The best place to read – public transport… or under a desk?

I’ve loved reading for as long as I can remember – anywhere, anytime.

But there was one particular place that I especially loved reading in as a child and that was… dun dun dun...

Under the desk in my room.

The space was small, cramped and required me to crouch with bad posture but …I loved it.

Yes, I was a weird kid.

I wish I could say I was five or under when I did this – maybe then it would seem less strange but I probably read under the desk between the ages of seven and nine… definitely not older than that (I hope…).

I wasn’t hiding from anyone when I crouched under there. It wasn’t an attempt to get out of going to sleep (I had my torch hidden under the bed for that) but instead, I think I just loved how closed off it felt to hide there.

I could enter the world of whatever book I was reading and completely forget that anything else existed. I loved it down there. The desk is still in my room – I no longer fit under it of course (no, I haven’t tried it…yes, okay, I admit I have considered trying it) but I wish I did.

My ‘reading place’ now is public transport. Bus journeys. Train journeys. They both fly by with a good book but although I do still get lost in the words (so much so that I’ve once missed my bus stop…) it doesn’t feel the same reading in public as it does in a comfy secluded place.

Take yesterday, for instance; train had stopped (signalling failure of some sort), my book was out, it was funny – I was ready to laugh out loud but after the first short giggle, I realised that I was in fact on a crowded train. So what was supposed to be a loud, stomach clutching laugh, turned into suppressed smile.

And after that, although I did get back into my book – I was also acutely aware of the people around me.

Maybe if I wasn’t chronically shy with bouts of social anxiety – this wouldn’t be such a big deal but as it was, it took a bit of the fun out of reading.

That’s not to say I don’t like reading on public transport or that I will stop – no way! Public transport is my savior: without it, I doubt I would have the time to read fiction at all. So I appreciate it, yes.

But I miss my little crouched space too.

And I’m sure I can’t be the only person who misses place like this… right?



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