Favourite pastime? Reading books in cafes.
My favourite place to head to and read is a cafe, usually Starbucks but any will do. I love sitting in the corner table or arm chair, back to the wall, the whole cafe in eye-line. I love sipping on chai lattes and diving deep into whatever tome I’ve picked up that week. It’s my favourite thing to do.
Some people need music in the background to read, others need silence. I need white noise.
When I was a bit younger I found I could read while there was music playing, but these days I can’t. If there’s a song on that I know, I sing along and don’t take in the sentence I’m reading. If it’s a song I don’t know, I hum along with what will usually be the next bar chord or word in in lyrics (songs are so predictable).
For a while I tried studying and reading to classical music, or piano solos; music without lyrics layered in to distract me. But then I found myself playing an invisible piano as I grew too familiar with the songs, or I would stop reading because I was so in love with the violin ensemble in the bridge.
Silence is better than music, but not quite as good as white noise. I studied throughout university in the library, which was mostly silent, and I found that if I were at home studying then I needed complete silence. I need to jump into my highlighted study notes so I could really soak them in. I can read now in silence, especially at night before bed, but generally I wish it were raining or there was a breeze blowing through the trees so the white noise would be apparent and all would be well.
White noise is where it’s at. The café is the perfect place to read a book, and I head to events and church services a whole lot earlier just to read in Starbucks. That’s where you’ll find me most Sundays actually. For a lot of the day.
There’s something about white noise which really appeals to me. Perhaps it’s the knowledge that I’m not just sitting alone in a shop with a hot beverage, or perhaps there’s no room for anything else to distract me if the white noise fills the silent spaces. I don’t know. But I love it.
Someone once asked me what my favourite pastime is. And I said being alone in a crowd, with a coffee and a book. It’s literally my favourite thing to do.
So why do I read in a café? The buzz, the crowd, the smell of coffee, the click of the cups on saucers, the ability to be alone in a crowd, the fact that I can sit there and not look up from my book for hours and still know what’s going on around me.
I tell you guys, if you’re not in to reading in cafes, go and do it. You might just like it.