I find that whenever I fail to tuck a book into my bag is always the time that the friend I am meeting is running late, or there is a long wait for an appointment, or there is some other reason that I am waiting around, bored, with nothing to do, wishing that I had remembered to pack a book. So I try to remember to bring one whenever I can.
Some people feel funny about eating alone in public, but I don’t mind, as long as I have brought a book with me. There are some places, however, where I feel more comfortable reading than others. Big crowded noisy cafes just aren’t the best reading spots; tucked away little places that only seat a handful of customers are much better suited to diving into a good book.
I went to one of these places today – a specialist chocolate café, which makes chocolate flavoured tea. I had brought my book, and sat there comfortably with my mint infused dark chocolate tea, and read for an hour. Somehow, these quaint little cafes like these, that have rickety chairs and pot plants and hand painted signs, lend themselves to be reading spots – somehow the cosiness enhances the story. These little hole-in-the-wall cafes almost feel like they have been torn from the pages of a book; maybe that is why they always make me feel so comfortable when I am reading.
While I was at this café this morning (instead of studying for my exam tomorrow – well, every needs the occasional study break!) I finished my first book on the list of ‘1001 Children’s Books You Should Read Before You Grow Up’ – ‘The Wind in the Willows’ and started on my second one (well, technically my fifth, if I am going to count the Harry Potter novels that I talked about in my last post). I decided to read ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’ by Philippa Pearce next. This book has always intrigued me whenever I have spied it on the shelf in the bookshop I work in, and I have sneakily read the first few pages while I was pretending to rearrange the shelves. So I dove into it in the chocolate café, sipping my chocolate tea and feeling ready for a good story.
So far, I have not been disappointed. I have found it delightful, and gripping, and the descriptions of the garden are just so wonderful that if the weather in Adelaide wasn’t so miserable at the moment I would have to rush off to a garden immediately so that I could experience the wonder and awe that Tom feels as he wanders through the magical garden that appears to him every night. However, I really should drag myself away from the book (I’m already up to chapter eleven) and do some study. If I fail my exam, I’m blaming Philippa Pearce.