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finding places to read

by Camha Pham

There seems to be a direct correlation between the act or pretence of ‘adulting’ and the lack of time one has to curl up with a dog-eared paperback. Whether you’re battling with a chronic case of tsundoku (read: you’ve rejected consumerism in all forms except when it comes to books) or struggling to find enough time to finish off the epic modern day masterpiece A Little Life before your next book club meeting, here are some stealthy ways to incorporate some reading time into your day.

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WHILE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT Reading on public transport will whittle away at your 40 minute commute, as well as distract you from the awkward dance of attempting to avoid eye contact with fellow commuters, any surrounding questionable odours and the stark realisation that you still have a full week of work ahead of you. Be aware that you may attract some attention if you have finally gotten around to reading cult feminist classic I Love Dick or occasionally love to indulge in an erotic tale of passion or five.

WHILE YOUR BARISTA MAKES YOUR COFFEE Breathe in the lingering aroma of coffee with book in hand and transport yourself to the ochre-washed piazzas of Italy as you wait for your latest-wave coffee to be made by the un-named barista who you see more regularly than you do your closest friends. Note: this may be a little disorientating if your novel is set in a futuristic dystopian universe.

WHILE ON LUNCH BREAK Who says work lunch breaks should only involve griping about office politics and gossiping about the latest budding work romance with your colleagues? Bring your trusty book to the lunch table and make reading a communal activity. All of the introverts and bookworms will be completely on board.

WHILE WAITING FOR AN APPOINTMENT Sure, you can browse through ’80s back issues of Wallpaper Weekly and Daily Drapes (if these publications don’t exist, they very well should) while in the [insert professional]’s waiting room, or you can BYO book. The same applies when you need to call up your mobile provider to challenge your astronomical overseas roaming charges; you can listen mindlessly to the annoying ad jingle, or you can choose to remove yourself from this relentless torture by diverting your attention to a book instead.

WHILE IN THE CAR While travel time is always a good way to sneak in some reading time, this one does come with a couple of caveats. First, only attempt to read in the car if you are a passenger and not the designated driver (unless you’re listening to an audiobook, of course). Second, rethink the reading if you’re prone to bouts of motion sickness – reading is meant to be enjoyable, not nauseating.

WHILE ON THE DUNNY There are three certainties in life: death, taxes and the fact that the biggest concern that people have while doing their number twos is having good reading material. Going to the toilet is the ultimate ‘me’ time; you may be very surprised by how many chapters you manage to get through.

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