs I can read on the kindle.

  6. Dorothy, oh you make me envious! That's what I've been missing. Lately I am experiencing that "pulled from pillar to post" feeling, when all I'd love to do is escape and have a good l-o-n-g read. And I must be alone, or else have to explain to my husband I'm not ignoring him, I'm just too caught up in this other book world to hear any comments of his.
    Now all I need is a cane rocker or a banana chair!

  7. Hi AusJenny, there's just something about the sun isn't there? We can't help but be drawn to it! Victoria missed out on summer last year too. Here's hoping we enjoy those long summer days and nights in the months to come :)

    Hi Rita, you are so right...the book world is a powerful force! Strong enough to leave husbands ignored and dinners burning on the stove, lol :) I hope it's not too long before you find yourself a cosy reading chair and time to linger :)

  8. Dorothy, you’ve done such a good job of describing your reading spot I want to steal it; having said that, I’m blessed with a good one of my own. Our new extension has a mass of bi-fold windows that brings the outside in. It’s the perfect place to write or read no matter what the weather. Isn’t it strange how much the environment affects our perception and mood.

  9. Hi Rose Dee, I'm always happy to share my reading room with book lovers! Sounds like you've got the perfect spot too ;)

  10. Hi Dorothy, I loved your post and connect with you on that one. I have many favourite reading spots. Also many books being read at the same time. One for learning, one for relaxation, one for edification, one for my spiritual well being and so on. My bed is my favourite place to read - tucked under the duvet on a cold night next to a hubby who is reading more intellectual books than my own.
    My garden swing is one of my favourite places to spend with God and yes, to read too. I read with my lunch - that's in my family room. The list goes on.
    Thanks for your well written blog which touched a chord.
    Read on and write on.

  11. Hi Anusha, the 'to-read' list never dwindles, does it? And that's a good thing! Like you, I have many books on the go. Looks like bed and the great outdoors are the favourite reading spots for many. And no wonder... they are comfortable and refreshing places to escape to. Blessings to you :)

  12. How lovely, a cane rocker - I think I need a swing or rocker outside - that would be bliss!
    At the moment I read mostly in bed.
    We just won an iPad2 ... so I am reading ebooks now too. It's a novelty, nothing will ever be as good as paper.

  13. Hi Michelle, the cane rocker is from our days in Bangkok where I gave birth to our youngest child. It was my feeding chair until I re-purposed it on the porch! Congratulations on the iPad win! My husband reads on an iPad too. He loves it, and I think may have ditched paper forever :)

  14. Love this Dorothy. I have not yet found a favourite reading spot at our new home. I have given it some thought though. A throw rug, soft pillows and a place to rest my feet all play a part in the act. Reading in the bath has always been a favourite of mine also,mostly because it is quiet and generally child free. Thank you for your dreamy post.

  15. Hi Nicole, I wondered who would be the first to mention the bath! Congratulations.... you're the winner, LOL :) (No prize though, sorry)
    And I so agree with the throw rug :) I hope you enjoy these next few months as you nestle into your new home. I'm sure you will discover all it's charms with each new season. :)

  16. I was going to say the bath and Nicole beat me to it. But with a homeschooled family around 24/7, sometimes driving to the local park or water spot and reading in the car is very refreshing. I know all about those, 'Hey Muuuum' interruptions Amanda mentioned.

  17. In winter by the fire with a hot cup of tea. But I do like to snuggle up in bed when it is miserable outside.
    Summer i don't really have spot. Maybe the spare room, which is cooler than the rest of the house.

    I do like my paper books, but I am so tempted to get a Kindle, i have it on my PC. Maybe in the future.


  18. Hi Paula, a park or water spot sounds like a great idea when the Reading Room just 'aint happening at home. It's an escape in so many more ways than locking oneself in the bathroom :) You just have to remember to come home!

    Hi Melanie, there's something about a book, a fire and a hot drink, isn't there? The top triple thread in our survey so far :)

  19. What a wonderful picture painted with words! Like Rita, I am envious - and not just a little. A week ago, I felt like the world was getting on top of me and I would have loved to just cancel the day. If only... Haven't read a good novel in over a year. Always other, more demanding, books on my reading stack. But I keep hoping. One day... Enjoy your beautiful spot, Dorothy!

  20. Hi Margaret, I hope you have the chance to catch your breath soon. Life can get so busy, can't it? And perhaps you can even dig into a great novel at the same time. Blessings, Dorothy :)

  21. I still cant workout how people read in the bath without getting a book wet. I would need a waterproof book to read in the bath but I have another friend who spends hours reading in the bath too.

  22. I love your garden complete with chooks and railway clock. It's the perfect place to reflect on life and all it has to offer.

    My favourite place to read is next to the window where Babette, my cow, tried to read over my shoulder. It's a quiet corner complete with comfortable chair, corner stand and coffee table. My Bible sits on the coffee table along with whatever else I'm reading at the time. For me it's perfect, I can study, read or just contemplate life. :)

  23. Hi AusJenny, I for one am guilty of wetting more than a few books while in the bath! Not if they're borrowed though! They stay high and dry :)

    Hi Lee, those chickens of mine always think I'm out there to give them some love and get very upset if I settle into the rocker for some reading ;)
    Your corner sounds very cute. Perfectly appointed for appointments with God, self and those characters who like to grab us by the throat... or heart. Depending on what you're reading :)

  24. Dotti, lovely post :) I love reading in bed into the wee small hours, knowing I won't be interrupted with 'Hey Mum...' The car is also good, and is one of my favourite writing spots :)

  25. Hi Narelle, I am in awe of anyone who can write in the car ... or any place away from home! I've yet to establish the skill and look forward to working it out someday soon :)

  26. Oh Dorothy! I have waves of guilt at this point, knowing I have a reading room, and I spend time there pretending other responsibilities don't exist! Originally, my reading room was built as a basement storeroom, but I've put all my old fashioned furniture (passed on to me by grandparents), the old comfy chair I simply can't throw down the dump, my standard lamp which is so far out of fashion its laughable, placed a granny knee rug over the chair, and I even bought an imitation persion rug to make me feel like I'm at grandma's place. It is so good to escape to, and there's only room for one person...!

  27. Hi Dorothy,

    I love to read curled up on our two-seater lounge next to the sunny window, especially in Winter. More often though it's in bed at night, after dishes are done, walk has been had, and I can relax for as long as I like.

  28. Hi Meredith, I'm sure you've made everyone jealous with your reading room! I can see you guard it well by not allowing more than one occupant! Good planning there... :) Enjoy your getaway.

    Hi Debbie, there's something about the warmth of the sun when we're lost in a book, isn't there? And failing sun... a cozy doona always ensures hours of relaxed reading. After a walk, you deserve a long spell with a book :)