The Reading Environment
There is scarcely an environment more intimate than the reading environment. There are unspoken reading conventions which even (well-behaved) children understand that they should try not to break. Don’t interrupt someone when they’ve been transported to a far-off land with a good book. Don’t ruin someone’s train of thought by talking about the weather when they’re curled up with their latest purchase.
My reading environment isn’t necessarily a concrete place where I go time and time again, though the sofa and my bed are of course clear winners by times frequented alone, but instead a frame of mind I enter when I’m indulging myself. It doesn’t have to be entirely quiet – in fact, I could quite happily sit in the corner of a busy room with people talking and moving around reading (though my manners generally stop me from doing so) – but I really cannot stand the noise of the television. It isn’t just the fact that a lot of what’s on is inane drivel, but instead is to do with the idea of being able to pick out one or two people’s voices. In fact, I feel the same on public transport when one particularly obnoxious person feels their voice is infinitely more important than everyone else’s around them.
It’s about a little bit of peace for me. And that peace can be snatched anywhere, or an indulgent long-stretch of an afternoon.
What is your reading environment like? Do you need silence?