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Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: I Can Read Them Here and There; I Can Read Books Anywhere!

Morning, book friends!  I'm up far earlier than I need to be.  I really, really should be doing laps at the gym right now, but alas, I'm still exhausted after yesterday's adventures, which included:
  • Chauffering my son to school because his truck crapped out after he drove it down a road-turned-river during a crazy monsoon storm the other day.  It's now on a lift at the high school auto shop, where he and his friends have been having a blast trying to figure out how to fix it.  Great for them, but irritating for me since I'm now my son's Uber driver!
  • Picking up my daughter from junior high because she has a cold.  Since she's displaying symptoms that could be COVID related (stuffy nose, sore throat, and a cough), she can't go back to school until she has a negative COVID test.  So, we sat in a line at a drive-thru testing place for 45 minutes last night only to find out their computers were down and she couldn't get the test.  Ugh.  Updated to add:  She tested negative for COVID.  I'm not surprised, but I am relieved, especially since my son is now sick and I've felt a few tickles in my own throat!
  • Dropping my phone in a bowl of chocolate pudding (you can laugh, it's okay).  The charging port is wet apparently, so now my cell won't charge.  Pray that it will start working so I don't have to hit up the T-Mobile store this morning after my daughter's new COVID testing appointment.  Updated to add:  The pudding was no match for my phone.  After not charging at all overnight, it has now dried out completely and is charging like a dream.  Yay!
  • Not being able to sleep because of last night's monsoon storm.  It was cool and our desert definitely needs all the moisture it's been getting, but the thunder and rain were super LOUD.  
First world problems, I know, and nothing at all compared to the horrors happening around the world.  I have little to complain about and, really, I'm only telling you all this to explain why today's is going to be a lazy, lazy TTT post.  The topic du jour is: Top Ten Places I Love to Read.  I did this one back in 2013 and it's still pretty accurate, so I'm just going to re-post it with a few updates.  

If you want to jaw about your favorite locations for reading, click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl and join in the fun.

  Top Ten Places I Love to Read

(post originally published on April 16, 2013)

It's that time of the week again and I'm excited about today's Top Ten Tuesday topic.  Our wonderful hostesses over at The Broke and the Bookish actually did not assign a subject for today's list—instead, we were supposed to choose a prompt that we either missed out on or wanted to revisit.  I scanned past TTT topics and decided it would be fun to talk about my Top Ten Favorite Places to Read.  It was actually tough to come up with that many, but I enjoyed the process (which might mean I'm a little hard up for entertainment ...).

1.  The beach—I'm not a big water person, so I spend most of my beach time on the shore.  Which suits me just fine.  There's nothing better than curling up in a beach chair and losing yourself in a good book.  The sounds of waves crashing, seagulls bleating, and children squealing with delight provides the perfect background music to any story line!  I've enjoyed oceanside reading on the beach in Jamaica, Hawaii, California, Oregon, The Philippines, Washington State and Mexico.  Had we stayed longer on Tybee Island, I probably would have done some reading there, too!

2021 Update:  It's been a few years since I've been to a beach.  I'm thinking the last time was when my husband and I were in Concepcion, Chile.  I didn't do any reading there, but I did slip on the wet shore, bruise my behind, and scrape up my arms.  That's what happens when I explore in real life instead of in the safety of a book!

2.  The lake—Again, there's just nothing quite as peaceful as relaxing with a book in a beautiful setting.  We like to go houseboating at Lake Powell, a giant man-made reservoir that straddles the Utah/Arizona border.  My favorite thing to do there (besides zoom around on a jet ski) is lay around and read.  It's incredibly relaxing to stretch out on a deck chair with a good book and just enjoy the amazing scenery as well as the happy, laidback atmosphere.

2021 Update:  I haven't been to Lake Powell in years.  We sold our slots on our houseboat time share since we hadn't been using it enough to make it worth the money.  It was fun while it lasted!

3.  My couch—Although it's much less exciting, the place where I do most of my reading is on the brown sectional in my family room.  It's not the most attractive piece of furniture, but we bought it because all of its seats recline.  Plus, there's a convenient cup holder between the "Mommy and Daddy" seats, so I can keep a cup of ice water handy while I put my feet up and read.  It's not the beach, but it works.

2021 Update:  We upgraded a year or so ago to a nice leather sectional.  It does not have a cup holder, though, and I miss that.

4.  My bed—Way back when my husband and I were in our early 30s (okay, it was only a few years ago, but it feels like forever), we invested in a California King-sized adjustable bed.  We felt like senior citizens when we made the purchase, but oh my gosh, that was some of the best money we've ever spent!  The bed itself is super comfy (I can't sleep well anywhere else), plus you can adjust both ends of the mattress to achieve the perfect position for bedtime reading.  It's heaven.  Seriously.

2021 Update:  Still an awesome bed and one of my favorite places to read.

5.  My bathtub—Here in the Phoenix area, it's blazing hot for most of the year, so I don't spend a lot of time soaking in the tub.  When I do, though, I always bring a book.  Nothing says relaxation quite like filling my tub with hot water and scented bubbles, switching on the fireplace that sits next to the tub and just luxuriating in the cozy warmth of it all.

2021 Update:  I still don't use my tub often enough.

6.  By the pool—Since desert summers are so intense (and last for a good 9 months), we spend a lot of time in our backyard pool.  When I'm not swimming, I like to sit on the deck in whatever sliver of shade I can find and read while I keep an eye on the kids.

2021 Update:  My youngest is almost 13 now, so I don't have to keep an eye on swimming kiddos these days.  Coincidentally (or not?), I rarely read by the pool anymore.  It's just too darn hot to sit on the deck.  At the moment, it's a little too warm for swimming as well since the pool water feels like bathwater!

7.  Airplanes/airports—Okay, these aren't my favorite places to read, but I've gotten a lot of reading done both while riding on airplanes or and waiting for them to arrive.  Because that much uninterrupted reading time can be difficult to find at home, I've been known to tell people, "You can drop me at the airport a couple hours early.  I don't mind."  Or, "Don't rush to pick me up.  I'll just sit and read."  Plus, if my book starts to drag a bit, the airport's a fabulous place for people watching.

2021 Update:  Other than a recent trip to Oregon, I haven't flown much at all in the last few years.  If Europe stays open, I'm going to make up for it by flying to England in September.

8.  Waiting rooms—Again, if you gave me a choice of places to read, I'd never willingly choose a waiting room, BUT, I do a lot of reading in such places.  It makes long waits at the doctor's office much more bearable.  In fact, when I wrote an online review for my dentist recently, my one complaint was that they get me back too soon for me to get any reading done!

2021 Update:  I'm basically a senior citizen in a 45-year-old body, so I still spend a lot of time in waiting rooms.

9.  My front porch—When the weather's nice here, my front porch is actually a perfect reading spot.  It's shady, quiet and really quite lovely.  I'm not sure why I don't spend more time there—I think I sort of forget it exists.  Crazy.

2021 Update:  My husband and I actually spent a fair amount of time reading on the porch during the cooler months of quarantine.  It was a nice, relaxing way to spend time together and the porch was a nice place to do some social-distanced visiting with friends and family.  Unfortunately, that big tree you see in the photo is no longer with us.  We lost it in a monsoon storm a number of years ago.

10.  The balcony—Ditto with the balcony.  Our house actually has two connected balconies, both of which offer fair views of the city and valley in which we live.  They're particularly nice spots from which to enjoy our beautiful desert sunsets.  Again, I think the weather is so fiery here most of the time that I forget to sit outside and enjoy the nice weather when it does come around.  Silly me.

2021 Update:  I really do need to spend more time reading on the balcony.

So, there you have them, my favorite places to read.  Also, the places that aren't really favorites, just places where I spend lots of time reading.  And, a couple of spots where I should hole up with a book more often.  How about you?  Where are your favorite places to read?  I'd truly love to know.  Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!


  1. It was fun to read your updates to your original answers!

    May your daughter feel better soon. My brother had similar symptoms and was recently tested for Covid, too. It was negative, so we’re guessing it was some other virus going around.

    My post:

    1. We haven't gotten her test results back yet, but I'm assuming it's just a cold. Not too surprising since school started back up a week and a half ago. Lots of germ mixing going on!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lydia!

  2. Oh, what a disappointing week for you. Let's hope next week is better.

    And I have been known to read in the tub...

    1. It has been quite the week already! My husband is out of town for the week, so that makes things even more stressful.

      I do enjoy reading the tub. I just have to be careful not to drop my book!

      Thanks for popping in, Deb!

  3. Oh, I am jealous of your tub! (Mine is the dinky shower-combo variety.) TBH, I'm also jealous of your chocolate pudding... ;-)

    My TTT:

    1. It is a nice tub! I should use it more often.

      You don't have to be jealous of the pudding - it was just a sugar free fat free chocolate pudding cup mixed with some Cool Whip. I'm trying to lose weight, so that's my sweet treat :) It does the job, but I'd definitely rather have ice cream!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Nicole!

  4. What a week you've had! I hope it gets better from here! I definitely hope your daughter's test comes back negative and your phone recovers.

    I can't believe you've read on the beach in Oregon. We spent 6 months in Portland from April - October last year and every time we ventured to the coast, we froze to death, even in pants and hoodies! Maybe we just had bad timing.

    I like reading in the tub but I rarely make the time to do it. Our tub has jets but it's just a normal size so parts of me are always cold.

    That's a lovely sunset view from your balcony! I would be there every evening.

    1. We haven't gotten my daughter's test results back yet, but I'll be SHOCKED if she has COVID. She's feeling better already and would be at school today if she could (she can't until she gets a negative test result). My phone also recovered. Yay! I was worried when it didn't charge at all despite being connected to the charger overnight. Apparently, it has now fully dried out because it's charging like a dream. Thank goodness.

      Ha ha. I grew up in Washington, so I've been to the Oregon beaches many times, in both sunny and very cold weather. Sometimes, it's positively freezing there!

      Oooh, bathtub jets! I need some of those.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Jen!

  5. Your bath is the dream! Love the new blog look too
    (My TTT:

    1. Thanks, Catherine! I'm enjoying the blog redo a lot.

      My tub really is great. I need to spend more time there.

      Thanks for stopping in, Catherine!

  6. These are great places, and I love the pictures! Although I don't think I'd spend much time outside if I lived where the summer lasted NINE MONTHS OF THE YEAR!

    1. Right? It's INCREDIBLY hot here, almost year round. The winters are lovely, but the rest of the year? Ick. I hibernate during the summer.

      Thanks for coming by, Leah!

  7. Great list. I live up in Flagstaff, so I understand those monsoons, it's pouring rain here right now as I type this, and it's loud with lots of lightning. I sure hope your daughters COVID test is negative.

    1. The monsoon storms can be crazy intense! It's weird how we had hardly any last summer or the one before and now we're having them almost every night. I love the sound of rain gently falling, but all the thunder and lightning makes for quite the bright, loud show!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Wendy!

  8. I had no idea there was a houseboat timeshare program at Lake Powell! You learn something new every day. My husband and our friends used to talk about renting one there when our kids were older. Now they are and we aren't talking about it anymore. I guess that happens. We have done houseboats a couple times on Lake Roosevelt here in WA, so maybe we just don't need to travel longer to do it.

    I hope your daughter just has a cold. That has to be stressful.

    1. I think most of the houseboats on Lake Powell are timeshares since it's super expensive to own one on your own. Plus, we only went there a couple times a year - it made more sense to share a boat. Until it didn't make sense to have one at all. Lake Powell is a fun place to play, though! I recommend it.

      I do believe my daughter just has a cold. With cold medicine and lots of fluids and rest, she's feeling much better.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Deanna!

  9. Love your post! I wouldn't survive airplanes or airports if I didn't have something to read. And I always bring a book to the beach, but I usually just gaze at the waves instead. Happy TTT! :D

    1. Right? I know some people just bring their phones for entertainment, but I have to have at least one book, if not my Kindle. I hate reading on my phone since the screen's so small. And, yes, I've been known to be distracted by the pretty, calming waves!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lark!

  10. Oh this was a fun post! I love the updates. Hopefully your daughter's Covid test went okay and your phone is charging. The only thing I miss in the switch from public school to homeschool is carline! I used to get there early and use that time to read in the car. I mostly read in bed or in the bath (I can't sleep unless I've had a good soak). I love the idea of reading outside but between the heat and the bugs it very rarely happens!

    1. The updates made me realize how little in my life (at least my reading life) changes over the years!

      My kids ride the bus or drive themselves to school, so I'm never in car lines, thank goodness. At least having a good book along makes the waiting productive.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Katherine!

  11. Great list Susan. I almost added waiting rooms to my list, but since I haven't had any appointments in the last 18 months (all by phone or video call), I chose others instead.

    1. Is it weird that I haven't ever had a phone or virtual appointment with a doctor? I see an endo every three months, but it's been in-person all through COVID. And, of course, it's tough to have a virtual dental cleaning!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Carla!

  12. I'm really boring, my brown leather recliner is basically where I do nearly all my reading, apart from bed or waiting rooms. Loved this post, Susan!

    1. I'd say a good 75% of my reading happens on my brown leather reclining couch! It's nice and comfy. The rest is via audiobooks in the car or while cleaning, in my bed, at doctors' offices, or in the leather recliner in my bedroom.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cath!

  13. Interesting list. If I had that pool I would be in it all summer, then laying out beside it reading!

    1. We're in the pool most days from about May - July. By August, the water feels like bathwater. We've talked about getting a cooler to make the water nicer for August and September, but we haven't done it yet.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cindy!

  14. Great idea to update a previous post! Your pool looks like it has a dark bottom so that must be warm during your hot months! I can read most anywhere and anytime, too! I share many of your preferences down to a brown sectional! Happy reading!

    1. I think the picture makes the bottom look darker than it really is. The bigger problem is that it just doesn't get much shade. We've cut back a lot of the trees because the droppings make a mess in the pool, so now the pool's in full sun most of the time. I prefer to swim in the evenings when the sun is going down and the water is cool but not freezing.

      We're book twins in a lot of ways, so I'm not at all surprised that we share a lot of preferences!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Carol!

  15. This is a great list. It's been so long since I've read on the beach and I would LOVE to do that right now! I think we are going away for the weekend to a huge lake that has a "beach" and I can't wait!

    1. Fun! I'm not actually sure when I was at a beach last. It was either in Chile or maybe California, since we go there occasionally. In any case, it's been too long!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Leslie!

  16. I hope your daughter is feeling better soon. Hope your son has fun working on his truck. And I hope your phone is working, how was the pudding?

    A great list!

    When you get the chance, I hope you stop by my post:

    1. My daughter is feeling better! Unfortunately, my son is now sick, so he hasn't gotten to work on the truck for a couple days. His friends have kept on, though. I think they're all going to be sad when they get it running and their project is finished!

      Fortunately, my phone is charging again. Yay! And my pudding was just a fat free sugar free chocolate pudding cup mixed with Cool Whip, but it's a good little treat that calms my sweet tooth so I don't reach for something even less healthy, LOL.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Pam!

  17. Wow you do have a lot going on! Hopefully your daughter is Covid- free...

    I love reading by the water. The beach especially, but poolside is also nice. :)

    1. I hope so, too. We're all vaccinated and none of us have had COVID yet, so I don't want to start now...

      If it weren't so dang hot here, I might read more poolside. Maybe not though since I also burn really badly. I just wasn't made for this blazing desert!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Greg!

  18. I was thinking about you reading your book while waiting for my flight to come in!
    I do a lot of reading in car rider lines/waiting for kids to leave an activity. I do have to make sure I move up in time so I don’t get honked at!

    1. Yep! I really never mind waiting. Unless I don't happen to have a book on me, but that rarely happens.

      You need your boys to start driving so they can chauffer their siblings. I'm very, very rarely in car lines or waiting to pick kids up. I make the older ones Uber the younger ones around 'cause I'm just mean like that.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Pee Wee!

  19. Ooh, if that's your balcony view, no wonder you enjoy reading there! Bed is still the best for reading, but I do love a wonderful view too!

    1. One thing Arizona does REALLY well is sunsets. We've seen some very dramatic and beautiful ones from our balconies!

      Thanks for popping in, Lisa!

  20. All great places to read, Susan. Well, everywhere are great places to read, right.

    Sorry you had such a rubbish day. I know it's first world problems and I often find myself complaining about them but this is our life and we want it to go smoothly. We just have to remind ourselves all the time how lucky we are. I know I am.

    Thanks for visiting my TTT earlier.

    1. Very true, very true. I live an extremely blessed life and I need to be more grateful for it. Sometimes I guess I just need to be reminded of how calm and peaceful it USUALLY is. Case in point: After my daughter's COVID test and after I picked up my son from school because HE was feeling sick, we all went home and took a big nap. The house was quiet and peaceful and we all felt better afterward!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Marianne!

    2. I'm sorry you had to go through all this. On days like that it's easy to forget how much harder it is for so many. Because at the moment, you have to deal with it. Been there, done that.
      It's always a pleasure to talk to you. Hope you and your kids are alright.

  21. Oh my! What a horrible, no good, very bad day! I love the concept of your post, mixing the old with the new. I bet it's nice to revisit what is still the same and what has changed over the years. You have some lovely reading places!

    1. It was a nice reminder of all the lovely places I have in and around my home to read. My husband and I are both readers, so we've created some cozy spots to enjoy our books in :)

      Thanks for stopping in, Amy!

  22. Sounds like you had the kind of day that can put the "heck" into an entire hectic week. i hope everything is under control soon for you. As for reading habits, I do my reading mostly in the desk chair in my study with my feet propped up on the credenza...until my feet go to sleep, that is. I also tend to have an audiobook going in the car when I am driving alone, and I usually fall asleep reading an e-book in bed about one or two in the morning. And I have enough reading downloaded on my phone to not get too frustrated anymore in long lines or slow-moving waiting rooms. We adapt, don't we?

    1. My kids are back at school today, both feeling much better. It's peaceful and quiet here now. My husband has been out of town all week, so that's added to the stress. Things are better now, thank goodness!

      I also always have the Kindle app on my phone as a back-up, although I don't like reading on such a small screen. I'd rather do that than just in a waiting room wasting time, though!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

  23. Those are all great places to read. It was fun comparing the updates to your past answers.

    (That chocolate pudding must have been so delicious that your phone just had to take a dive into the bowl! 😆)

    Here's my TTT list.

    1. Ha ha. For being sugar free and fat free, the pudding is actually pretty good. I shouldn't have been texting over my bowl, though! Learned my lesson on that one, LOL.

      Thanks for popping in, Lectrice!

  24. All wonderful reading locations! Personally I like my bed, couch, by the fire, and in my garden. But, honestly, I am like you and always take a book with me to read in waiting rooms, in the car while waiting, etc.

    1. The vast majority of my reading is done on my couch and in my bed, but I do spend a lot of time in doctors' waiting rooms thanks to various health issues. It's a great way to keep me calm and patient while waiting for appointments!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Helen!


  25. I hope you’ll get to visit Lake Powell or some similar lake again soon.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thanks for stopping by earlier!

    1. Thanks! We drive by Lake Powell fairly often on our way to Utah, but it's been a long time since I've actually been on the water. Maybe someday we'll do it again. We have a lake just up the road where we take our jet skiis, but it's nowhere near the size of Lake Powell. Still fun, just not the same.

      Thanks for stopping in, Astilbe!

  26. Loved reading your updates to your favorite places to read. I haven't done it in a while but I used to enjoy reading in the bath. Even got myself a waterproof Kindle Oasis just for that purpose and still rarely do it, lol.

    1. Smart! I'm clumsy and have dropped more than one book into my bathwater. A waterproof Kindle makes sense.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Suzanne!

  27. That's a fun topic and great list you've there, Susan! And I love your bathtub!

    1. It is a nice bathtub! It's fun to turn the fireplace on and luxuriate in the warm bath on cold nights, which we do get in the wintertime, believe it or not.

      Thanks for popping in, Melody!

  28. Oh wow, I've been away so long I didn't even realize you had a whole new layout -- no, a whole new site! I love the polka dots and the header is so stinkin' cute I can't even believe it.

    Anyway, I didn't quite finish this topic in time (maybe I'll retroactively publicize it in the future, IDK), but this was SO fun to read. I've been meaning to read at the beach all summer, now that I am a mere 1.5 miles away from a nice on that has shade and isn't too crowded, but somehow I'm always too busy or too tired to put together the stuff I'd need to spend a few hours there.

    Also your house sounds like a paradise; any ONE of those features would make my day! Honestly, how did you get any of your kids to leave?


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