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For Instant Happiness, Grab a Book and Head Outside

Photographers from The New York Occasions visited seashores, parks and cafes to seize readers indulging in a timeless pleasure.

Having fun with a e-book alfresco is one in all summer time’s easy, iconic joys, proper up there with working by way of a sprinkler, recognizing the night’s first firefly or scraping a flat picket spoon throughout a freezer-burned cup of Italian ice.

This yr the observe has been difficult by sweltering, record-breaking warmth, leaving many people with the sense of studying inside a toaster oven. It’s laborious to focus on a novel when your again is throwing off as a lot liquid as Niagara Falls.

Nonetheless, there are few voyeuristic pleasures extra satisfying than stepping outdoors and recognizing somebody misplaced in a e-book. You will have the fun of recognizing a kindred spirit, the impromptu eye take a look at of deciphering a title from afar, plus the potential of getting a brand new thriller, biography, memoir or graphic novel so as to add to your individual checklist. It’s like getting menu concepts from a stranger’s procuring cart, minus the sheepishness about your individual unwholesome snacks. Fortunately there’s no judgment in public shows of literacy — simply the informal hand-visor of 1 e-book lover saluting one other.

So what makes studying within the nice open air extra memorable than cracking a e-book within the privateness of your individual house? Actually a sofa cushion is extra snug than a headrest manufactured from sand, and also you don’t must keep watch over the climate or scope out the closest services. Why can we get a sudden rush of peace from flopping down on a scorching park bench, a splintery deck or a dandelion-dotted garden with a paperback in hand? Why can we topic our backs to the unforgiving bark of a tree?

The solutions rely upon a Select Your Personal Journey of tiny choices: Seaside towel or chair? Barefoot or flip-flops? Sun shades or baseball cap? Picnic basket or measly plum? Do you learn with earbuds or belief the birds and the ice cream truck to offer your soundtrack? Most significantly, what e-book did you carry alongside for firm? Will it energize you for a spherical of paddle ball or present a prelude to an extended summer time’s nap?

There are solely a handful of non-negotiables with regards to plein-air studying: sunscreen, hydration, repeat. You don’t need to get up and see stars — these belong between the covers. Additionally, the well mannered reader leaves audio system at house. No one desires to listen to your Jimmy Buffett playlist, even in Key West.

This summer time, The New York Occasions despatched photographers to seashores, parks, courtyards and cafes throughout the nation — from New York Metropolis to Minneapolis to Seattle — to doc our intrepid custom of having fun with phrases and nature on the identical time. Their photos are a reminder of the magnificence and magic of this mix.


Produced by Rebecca Halleck

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