About sixteen years ago, my husband and I were in the Cinque Terre for our honeymoon. We stayed on a beach in Monterosso, Italy which looked just like this, (see below) and if I wasn’t so enchanted with the environment, it would have been my ideal place to read. The sea, the umbrellas, the cotton chaise chairs rented for about $5.00 a day were blissful.
But, my day to day life does not consist of sitting on an Italian beach surrounded by my favorite sights and sounds. My every day life consists mostly of teaching elementary school, a job which has fulfilled me for over thirty years.
Sometimes the children come into my classroom, having completely read a book which they chose from one of my shelves the day before.
“How did you read this in one night?!” I ask in astonishment. (I forget that they do not have dinner to make, or dishes to wash, or papers to check in the evening.)
“I lay on my stomach, in my room, and I read until I’m done,” they often say. I don’t catch my breath on “read until I’m done” as much as I do with “lay on my stomach.”
I do not lay on my stomach to read any more.
For one thing, it brings the print up far too close for my monovision. For another, my back starts to cramp, or my arms begin to ache, from holding my torso up. No, at this point in my life, I want something else to hold me up. I want something soft, and enveloping. And yet, at the same time, it must be beautiful. I have long had a penchant for the furniture from MacKenzie Childs. Even though it’s very bright, I love either of these two arrangements:
Or, a more simple arrangement such as this chair alone:
I could drape my legs over the side, or sit cross-legged when they became too heavy. The thick cushion looks heavenly after a day of teaching on my feet. Even the simple background decreases any distracting visual stimulation.
Or, I would enjoy reading in bed. My bed at home is a beautiful sleigh bed, chosen for design more than comfort. If I could choose again, I would be so tempted by this teak daybed, or this tufted backboard, on which to recline:
With the coming of summer, and thus much more free time for this teacher to read, I’m reviewing the possibilities. I’m perusing catalogs, and online sites, and dreaming of perfect spaces. These images seem just right, if I can no longer lie on the stony beaches of the Mediterranean.
And you? Where do you envision your summer reading taking place?