October 29, 2011

Sunday Musings: Where Do You Do Your Best Reading & Writing?

(c) David Allen Sibley, 2003
I love sitting at my desk and reading my books, catching up on your blog postings, or just doing a little writing myself. Sometimes though, something catches my eye and I find myself just relaxing and looking out the window and watching all of my little feathered or fur-covered friends cavorting about our backyard. I especially love the spring and fall seasons when migrating birds stop and investigate my yard with its trees, bushes, and flowers. For example, right now I have dozens of yellow-rumped warblers (Dendroica coronata) and western bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) moving through on their way south. They bathe in the little pools of water in the wells surrounding my trees; and they hop about looking for insects and seeds in the gardens and lawn. In a word--they are just beautiful, and I could watch them for hours.  I've always been an avid birder, and keep a battered copy of David Sibley's Field Guide to Birds of Western North America (2003) within reach on my bookshelf.

I like my workspace a lot (see photo at left).  It is very comfortable, and quite conducive to reading and thinking.  I have about one-third of my books near my desk in a large wall-sized bookcase which is really convenient (photo at lower-left).  For the rest of my books, I have to go into my wife's office where I have several large floor-to-ceiling bookcases (Thank you, IKEA!).  On the shelves next to my desk I keep my favorite collections of poetry, literature and poetry anthologies, style manuals, atlases, dictionary, thesaurus, and writing notebooks.  Even though I could carry my laptop around from room-to-room, I generally don't.  I enjoy the discipline of sitting at my desk when I write and/or read; not to mention that it is also an ergonomically comfortable environment to work in.

I think my most favorite time to be at my desk is early on a Sunday morning.  I love sitting at my desk with a nice steaming cup of coffee and watching the sun rising.  There's something about those first golden beams of low-angled morning sunlight streaming through the window across my desk that just starts the day off ever so nicely!  So, how about you--where do you like to read and write?  Do you have a nice little area that is all your own?


  1. Im not a writer so I don't have a desk to sit at per se. We have a computer desk in the living room so we can play on the computer and watch tv at the same time (how bad does that sound!) but its only for a computer, you couldn't write at it .

    To be honest I mainly read on the train to and from work or at my desk on my lunch break. If I am at home I just read on the couch. Nothing special for me

    You made your house and backyard sound like wonderful places to be

  2. I converted one of the spare bedrooms into a library earlier this summer. My husband purchased a very nice leather chaise lounger for my library soon after. By far, that is my favorite reading room.

    For writing, wherever the mood strikes me, provided my laptop is handy. Until I get a desk for my library, that space will either be the kitchen table or my desk at work.

    Love your bookcases, Chris!

  3. I live in a tiny townhouse with my husband, a cat and my twins so my special place to read and write is Starbucks.

  4. Becky, Jon, and Amanda-- Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments! I think it is kinda cool how we all have a somewhat different approach to what makes us most comfortable for our reading and writing experiences.

  5. Love this post :) I have a sort of study / library (I say "sort of" because it sounds horribly pretentious, but really, that is what this room is) and I write more often than not at my desk and read more often than not in the armchair. It's upstairs, so I can't see birds in the garden but I often see buzzards flying around. I live in a forest, so I look at the trees :)

  6. My favourite spot to read is now at your house! ;)

    My favourite time is also Sunday mornings with a pot of coffee, but I lie on the couch with a large window to my left letting in natural light. This is the best I can do in a condo - and there are no birds, since I am in the city... though I occasionally see pidgeons. ;P

    Your shelves are beautiful - IKEA doesn't have stuff like that here. I also notice quite a few of your editions, and am happy you have the same version of the Greek Myths (that one particularly stands out). Also a lot of hardcover, which I relate to.

    But I digress. My dream is a 'sun room' up north that I can use year round, with my bookcases close but (the books) not ruined by the sun.

  7. Unfortunately, when I look out my window, I rarely see anything beautiful! I do love reading when camping or traveling though, but that doesn't happen often enough. So usually I'm on a comfortable couch or chair, which makes me happy enough. It's an added bonus if it's raining, but that doesn't happen too often either.
    Your space looks fabulous!

  8. What an inviting space! My favorite spot to read and blog is a comfortable chair in the corner of my kitchen. I can look out the window and see the lake, gaze at the books in the family room book cases, yet still be aware of what's happening in other areas of the house. Next to the chair is a small table where I keep my current book, immediate tbr pile, a notebook/journal, and a pretty bowl with pens, post-its, bookmarks, reading glasses, etc. I especially love being the first one up on Sunday and sitting here with my coffee.

    I was tagged in a meme a couple years ago and posted a picture here: