A bookish picnic can take many forms. You can base your whole picnic on your favorite book; an Alice in Wonderland–themed picnic/tea party, are you kidding me? Or perhaps a 19th-century Britain picnic of your dreams like the one in Jane Austen’s Emma. There is no stopping the creative juices of a book-loving picnic-bound individual.
With all of these inspirational picnics in mind, let me walk you through the basics every bookish picnic will need!
1. A Flower Field Landscape
No fairytale picnic can take place without the most picturesque location. You want to feel like you are perched right on the field that Mr. Darcy walks through in the early hours of the morning to take Lizzy into his arms (Pride and Prejudice). You want to feel like you are lying there with Edward in the special field he takes Bella to (Twilight). It must be adorned with the afternoon sun as it fades into a pink sky. There is no dreamier spot; you will be as excited for this picnic as the March sisters in Little Women were for theirs.
2. A Picnic Basket
Let’s go back to Little Women for a moment. They are clearly ready to enjoy their day, picnic baskets in hand. Those this was Massachusetts in the 1860s, I still believe that picnic baskets are still necessary to complete the picnic atmosphere. It just isn’t a picnic without the wicker basket and gingham blanket!
3. A Tea Set
No picnic is complete without some kind of delicious beverage. Some may opt for wine, but this bookish picnic calls for a steaming pot of tea. Whenever I thrift for a picnic, I am lucky enough to find tea sets that come contained in their own little wicker basket. It couldn’t be more perfect! I am sure that would make it much easier for the Mad Hatter to conduct his tea parties wherever he wished. And hey, why not toss in a deck of cards to play with friends as well?
4. A Sweet Treat
You will certainly want to nosh on something as you enjoy your company and the beauty of nature. It can be as simple as a piece of chocolate like Winston and Julia share in 1984 or perhaps Harriet the Spy‘s simple tomato sandwich. I feel like the food on a picnic can vary from Harry buying the whole lot of candy off the trolly or the ginormous sandwich Mrs. Wheasley packs for Ron (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone). The extravagance is up to your discretion. When my friend Emily and I have picnics, most of our food consists of varieties of cheese and wine.
5. A Book of Poetry
I’m not even sorry to admit a picnic does not feel complete to me without some kind of poetry. Poetry just screams picnic atmosphere. I have recently been reading Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson out loud to myself on sunny days. The look of the book and her poetry makes me feel grounded in the earth.
One of my most comfortable states is reading a book laid out on the grass. I have always made this possible for myself whether it was on my tiny lawn in Queens, New York or I hiked my way to a park where I laid out for hours, eating sporadically and reading intensely.
For more book recommendations to enjoy on your picnic, click here to read more from us here at Bookstr!