Thursday, March 12, 2015

why the fuck friday (20)

Welcome to WTFF. In which I attempt to answer a single question--normally a thought on a book or a bookish subject--that I've been pondering for the past week. It's more of an airing of grievances. A place to complain. This week it's "why the f*ck aren't you reading in the park?"

I've come to realize that for the past few years I've had a consistent crutch I rely on. It isn't alcohol, it's not smoking, it's not that wacky stuff people in Gondor are enjoying. It's a series of three 20" by 20" squares in which I have spent a lot of time on.

It's my couch.

If you've been living in the eastern United States for the past several months, you know it's been more like, well, I can't think of a more original way to say frozen wasteland void of all color and emotion. Okay, how about this: it's been Antarctica but with traffic and no cute penguins. Just those pesky potholes.

This post is not about the weather. It's about realizing there are more places to read than there potholes in my street.

I have lived next to a park for several years. I've walked in the park. I've hiked the park. I know where they found that dead guy last year, and I can point out to you where everyone sleds when it snows (and can inform you that it's where everyone takes their dog to play, and is covered in dog crap--talk about skid marks).

I have never, ever, and for more emphasis I am adding another ever, ever read in the park until recently. Recently the sky cleared and the sun stuck his head out to say hello. It was about this time I realized that I had spent a majority of the past few months on my three squares of safety.

This, I said to myself, has to change. I grabbed my backpack, threw my Kindle in it, and headed for the hills (the one sans dog poop). What I experienced was nothing short of a revelation.

I was expecting loud children to distract me, for the local LARPERS spear throwing to interrupt my re-reading of, err, not a Chelsea Handler book. Or for the sun to burn me alive.

Instead my ass got sore from sitting on a rock for an hour. One glorious hour in which I was distracted by passing cars and walking old people, but for that one hour I got my vitamin D, enjoyed some Not Chelsea Handler, and got to take in nature in a way I had not experienced before.*

It's kind of lame that it took me this long to get there. I am sure plenty of people read in the park, but I've always been one for a coffee shop or a couch. I think, in the future, I might take a blanket so my ass doesn't get so sore. Or maybe I'll find a tree to avoid getting sunburned.

That's it for this weeks WTFF. I would like to hear about your experiences outside with a book. Is this a regular event for you? Where are you from?

*suprisingly enough, bird noises block out a lot of background noise.


  1. I'm not big on reading outside, basically for the reasons you stated. I did however sit in my car the other day on my lunch break and enjoy the sun and warmer weather to read.

    1. I used to take my lunch breaks in my car to read. I was sitting under an air conditioning vent at work at the time, and it would warm me up and had the added bonus of being quiet. I like to go early in the morning to read in the park, I avoid most of the screaming children that way.

  2. I live in the north of England so the amount of time that I'm able to sit outside without getting hypothermia or soaking wet but for the very short window that we have for outdoor activities, I love reading in parks or generally outdoors! Sun and a book - what's not to love?!

    1. Ouch. I feel your pain. The past two winters where I live have been harsh and kept me indoors for months. If I were British and stuck indoors I would build a pillow fort near a large window and wrap myself in a blanket. That's simulated sunshine, I think.

  3. First of all, Hey! You're Back! I missed you!

    I love reading outside but, with two small children, the only place I really get to do this is on my deck. I dream of a day when I can have a nice shady yard, perhaps a hammock, or at least a deck that doesn't put me in full view of my neighbors. Or the day when my children are grown enough to go to a park and play, leaving me to read in peace. Right now, park days are filled with a baby who needs to be fed and a three year old's cries of "look at me, Mom!"

    1. Hey! Thanks! I came back, laptop broke, and then I'm here replying to comments now. I'm not back back, but I think the occasional post could happen.

      Oh gosh, I see the parents in the park with their kids. The parent is trying to talk to another parent or read, and the kid is zagging around and causing a ruckus. I also have a reading area outside of my house, but it's three stories up and in plain view of everyone who eats at this Chinese restaurant I live behind. Plus, the smell of Chinese food can get to you after a while.


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