You can read any genre, be if fiction, timeless philosophy, or your little cousin’s bed time story, and walk away satisfied. But, there’s a difference between enjoying a book and savoring it. The fine line between a lazy afternoon, sprawled out with your favorite book, and a sensory literary experience, are the things you add to it. Books are stimulating on their own and we readers often find ourselves seeping between the pages with the characters. But still: have you ever added hot cocoa? Next time you’re in the thick of it with your favorite author, try one of these additions to take your dedication to the next level.
Comfort is key
Nothing enhances a book like putting on some sweatpants and getting cozy. Slippers and blankets all make for a better experience. The deeper you sink into your fortress of blankets, the further you’ll delve into the world of your book. Think of your slippers as your teleportation device, and your sweatpants the travel suit.
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Set the mood. Whether you haven’t left your bed yet, are flung over the seat of an armchair in the afternoon, or soaking in the tub at night, make sure to prime your space for reading relaxation. Crack open a window and let some light in if it’s day time. Listen for the birds chirping and try to ignore the traffic hum and shouting neighbors. If you’re reading at night, candles can call for an entirely new level of relaxation. A bath does a reader wonders, and bubbles and suds are a literary game changer.
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Hot Cocoa (and other alternatives)
There’s nothing better to follow up your coziest garb than your tastiest hot beverage. Hot cocoa and coffee are great additions to any book. For the Hemingway readers, you may want to add a pinch of whiskey. Reading Alice in Wonderland? Tea it is.
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Snacks, snacks, snacks
Why work just your brain when you could be working your mouth too? Snacks enhance the sensory experience of reading. It’s like you can taste the words – and when the words taste like chocolate no one will be complaining. Be sure to choose a snack that doesn’t take too much attention. You want to be able to keep your eyes glued to the page while shoveling down the goodies. M&Ms, popcorn (M&M’s in popcorn?), and small but bountiful snacks of the sort are great. It’s also fun to keep in mind the text between your hands – and eat accordingly. Although not always an applicable task, the buzzing swank of The Great Gatsby will naturally call for fancy finger food, On the Road a slice of apple pie a la mode, and Grapes of Wrath, well, grapes. If you want to keep it healthy you could also try Clockwork Orange with a side of citrus fruits. Do your best to not smudge the pages.
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Don’t forget logistics
Are you a chronic book abuser? Have your books been sopped in bath water, covered in coffee rings, and dog-eared all over? Stop that right now. Although a used book is a loved book, a torn and tattered one is just unreadable. Love your books. Keep a pen, pad, and post-its galore right by your side. When the mood strikes to mark, use these instead. If you’re reading in the bath, try your best not to soak your protagonist.
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