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10 Unusual Reading Places...Where have YOU read?


New Member
10 Unusual Reading Places

Over the years, I have found myself reading in more and more unusual places. I have since learned to embrace that fact with an open mind, regardless of how odd it may seem to people passing by. It’s a great feeling to walk into the library at school, and know you will be able to find a comfy spot. It’s convenient to be able to read in classrooms, hallways, public transportation, and while waiting for things (at the bus stop, in waiting rooms). However, these conventional places are not always sufficient, not always available, or just don’t “speak” to you in the same way as more unusual spots do.

1. Cemetery

Sure, it’s generally considered odd to be relaxing and reading amongst buried dead people. Sure, it’s probably not the best place to be if some crazy necromancer goes hog-wild with spells and all the dead start getting up and attacking the living. However, it’s quiet and peaceful.

Cemeteries are (with a few exceptions, I’m sure) kept up and maintained. They have trees, flowers, soft grass, and the music of birds chirping away as they go about their daily routines. Very few people will disturb you and, if anyone does see you, they will just assume you are “spending time with” a loved one.

2. In a closet

When I lived at my parents’ house, I would hate the tour they would give to their guests when they came over. I didn’t understand why people needed to see the rooms of our house. There wasn’t anything special about it and, besides, they’ve seen a house before. Anyway, I knew one of the stops would be my room. I didn’t want to have to interact, or stand their bathed in awkwardness while they peered in at my personal items and the David Bowie posters on my wall. It was not unlike being in a zoo exhibit. Well, what I imagined it would be like.

So, as a solution, I would duck into my closet and read. I had an extra lamp, blankets, and pillows set up in there. It was actually very cozy, and I liked how quiet it was. My parents have a lot of birds in their home, and I could not stand the constant noise. It was a big distraction and, after awhile, very obnoxious. When I was in the closet (haha!), I was able to block out the world (and noise) around me. It was my little haven.

3. A bamboo tunnel

My Uncle Joe is extremely talented and incredibly intelligent. He would build all kinds of things, and sometimes built things to amuse my younger brother and me. One time, he somehow created a tunnel out of the bamboo growing on one side of the property. He cleaned out the cobwebs, and put down tarps and blankets for sitting upon. He even added a little table!

My brother and I were quite young -around nine, I think – and could stand and sit up straight in that little tunnel. We would walk on in, and get settled in our secret area with some cookies and tea (Thanks, Grandma!) and read our books. It was really peaceful, and the light shining through made it dream-like. It’s still my favorite place in the world, even though it is gone now. I still dream of it, and think back fondly of those reading moments.

4. In a tree

In addition to having the bamboo tunnel, my paternal grandparents also had two huge, mystical-looking trees on their property. The pepper tree had lots of ants sometimes, so I did not climb that one as often. The other tree (I don’t know what it was), though, was perfect for climbing and sitting in. I would climb up as high as I could, book in my mouth, and settle in to read. My uncle made a bucket pulley system, so he could send up snacks.

I’m terrified of heights now, so I am not sure what possessed me to do such a thing as climb a giant tree, but I loved it. Well, except for that time a bird pooped on my arm. That wasn’t exactly pleasant!

5. A broken-down elevator

I have attended conventions (A.K.A. “Cons”) since I was about five years old. Comic conventions, sci-fi & fantasy conventions, space conventions, book conventions…you name it, I’ve probably gone to it. Usually, my family and I would return home at the end of the day, and then make the 50-minute drive back down each day of the con.

Well, one time, I was allowed to stay with a friend of mine in her hotel room. It was in a hotel adjacent to the convention center, and her room was up the thirtieth floor. Everything was going pretty uneventful, as most elevator rides tend to be, when it abruptly screeched and lurched to a stop. I don’t like elevators to begin with, and now one of my biggest fears of them came true. After about five minutes of panicking, I smashed the Emergency button. I felt guilty, because it wasn’t really an emergency, so I sat down and read to distract myself. Five chapters later, I was rescued.

6. A C-17

My husband is in the military, and this base does a lot of great things for spouses. One time, they let us wives (there weren’t any men this time) fly in the C-17, and look out while the back doors opened. For those who do not know, this is a BIG deal.

Take-off was taking a really long time, and I didn’t feel like engaging in conversation with any of the chatty women around me. I couldn’t hear them well, anyway, since I had earplugs in. (Jets are LOUD, guys.) Bored, I pulled out my book and started reading.

I suppose it sounds similar to being on a commercial flight, but it was a big deal to me, and definitely an unusual situation. So, I count it.

7. On the back of a horse

I used to have a horse named Mystery. He was blind in one eye, and was getting up there in years. He lived on my friend’s property with her horses, and was pretty darn spoiled. He was also incredibly calm. He would spend a lot of time just standing around, grazing from his hay bale and pondering his equine existence.

Whenever I wanted to spend time with him, I would come over armed with a sugar cube and a book. He let me lay on his back, my head on his neck, and read my book. I never had any problems with it, and it was incredibly relaxing.

8. Petting zoo part of a zoo

I had to be in Girl Scouts for several years, and one of the trips we went on was to the Wild Animal Park (since renamed to Safari Park, for whatever reason). The girls all wanted to go to the petting zoo and, normally I would enjoy such a thing, but I could not stand to be around these girls. They annoyed me to no end, and I wanted nothing to do with them. Unfortunately, my leaders made us stay in there until everyone want to get out. I was outnumbered by 7 to 1, so we ended up staying in there for about thirty minutes. After the first five, I knew I wouldn’t get to pet anything since all the other girls were gathered around the animals. I pulled out my book, and settled down on a rock in the far corner.

9. On the back of a Harley

I had to grip the book very tightly, but I read on the back of my friend’s Harley. We were only going on city streets, but some of the other drivers really got a kick out of seeing me reading. I’m just glad we didn’t crash before I got to finish the book!

10. On a roof

It definitely seems less strange than some of the other places I’ve read, but it still seems like a pretty odd place to be reading. My ex-boyfriend had a very tall house, and he and I liked to climb up there and read. It was a lot of fun, when it wasn’t super hot. One of his cats would usually join us, and we could watch the hummingbirds feed from the flowers.

Where have you read that was unusual? Did anything weird happen while you were there?

A. P. Bullard
Triskele Reviews