Top Ten Tuesday:  Favourite Places to Read

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Previous Top Ten Tuesday Topics

This is a different topic, a shift of focus from the books to the bookblogger which makes me feel a little self conscious!

Where do we like to read?

I would love to be able to cite exotic and exciting places where I have read books… and conjuring around ideas I can recall where I read certain books: Atonement was read on a coach although I forget where to or from; The Lord of the Rings, I re-read on a skiing holiday; The Secret History was read in the hotel I was staying at for my brother’s wedding…

But these are not favourite places to read.

What we are looking at are our preferred comfort places. Nothing exotic, but all the comforts and security of some and of familiarity.

The Sofa

This sofa – a knock off Chesterfield we got for a bargain from a cafe closing down fire sale! – we got for specifically this reason. As a child-free (and therefore crumb-free) reading nook.

Unfortunately, the cat has now commandeered it!

There is a story behind her too: we had her as a kitten sixteen years ago and eight years ago she disappeared. Lost. We did all the usual things – phoning around vets, calling for her, leaving food outside, even posters – but no success and eventually we ended up moving when daughter was born.

And a couple of weeks ago I was called by a vets saying she had been handed in as a stray and they scanned her microchip and it held my details… when we collected her, she slipped right back in as soft as anything, as if she had never gone missing.

The combination of Chaucer, Austen, History of the English Language and Dan Brown in the background is fairly typical of my reading habits.

Book Shown: Summer, Ali Smith


I do like to sprawl and the size of the bed is great for that.

Obviously, mostly, I am tucked up under the covers in the dark with the backlight on on the Kindle so as not to disturb my wife.

Book Shown: The Editor’s Wife, Clare Chambers (ARC)

The Cafe

I rarely go anywhere without my Kindle; I rarely go out without being tempted by a cup of tea somewhere… and this is from my favourite local cafe. An ugly teapot, but a good green tea!

I have been known to while away a good couple of hours (let’s say whilst daughter is at a friend’s party) with a single pot of tea and a good book!

Book Shown: The Women of Troy, Pat Barker (ARC)

The Library

What is the first documentation I seek out when I move to a new town? A library card!

It was such a relief that the libraries around us have opened again. They provide such a vital public service across the board – so much more than just lending books, however important that is!

My daughter and I can while away many hours in our library, reading, playing, drawing…

Book Shown: There’s A Monster In Your Book, Tom Fletcher

The Bookshop

I asked my daughter the question “Where does Daddy like to read most?” and this was her reply. The bookshop.

I don’t think I do read that much in the bookshop, browsing, scanning the first few pages, maybe…

Mind you, I am not the only one who likes to find books in the bookshop to read, am I?

Book Shown: The Death of Vivek Oji, Akwaeke Emezi

The Beach

We live near the coast, so the beach is an obvious one!

We tend to avoid the commercial sandy beach in favour of the stony one populated by the local seal named Sammy. Obviously!

The Park

We have a wonderful park, literally opposite us where we live.

A wide open space, willow houses, coppices, woods and a river in which we spend substantial parts of the summer splashing about, swimming, playing…. and on those rare occasions when my daughter is willing to play independently I am at times able to read a little.

Book Shown: The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern

The Garden

On the rare occasion when the garden is not totally overgrown and weedy, it is another wonderful outside space we have, complete with apple, plum and walnut trees.

And it is a bit of a sun trap, which usually makes the Kindle a better bet in the glare than a paper book.

Book Shown: The Mirror and the Light, Hilary Mantel

In a Tree

Maybe not a favourite place – those branches are not wholly comfortable long term! – but it is not unheard of that my daughter and I can spend some time with our books in the trees in our garden or in the woods opposite.

Book Shown: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Benjamin Alire Sáenz

The Bath

This is a habit that I have inherited from my mum – despite the fact that I found the crinkled and crispy pages of the books that had been dropped into the bath and then dried over the radiator rather nauseating!

It is a while since I have been able to have a long luxurious soak in the bath with a good book – a demanding child means that alone-time can be a premium and she still sees the bathroom as being a public space!

Book Shown: April in Spain, John Banville (ARC)

Daughter’s Bedtime

My absolute favourite place to read is, however, one which does not allow me to read my own books!

The evening snuggle reading to (and increasingly with) my daughter has been sacrosanct for 8 years and long may it continue. We have progressed from The Very Hungry Caterpillar to The Gruffalo to The Worst Witch, The Pirates Next Door and Amelia Fang to The Legend of Podkin One-Ear of which we have read three books.

Book Shown: Wildspark, Vashti Hardy.

The Car

Whilst trying to read a book in the car is a struggle – it makes me feel so sick at times! – let’s include audiobooks in this list!

A half hour commute to work morning and night can chew its way through an audiobook really well and I found this an ideal solution to the potential tedium of that journey.

It is perhaps a shame that the photo and the sun pick out all the dust on my dashboard!

Book Shown: Started Early, Took My Dog, Kate Atkinson


This running business has been a learning curve for me – firstly to see whether I even could (it turns out I can!) and then whether it would be possible to listen to an audiobook whilst doing so.

It turns out that it is!

And if a 30 minute commute can get through a book, a 90 minute run (not that I do them very often – perhaps once a week and 3 or 4 shorter runs of 5-8k during the week) gives that a boost too and accounts for the increase in books read this year!

So, rather more of, well, me than is usual on this blog! In more ways than one looking at some of these pictures!

Would love to hear your comments and learn where your favourite – or perhaps exciting and daring – places to read are!

Upcoming Top Ten Tuesday Themes

  • August 24: Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time
  • August 31: Fictional Crushes
  • September 7: Books Guaranteed to Put a Smile On Your Face
  • September 14: Books With Numbers In the Title
  • September 21: Books on My Fall 2021 To-read List
  • September 28: Freebie (Come up with your own topic or do a past TTT topic that you missed or would like to do again.)

34 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday:  Favourite Places to Read”

  1. I would love to know where your cat has been all this time!

    One of the first things I do when we arrive in a new town is get a library card too. But I’ve never developed the habit of actually reading in the library. I think it’s because my mom used to take us once a week like clockwork. Bank, library, grocery store. We got our books and got out. But that just meant I had lovely new books to read while waiting in the car for her to finish shopping!

    My friends thought I was a freak for listening to audiobooks while jogging. They couldn’t understand how I kept moving without music. Books pass the time much better for me though. My knees are currently protesting the idea of jogging so I haven’t been out in, goodness, a couple of years?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It works well for me too – probably because I’m so used to driving that it’s basically automatic. Although if I’m focused on finding an address, I have to pause the book. Kind of like how I have to turn down the music to see better?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great list! I have such fond memories of my dad reading stories to me at bedtime, so I love that you’re enjoying that time with your daughter. I miss the pre-pandemic days when I went and read in a cafe most weekends!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, she obviously thinks you’re a good subject. And she is right. She could call it “study of a bookworm”. LOL

        Liked by 1 person

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