Summer is just around the corner. In a couple of weeks the kids will be out of school, the days will stretch out long and lazy and I'll be shamelessly wallowing in picnics, beach days and cookouts -- which I need after this past seemingly endless winter.
For all those reasons summer is my favorite time of year, but especially because it's my season to read. No school = more spare time for me = extra hours to read. I can go to the bookstore or the library and not rush to make my selections. I can curl up with a novel and stay curled up. I never have a summer TBR; I constantly demolish it. I'm also in more of a mood to try new-to-me authors and genres I don't read that often.
When and where we read often has a direct effect on how much we enjoy reading. Certainly I'd rather be on a beach watching the waves roll in than sitting in a doctor's waiting room or being twisted into a pretzel by my physical therapist. Most of my time is spent at home, however, so I have reading nooks all around the house. My bathtub (I love to read when I'm soaking), the comfy but not-too-comfy sofa in my office, and a folding chair in the garage are popular reading spots.
My latest and favorite reading retreat is this corner of my back porch. Every morning and afternoon the pup and I are out here hanging out, watching the birds, enjoying the breeze and soaking up the peace and quiet. Since my guy screened in the porch we can be out here whenever we like and not have to worry about bugs and critters interrupting. All I need is to come out here with a cup of tea and my latest read (today it's Chimera by Rob Thurman) and I instantly relax. It's such a great retreat that I often do my editing out here, too.
I'd love to send you all a personal reading retreat, but the shipping would be outrageous (never mind trying to find a box big enough to fit it in.) However, I can send you something to kick off the summer reading season and enjoy: a fully-stocked retreat bag. If you'd like a chance to win this, in comments to this post tell us about your favorite spot to read (or if you're not that picky, just toss your name in the hat by midnight EST on Tuesday, June 1, 2010. I'll draw one name at random from everyone who participates and send the winner my dream retreat bag stocked with:
--Unsigned hardcover copies of A Secret Affair by Mary Balogh, The Endless Forest by Sara Donati and Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris
--Unsigned trade paperback copies of The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark and Broken by Shiloh Walker
--Unsigned paperback copies of Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs, The Hellhound King by Lori Devoti, Desire Unchained by Larissa Ione, The Fire King by Marjorie M. Liu, Scarlet by Jordan Summers, Chimera and Trick of the Light by Rob Thurman and Hard to Hold by Stephanie Tyler
--Signed paperback copies of Shadowlight and Dreamveil by yours truly
--Melissa Etheridge's new album on CD Fearless Love
--A cool blank journal to write in
--The Nature poet magnetic poetry kit to play with
As always, this giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something here at PBW in the past.