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my books, my place

Detail of an llustration prepared for The Globe and Mail by Kate BeatonThe Globe and Mail

My favourite place to read is really anywhere so long as I can spread myself out. Couch, rug, bed, whatever feels best. This is because I'm a fidgeter. I flip-flop around a book like it's the only thing I have to hold onto in a storm.

I wish I could tell you that I read in my favourite café with my legs neatly crossed, sitting next to a peppermint tea atop a dainty saucer, all in a beam of morning light. But I can't, because I'm lying on my belly, ignoring the fact that leaning on my arms is making them fall asleep. When they do, no problem. I just plop around onto my back and hold the book above my head, or maybe curl around the book on my side in some unnatural fashion, or sit up and balance it on my knees.

Did you just step on something? Oh, that was me. I was rolled up in a blanket on the floor. Don't worry about it.

When I was a teenager, I even threw sitting awkwardly upside down into the mix, legs thrown up and over the back of an armchair, but had to give that up when I became a Lady because no gentleman worth his salt takes an upside-down person to the altar. Not that I'm fishing for husbands when I'm halfway through the latest George R.R. Martin, but you have to draw a general conduct line somewhere, don't you think?

Kate Beaton is a writer and cartoonist. Her first book is Hark! A Vagrant.

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