There are peculiar delights of reading during the summer and as I think back, I have memories of a number of delightful places where I enjoyed a good book.
They begin with mornings at our old picnic table with a cup of coffee. I enjoy the quiet needed to read a good devotional work while gazing at my garden and listening to the song of creation.
I remember afternoons on my porch swing reading sports biographies as a boy.
Or trips to the local library, and how delicious the air conditioning and the unhurried opportunities to select a new stack of books to read on that porch.
When I still lived in Youngstown, I’d grab a paperback, hop on my bike and ride to one of the myriad shady overlooks in the park, maybe on the rock formations overlooking the Silver Bridge, or a bench with a view of Lanterman Falls, or even under a copse of trees on Lake Glacier opposite the Parapet Bridge.
There is a conference center in northern Michigan that probably had a half dozen or more spots, from screen porches in several of the cabins, the deck outside the meeting building, or the porch by one of the lodges overlooking the sparkling bay. The summer evenings would get brisk enough that a fire in one’s cabin became an inviting spot to settle into a good mystery. Sometimes a secluded spot along the water with a breeze to keep the insects away was all you needed.
Sometimes it doesn’t take much. The cushiony turf under a shady tree overlooking a Lake Michigan beach is another favorite memory.
Our first apartment in Toledo had a second floor screened back porch that looked out toward the Maumee River. A cold ice tea, and a good book made for a perfect evening, turning to conversation when it was too dark to read.
Perhaps the most exotic place I found to read was a courtyard at a conference center I stayed at a few years ago on Catalina Island off the California coast. Under palms with lush flowering plants on cool morning with sea breezes off the harbor, it was a most pleasant place to read with my morning coffee.
During the heat of the day, a frappucino at a coffee shop and a good book is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon, if I can find a quiet nook.
I miss front porches. Our “front porch” is a couple of lounge chairs, a table for drinks that we pull out of the garage. But it is shady, cool, we can browse books and magazines and talk, and visit one of our many neighbors walking their dogs. You don’t always get a lot of reading done, but books are part of the mix of a pleasant evening.
7One thing. That girl on the tree limb really doesn’t look comfortable. I’d be constantly apprehensive of tumbling into the water. After all, it is summertime, and the reading should be easy.