Reading is possibly one of the most enjoyable things to do. However, like all good things, it can be improved with little luxuries.
Having a cat makes reading so much better. This heavenly creature is named Hermione, after Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series. He is a rescue kitty (yes, he is a boy, he was taken from his mother too soon and the SPCA told us he was a she—apparently this happens quite often) who sits on my lap and keeps me from moving while reading. He’s a big fan of books; he is always rubbing up and laying on them. I think he would make a wonderful bookshop cat. He’s great company and makes my apartment warm and cozy. Also, living in the city, you need to be careful of cockroaches. They like to eat the glue in books and cats scare those horrid pests away.
A good mug for your coffee or tea is essential. Having a beverage becomes a ritual and it improves immensely with the quality of your cup. My friend Sada gave me the mug pictured here. It is made from porcelain in Japan. Blueberry and peppermint tea are my favorites.
I live in a small studio, so there’s not a lot of space for furniture. Ok, maybe I could make more room if I didn’t have an eight-foot long bookcase. But I’ve got my priorities straight. I asked my dad to make a little table for me. He made this beautiful table that I use everyday. When I’m reading I can use it to keep my coffee or tea near me. Also a pencil to make notes.
I tend to take notes when I read. I draw squares around each character’s name the first time it is used. I underline my favorite passages. I circle words I need to look up. I draw hearts around Arthur Rimbaud’s name every time I find it. Childish I know, but he’s one of my favorites and his name pops up quite often in a myriad of places.
One of the pencils I bought at the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis. An old friend had a dozen pencils made that said Mrs. Salman Rushdie’s pencil as a joke. The Amateur Astronomer pencil my friend from Colpa Press gave me.
A good bookmark will hold your place. You don’t want to bend the pages of your book and ruin them! This cutout bookmark is sold at the SFMOMA bookstore. And all proceeds benefit the museum.
A warm and cozy blanket. I don’t think I need to say anything else about that.
A French press makes all the difference. You can make loose leaf tea or fresh coffee to wake you up in the morning. Again, it’s the ritual. Wake up, rub the sleep out of your eyes, get out of bed, make coffee, return to bed with cat, coffee, and book. (Another friend gave me this coffee maker.)
A good chair helps keep you from falling asleep while reading in your bed. I’ve had this one for years. It’s from my first apartment in the Bay Area. It’s not very attractive so I covered it with a vintage blanket. However, it’s quite comfortable. One day I’d like to upgrade, but this chair has been with me through five apartments so I can’t complain.
T R A N S P O R T I N G Y O U R B O O K S
You also should have some proper totes to carry all your books. You can support Green Apple with this amazing bag that states, “So many books, so little time.” Truer words were never written.
This tote bag proclaims my love for The Hobbit. It even has a little zipper pocket in it. But honestly, you were sold at hobbit, weren’t you?
And it always helps to have a purse large enough to fit a book. You never want to leave your book at home due to lack of space. What if you get stuck on the train? What if you have an extra hour to kill because your friend is running late?
Obviously a serious reader doesn’t need any of these things. But it certainly makes reading even better.