Some books are forever linked to the place where I read them. I didn’t necessarily read the entire book in that same spot but somehow certain moments and places stand out for me.
There’s Life After Life by Kate Atkinson which I read lying in the grass in our garden. It was summer. There were bees buzzing around our patch of lavender and the sun was giving me everything she had.
I read Pearl Harbor in our old car when I was sixteen while we were driving to France. We were going away for a week. I was not too happy about it. This was the moment where I felt too old to make friends (something I had done without a moment’s hesitation during every holiday we ever went on before that). Pearl Harbor was the first adult novel I ever read. I had picked it up on a whim at our local library. I was the only book I had with me. I read it three times that week.
The last Harry Potter book was read on the couch in the house I grew up in. I cried the whole way through. My mother thought she was being funny when she asked me who had died… The sixth book, I read in my bed in that same house. I read it mostly under the covers because I was supposed to be asleep. But how could I stop reading?
I read Lord of the Flies in Cologne. HHhH by Laurent Binet in Amerika (it’s a little town in The Netherlands, I swear I’m not making this up). I read The Boy In The Striped Pyjama’s on the Eurostar home after a weekend sightseeing in London with my sister.
While I was sitting in the hospital’s waiting-room to have my right foot checked after I broke it, I read Slaughter-house 5. I read Burial Rites by Hannah Kent in another hospital after we did a presentation with the consultancy firm I used to work for.
I read a Dutch proof copy of Gone Girl in the little kitchen above the bookshop where I worked a million years ago. It had a different title then, ‘Donker Hart’ which translates to Dark Heart. Then it became ‘Verloren Vrouw’, literally Missing Woman. And when the book proved to be a huge success they finally caved and left it at Gone Girl.
I have read a lot of books over the years. Most of them end up on my shelf as an item, but others are shelved as memories.
What’s the first book-place link that popped into your head?
Let me know!