You all read in some very interesting places outside the home. I think I'm going to try out some of your ideas (I really want to go camping like Ris and read by the fire while I roast marshmallows. That could be the nearest thing to total bliss.)
Anyway, we got out the magic hat, and the winner for yesterday's RW quickie giveaway is BJ Steeves. BJ, when you get a chance, e-mail your ship-to info to LynnViehl@aol.com and I'll get these books out to you.
The comments left yesterday also underlined how individual the reading experience is for the dedicated reader. I found them fascinating. Comfort seems to be a common denominator, as does a certain amount of privacy or anonymity. Some of you like to be outdoors in a park or a pretty spot, while others are fine reading in busier locations.
Knowing where people like to read could help publishing create more effective avenues of marketing. It's common knowledge that many people read while traveling on planes, cruise ships, buses, subways, trains and other forms of mass transit. People on vacation also takes books to read by the pool, on the beach, or while hanging out at the hotel. Then there are the lengthy medical procedures, hospital stays and other health-related incarcerations. What else can you do in a waiting room or hospital bed but read or watch infomercials on whatever three channels the room television picks up?
A book does goes well with any activity that requires you to stay in one place and do nothing for at least an hour, or when you're relaxing but separated from the usual relaxation aids (TV, movies, video games, alcohol, sex, and food.) Pass-the-time reading, when there's little opportunity to do anything else; read or be bored. It seems disheartening -- we want people to read more for pleasure -- but we can still use the knowledge.
If you can't get people into the bookstores, get the books to the people when they're most likely to want to read. I recently mentioned how much I'd like to see a fiction book rack in hotel lobbies. How about putting some gratis books in the back pockets of every seat on an airplane? Provides a nice alternative to reading outdated travel magazines or the laminated belt-buckle-flotation-device-oxygen-mask instructional picture card.
When it comes to where we choose to read outside the home, we seek out places that appeal to us for some reason on personal level (as your comments yesterday illustrated.) Books are just sold as books, though; we rarely pair them with anything else, and I think by doing so that we're missing some marketing opportunities. If I'm going to lounge on the sand, I'd love a tote bag stocked with some sunblock, a big towel, and a hot romance. I go to tea shops all the time, and would snap up a tea-lovers book package in a heartbeat. Mary Balogh, some Irish breakfast tea and a package of scones, how could you go wrong? Maybe by integrating books with products we use during a relaxing activity, we might convince the people who aren't reading out there to associate books with something other than the English class assignment or the colonoscopy.
What do you guys think?