The Reading Porch


When and where do you read? Where was/is your favorite reading spot ever? This was mine–the front porch of our townhouse in Charleston, South Carolina in the early days of my marriage. I loved this porch–I grew the best flowers in the beds surrounding it and I spent hours and hours and hours rediscovering romance after several years of not reading much in my later teens (too busy with boys, I guess!). We didn’t have kids yet, and I look back on it now as very carefree days–though I suspect at the time all I was thinking about was what was coming next, when would my husband get out of the Navy, when would we have kids and buy a house…… Ack, can I find a time machine and go back to then? I will appreciate it now, I SWEAR.

Despite my lack of luggage space, I managed to take home a dozen books from the RWA conference, and yes, I know as fellow readers, you won’t be shocked that I ALSO BOUGHT A BOOK AT THE AIRPORT on the way home, then bought five more books at the grocery store this week. I’m currently reading Blue Dahlia by Nora Roberts and Carpe Demon by Julie Kenner. I usually have two books going at once and switch back and forth depending on my mood. It also often takes me several weeks to finish a book and I’d like to cut that time by finding more time to read in my schedule.

Of course, back in those South Carolina days, I didn’t have as many things pressing on my time as I do now as evidenced by the time I spent taking pictures of my cats. (Big orange cat: Shu-Shu, my first and beloved cat. Shu-Shu’s playmate: Kismet. Is it kismet that I later sold my first book to a line called Kismet???)

Proof! I even had time to SEW then! Not that Shu-Shu appreciated it much…. I still have this sewing machine. It’s in the garage, covered in cobwebs…..

My husband was busy defending our country. Or sunning himself on top of his submarine in the middle of the Atlantic. Apparently the 80s were a slow time for the U.S. Navy…..

Keishon has a TBR challenge if you’re interested in checking out her plan for tackling the TBR pile, but unfortunately it doesn’t really work for me since I don’t read Regencies or Liz Carlyle or Diana Palmer. I’ll have to make my own plan.

(More Shu-Shu. I miss that cat!!) So how do you find more time to read? I try to have a book in my purse all the time so that I can take advantage of extra time at doctor’s appointments and car lines, etc, and of course there’s before I go to bed at night and CHURCH. I tend to feel guilty if I stretch out on the couch in the middle of the day and start reading. I think about how I could be cleaning a bathroom or painting a wall. I think I’ll go to the nursery today and get some flowers. If I had more zinnias and marigolds out front, surely I’d read more. Then I’ll get rid of the kids, and….

Oh–and one more thing, Alyssa is having a contest! MORE books!!:yes:


  1. Peggy says:

    I usually try and squeeze a chapter in before bed, if the books real good I may stay up way longer than I should. Like you, I feel too guilty reading during the middle of the day. But if the books is that good, I will. I also love reading outside in the sun while lounging on a lawnchair, however, the nosey neighbours kinda put a stop to that!

  2. Toni Anderson says:

    I read at bedtime–or yesterday as I felt ill, I read in the day–stretched out on the sofa:smile:

    I have no plans for my TBR pile, just hopes. Currently reading Diana Gabaldon’s Fiery Cross, Patricia Rosemoors Ghost Horse, Dwight Swain and Donald Maass, depending on my location and mood:grin:

  3. Mik says:

    I usually read at night in bed right before I pass out. Sometimes I’ll read on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon while my husband is wastching NASCAR. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love your kitty. It makes me miss my big fat orange tabby. Her name was Peanut (but she was the size of a house – no lie!)

  4. Mary says:

    I usually read right before I go to sleep. Right now I’m reading BROKEN FOR YOU, an excellent book.

  5. Margery Scott says:

    I read in the evening and right before bed. I’ve given up trying to get through my TBR pile. I take one book away, two more appear. How does that happen? :shocked:

  6. Estella Kissell says:

    I pick up a book every time I sit down for a few minutes. I am reading Lori Handelands Dark Moon now:eek: You can never have too many books.

  7. Eve says:

    So many things to respond to this morning. I still miss my cat Alexandria that I had to have put to sleep in 1998. I think that’s one reason I have soo many now – I keep trying to replace her and she was just unreplaceable. We have two torti’s now – Cassidy, the brainless wonder – really, the vet said so – belongs to mother which is (and I’m not being cruel) appropriate given mother’s Alzheimer’s, and Neely Shae our foster cat. I had a big orange cat who died in the 80’s – Shelby was a great cat.
    Reading – my TBR pile is getting lower thanks to my vacation. I can’t read much during the day because mother always knows when I’m doing something that requires concentration and will constantly interrupt me, so my reading time is after she goes to bed at 10:30p.m. Then I read for about 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours – I must be up by 6:00 a.m. everyday so that I am fully awake when she gets up at 7:00. Last night I got caught up in reading “Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed” by Gemma Bruce and was up until 3:00! One more story in that one to get read. I just finished reading “A Date With the Other Side” by Erin McCarthy which was okay, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did her other stuff. Also read Kay Hooper’s “Chill of Fear” another absolutely wonderful book. I also read an Emma Holly book called (I think – since I leant it to my sister-in-law, so my memory isn’t that clear) “Personal Assets”, I liked it. I have a John Saul book waiting, a couple of other horror type books, and “Unzipped”. I also just orderd two erotica anthologies because they have stories by Sasha White – they should be arriving any day now. Anyway, reading place is in bed, usually surrounded by cats – and occasionally serving as their speed bump, especially with the 4 month old.

  8. Eve says:

    oh BTRW I usually have two books going at the same time – one serious and the other more light, the light one is the one I’ll read right before I’m ready to go to sleep. Not good reading a horror type and then trying to go to sleep.

  9. Steph T. says:

    I don’t have a reading spot. Maybe that’s the problem…must work on that.

    I picked up Nora’s Black Rose and read it on vacation before I realized there was a ‘first’ one in the series. Now I’ve got to go pick up Blue Dahlia too.

    I know exactly what you mean with the time machine. It really does make you realize that the time to enjoy what you have now is NOW. *g*

  10. Carol says:

    I read wherever and whenever I can! I like to read on my porch when it isn’t too hot or in bed at night. I take books with me when I know I have to wait somewhere. I love your pictures:smile:!

  11. Jill says:

    Hey, loved the pics. These days I do most of my reading in my car waiting for kids … I always have a book in there.

  12. Kelly says:

    It’s very tough to find time to read when you have to use all your spare time to write. Sometimes I’ll go weeks without reading, but other times if I’ve put in a good chunk of writing during the day I am able to settle at night with a book. =)

  13. Eve says:

    But Jill, is the car running?:mrgreen:

  14. Eve says:

    If I try to put a bonnet on any of my cats they would bite me! Big time.

    Love the dryer picture – I think most cat owners have a dryer picture:yes:

  15. Trace says:

    Beautiful cat, Suzanne! I usually read before bed. On weekends I read after I’ve done my house work and writing.

  16. Trace says:

    Oh! I have more cat pics up for ya, Suzanne!

  17. Melissa says:

    I sit on my couch and read until I absolutely have to get up and do something. ๐Ÿ˜† And, I always carry a book or magazine wherever I go.

    Suz, I lived in Charleston in the mid 80’s. Loved it! My :yuck: ex was on a destroyer. Small world eh?

    I LOVE the picture of Shu-Shu with the bonnet. Precious.

    :hissyfit: I miss the 80’s

  18. Rene says:

    Umm…I lock myself in the bathroom to read. It is the only place I have any peace. It isn’t quite as horrible as it sounds. I have a huge window that opens onto a “secret garden” from my bathroom. So it is rather peaceful. I also keep a book in my purse. I’m reading The Historian at night in bed. It is too big to curl up with.

  19. Melissa Marsh says:

    My favorite place to read used to be my bedroom when I was in junior high and high school. I’d spend hours and hours in there, reading, with the radio playing, while my brothers tried to get me to come outside and play baseball during the summer. I usually refused, but not always. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Now it’s on the couch or sitting at the kitchen table eating lunch or supper.

  20. Robyn says:

    My favorite place to read was propped up in bed with pillows until I got glasses; no more of that.
    Love the cat pictures!!!

  21. Michelle says:

    I love to read in the bathtub, relaxing. ๐Ÿ™‚ Or lately, when the kids are playing in the tub and I have to supervise…:guitar:

  22. Tori says:

    I do all my reading in bed. Usually I’ll read until I can’t keep my eyes open. Otherwise, I’ll just toss and turn.

    I miss the 80s, too. I had a life back then! I had ENERGY :bananadance: back then. What a concept!

  23. Jillian Beane says:

    I love lounging on my bed to read. My cat usually lays alongside me and sleeps while I read… unless he’s tired of reading. In that case, he promptly plops himself on my chest, in front of my book and won’t move until I put the book away. Apparently I was finished with that.:fryingpan:

  24. Eve says:

    What is it that draws cat’s to the book or newspaper that you are reading? It never fails, I try to read the paper in the morning and at least one of the cats will come up and bat at the paper until I put it down.

  25. Gina says:

    I read whenever I can find time. Now that I’m also a book reviewer I need to make a bit of time each day, usually when I wake up and before I go to bed to get my reading in.

  26. Sandy Jones says:

    I read anywhere but when the kids were little, my husband would take over and spend some time with them while I could ‘get away’ and go take a bubble bath and read for awhile. Even today, I still love to do that! Love your cats!

  27. MartyK says:

    OK…where before this week, you cat pics may have been cute, they will now give me nightmares, lol. My cat experience now precludes me ever being “That Crazy Old Lady With All The Cats.”

  28. Suzanne says:

    LOL, Marty! You did have a cat horror story!!