There’s something about snowy weather (like what’s happening right outside my window now) that makes me long nostalgically for an experience I’m not sure I’ve actually ever had*: curled up near a fireplace, sipping hot whiskey, and reading some engrossing and compelling tome or another, possibly some captivating narrative nonfiction. Unfortunately, much as this winter’s slushy delights have given me more than my fair share of this desire, there really are few fireplaces to be had around these parts. Fortunately, books and whiskey abound.
Though I’ve never really thought about it before, for me, the act of reading is one that feels really tied into the weather. Hot weather makes me want to bike to the park to relax in the grass with something fun—my NYC equivalent of hanging out on the beach with a trashy novel is relaxing in Prospect Park with some clever but largely frivolous navel gazer by the “next big thing” on the scene. When it’s pouring rain, I want to be curled up on the couch, in a room that’s not too brightly lit (which my eyes probably aren’t thanking me for!), close enough to hear the rain hitting the window, with something moody and a little dark and maybe historical. For a cool but sunny spring day, I’d like something bright and youthful and a lively but quiet enough outdoor place to read it. Maybe a childhood classic—right around Easter, when it starts to stay brighter for longer and my walk home from the subway is accompanied by children playing out doors, I start to feel an intense longing for childhood.
Anyone else? Like me, do you like to match your reading material to what’s going on outdoors, or do you dig for stories set in sultry, exotic climes to warm yourself up when it starts to get brisk? Maybe see what Zhivago or Shackleton are up to when the heat gets a little too oppressive in August?
*Surely there’s a German word for that?