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Bookworm Encounters: what makes a great reading spot?

Bookworm Encounters: what makes a great reading spot?

New releases. Trending backlists. Your to-be-read list must be piling up by now.

One of the best ways to enjoy your current book’s plot twist is to be in a comfortable space that inspires you to flip one page after another—a great place to read for the best reading experience.

Here are some things to consider to improve your spot and make it more conducive for reading.

1. Lighting: bright or dim?

Regardless if you’re reading a paperback, tablet, or e-reader, proper lighting is important. While Harvard Health Publishing slammed the notion that reading in dim light will worsen your vision (yup, it is a myth), it will tire your eyes out more quickly. This can lead to short term effects like headaches and eye strains.

Reading without sufficient light can cause discomfort, leading to lower concentration and disorientation.

What is ideal: A reading light should shine directly onto the page, not over your shoulder to avoid any glare. If you’re reading through a digital device, the lighting of the area should also be as bright or brighter than the screen. If you have access to a spot with natural light, that’s also a great place to read.

2. Comfort: laying down or sitting up?

You’re a certified bookworm if you’ve tried reading in various positions. While comfort is a priority when you read, what’s comfortable isn’t always what’s best. Slouching or keeping a bad posture can lead to back pains and muscle strains. Besides, good posture also improves your concentration and focus so you can finish that book in (hopefully) one go!

What is ideal: According to New York-based chiropractor Jay Heller, DC, sitting straight with feet flat on the floor is the best reading position. Bring your book closer to your head, not the other way around. In bed, sit up as much as you can. You can also place a pillow on your lap to help your arms hold your book closer to your face.

3. Environment: quiet or noisy?

This has been an ongoing debate for so long. Though it boils down to preference, there is a certain reason why libraries, study halls, and reading rooms have one thing in common: silence. In an article published by King’s Christian College, “While music is a great motivator for routine and repetitive tasks, listening to music can never be a completely passive activity. No matter how 'background' the music may be and how little we notice it, the brain is still processing sound signals.”

What is ideal: It is still highly effective to read in a quiet environment. Problem solving, reading, and memory recall tasks are performed better in silence than with any kind of background noise. You can play music after reading to unwind, rather than during, or pick more ambient music without lyrics so your brain won’t be processing multiple textual stimuli at the same time.

4. Company: alone or with other readers?

Since the pandemic started, we have cherished reading books mostly confined in our homes. Reading alone encourages and improves overall literacy. This also gives you the chance to read at your own pace, really immersing yourself in the book you’re reading. Group reading, however, fosters cooperative learning, healthy competition, and can boost your self-confidence. 

What is ideal: We say BOTH! There are some contexts that you can appreciate when you read it by yourself. Bookworms find rest, comfort, and escape in books—reading as a form of “me time” is healthy. 

At the same time, group reading or joining book clubs can also have a positive impact on your journey as a reader. A sense of community cultivates empathy and is a way to keep an active social life with people of the same interests.

Here are some suggestions from members of the official Facebook group of Fully Booked: Bookworm Corner is a group where we hope to share the love of reading and engage with other bookworms. 

Let's talk about our latest reads with one another, rave about our faves, and discuss all our lit-related feelings. Reading is more fun when you allow the stories to flow from you to your fellow readers, bringing us all together. So come join us – let’s meet between the pages. 

Join our Facebook Group: Bookworm Corner at Fully Booked!

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