While I love my childhood home in Marin County, it was lacking in two crucial features: a proper backyard, and any sort of reading nook. We didn’t have window seats or dusty attic crawl spaces. It was a house with few hiding spots, yet my sister and I still found a small respite.
Every Christmas, my mom would pull down from the garage a tipi and set it up in our living room. We would drag in blankets and pillows and create our own little space where we talked, or napped, or read. I distinctly remember reading Jack London’s White Fang, though I’m sure I went through many books in there.
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It was a tradition my mom and her brother had grown up with in Detroit. Today, there’s no way this wouldn’t be called cultural appropriation, but it could have been a blanket fort. The structure wasn’t as important as the space. That said, I have not carted a tipi cross-country to Brooklyn, and have instead found a new reading “nook”: Prospect Park.
Now I have my backyard. If you walk a few blocks into the park, you can’t even see the brownstones ringing the perimeter. It’s like you’ve descended into a bowl of green.
A few summers ago, I took Fifty Shades of Grey with me when I was getting restless at home. I would read a chapter, take a nap, read a chapter, take a nap… This year, on the first warm day of spring, you could find me lying out on the grass, starting Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You on my Kindle.
I don’t have a particular spot in the park that’s mine, yet I still feel as if I’m hidden away from work and other obligations. Maybe one day I’ll go exploring and find a true nook.
Tell us: Where’s your favorite reading nook?
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