Have you ever see the Beatles movie “A Hard Day’s Night”, directed by Richard Lester? Filmed at the height of the Beatle’s first burst of stardom it purports to follow them on a typical day.
At one point early in the movie, they are shown entering their homes, which are adjoining row houses in Liverpool. The joke is that while we see each lad using a key to open four separate doors, in actuality there are no walls between the row houses, and it’s really one large space. Each Beatle’s space has been customized to match who they were (or, at least, the image of that Beatle as it was in 1964).
John’s house is a perfect mid-60s modern setup. There’s a sunken living room pit that has a comfy looking couch running around all 4 edges. Bookshelves are everywhere. He grabs a book, starts reading while walking, and effortlessly falls back onto the couch where he continues to read.
That’s my ideal. I love the idea of having a secured little nook that’s still open to everything else going on. I don’t like being isolated and apart from the world. Reading, alone, where I’m away from other people seems too quiet for me. I want to be able to put down my book and see people.
Back when I was in college the era of coffee houses hadn’t yet started, which was too bad; I think my grades would have been better. The coffee house environment is exactly what I look for when I’m reading. I want a comfy place I can claim as mine, like a nice soft chair large enough to curl up and situated next to a fireplace. That’s good. Even better is if that little private zone is located in a place where other things are happening.
When I read I get totally and completely sucked into the book; I have no trouble concentrating with other things going on around me. Periodically I need to come up for air and break free, and that’s where I want to be somewhere with people. I may not be participating in the socializing going on around me, but I feel better being near it.
So, that’s my perfect space. It’s got great lighting, really comfortable furniture, drinks and food within easy reach, and other people.