Have you heard, the “Stop reading when lying on the bed?” phrase?
But was it worse than reading when you sit?
Or have you seen in any movie a teenager who read a book on the seashore and it looked inspiring to try it yourself?
Yes, and you tried, but it was very uncomfortable. Whether you’re a passionate book lover or someone who reads one book yearly, this exploration will remind you of the enchantment found within the pages and the various positions we adopt while immersing ourselves in the written word.
So, let’s consider options and find the best reading position for your leisure to enjoy a good book!
Reading in our life
Reading holds a special place in our hearts in a world filled with screens and digital distractions. It transports us to magical realms, expands our horizons, and nurtures our imagination.
Reading allows us to escape the confines of reality and explore limitless possibilities. Books and magazines introduce us to diverse experiences, cultures, and ideas, broadening our understanding of the world.
Reading vs. Movies
Unlike passive screen entertainment, reading engages our minds, fueling our imagination and creativity.
Beyond the surface-level differences, there are distinct variations in how our brains process information during these activities.
When we read, our brains create vivid mental images based on the descriptions provided by the author. These mental representations require active engagement and imagination.
Benefits of reading
Besides, reading allows readers to construct mental representations of characters, settings, and events.
The absence of visual cues prompts readers to fill in the gaps with their imagination and interpretations. On the contrary, watching movies stimulates multiple senses simultaneously.
Visual information, accompanied by dialogue, sound effects, and music, creates a rich sensory experience. A well-told story’s simple pleasure and emotional fulfillment can inspire reluctant readers to give books another chance.
So what’s with the best reading position?
Reading requires sustained attention. Finding the perfect spot to read is of paramount importance.
A serene environment enhances focus, enabling a deeper connection with the written word.
From sitting in a favorite armchair to curling up on a window seat, readers adopt various positions to find comfort and immerse themselves fully in the reading experience.
Then, the time to find the good volumes comes up!
Traditional Sitting Positions
When it comes to popular sitting positions for reading, sitting on a chair or couch are two common choices that offer comfort and stability.
Moreover, these positions are advisable at schools, colleges, and learning processes.
Let’s delve into the details of these positions:
Sitting on a chair
Sitting on a chair provides a stable and supportive posture for reading. Here are some aspects to consider:
- Comfort: A well-designed chair with proper cushioning and back support can enhance comfort during extended reading sessions.
- Ergonomics: Sitting upright in a chair promotes good posture, aligning the spine and reducing strain on the back, neck, and shoulders.
- Adjustability: Some chairs offer adjustable features, such as height, armrests, and lumbar support, allowing you to customize the seating position to your preferences and body type.
Also, if you have an outdoor reading chair, you can enjoy reading under the warm sun and meditate while reading outside.
Sitting on a couch
Couches offer a relaxed and cozy seating option for reading. Here are some key points to note:
- Softness and comfort: Couches with plush cushions and upholstery provide a comfortable surface for lounging and reading.
- Flexibility: Couches often allow for various seating positions, such as sitting cross-legged or with legs stretched out, offering flexibility and finding a position that suits your comfort.
- Support: While couches may not provide as much back support as chairs, adding additional pillows or cushions can help improve posture and provide lumbar support.
It’s important to maintain proper posture in both sitting positions. Avoid slouching or hunching over, as this can strain your back and neck. Take periodic breaks to stretch and change positions to prevent stiffness and promote circulation.
Check out this video with handy tips and video demonstrations on how to fix hunching back and choose the best posture for reading.
- Comfort: Offers stability and support for long reading sessions
- Ergonomics: Proper posture reduces neck, back, and eyes strain
- Lack of flexibility: Limited range of motion and potential for muscle stiffness
- Fatigue: Tendency to get tired or restless in fixed positions.
Ultimately, the choice between sitting on a chair or couch comes from personal preference and comfort.
Experimenting with different seating options can help you find the position that allows you to immerse yourself in your reading while maintaining a comfortable and supportive posture.
Best Reading Positions in Bed — Let’s Lie Down
Can one find more relaxing positions for reading than lying on a bed?
While not traditionally associated with optimal posture for reading, lying down positions can be enjoyable in certain contexts.
Here are some pros about lying down positions:
Reading in bed:
- Comfort and coziness: Lying in bed with pillows behind your back creates a comfortable and cozy reading nook.
- Relaxation: Your bed’s familiar and soothing environment can help you unwind and fully immerse yourself in the story.
- Flexibility: You can adjust your position by propping up your upper body or changing the angle of your legs to find the most comfortable reading posture.
Reading on a couch or sofa:
- Lounging and support: Stretching out on a couch or sofa allows you to find a position that supports your back while providing a comfortable surface
- Versatility: Couches offer the option to lie on your side, back, or stomach, depending on your preference.
- Armrests as support: If the couch has armrests, you can prop up pillows or rest your head, enhancing reading comfort.
While lying down positions can be enjoyable, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider:
- Neck and back strain: Lying in one position for an extended period can lead to discomfort or anxiety in the neck and back. It’s essential to be mindful of your posture when looking for the best position for neck and take breaks to stretch and readjust
- Drowsiness and focus: The relaxed position of lying down can sometimes lead to drowsiness or lowering attention, potentially affecting reading comprehension.
How to handle the cons?
To mitigate these drawbacks, one can incorporate occasional breaks, adjust your position periodically, and ensure proper support for your neck and back.
Additionally, finding a balance between lying down positions and more upright postures can help maintain a healthy reading routine.
Sitting on the floor, using a reading stand, or standing up are alternative reading positions that offer unique benefits and considerations. Let’s explore each posture in more detail:
Sitting on the floor:
- Flexibility and freedom: Sitting on the floor provides a sense of freedom and allows for a wide range of seating positions, such as cross-legged, kneeling, or with extended legs.
- Natural alignment: When sitting on the floor, it can be easier to maintain a more natural spine alignment, promoting good posture and reducing strain on the back.
- Stability: Sitting on the floor can provide a stable base, especially when using a cushion or yoga mat to provide additional support and comfort.
Using a reading stand:
- Improved ergonomics: A reading stand, such as a book holder or tablet stand, can help elevate the reading material to eye level, reducing strain on the neck and promoting better posture.
- Hands-free reading: Using a reading stand can free up your hands, allowing for a more relaxed and comfortable reading experience.
- Versatility: Reading stands often offer adjustable angles, allowing you to find the best position for reading while sitting or standing.
- Active engagement: Standing up while reading promotes an active and engaged mind. It can help combat sedentary behavior and keep you alert and focused on the content.
- Mobility and flexibility: Standing allows for greater mobility, enabling you to move around, stretch, or shift positions more easily.
- Postural variety: Alternating between sitting and standing can help prevent prolonged sitting and the associated health risks, providing a dynamic reading experience.
While these alternative positions have their advantages, there are also some considerations to keep in mind:
- Comfort and support: Sitting on the floor for extended periods may lead to discomfort, so using cushions or mats for adequate support is essential. When using a reading stand, ensure it is stable and securely holds your reading material.
- Physical strain: Standing for prolonged periods can lead to fatigue or pressure on the legs, so it’s important to take breaks, shift positions, and wear supportive footwear.
The Magic of Reading under a Blanket
Usually, the enchanting scene of kids reading with a light under a blanket in movies inspires spectaculars. It brings us some associations with childhood, mysteries, and looking for a way to do things right.
Just remember that the main characters could find out something special sitting with a blanket over their head or having the best position for reading in bed with some secret book.
- Matilda Wormwood – “Matilda” (1996)
- Harry Potter – “Harry Potter” film series (2001-2011)
- Charlie Bucket – “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (2005)
- Christopher Robin – “Winnie the Pooh” (2011)
- Jo March – “Little Women” (2019)
- Bastian Balthazar Bux – “The NeverEnding Story” (1984)
- Sophie – “The BFG” (2016)
- Greg Heffley – “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” film series (2010-2021)
- Rudy Steiner – “The Book Thief” (2013)
- Liesel Meminger – “The Book Thief” (2013)
These characters, among others, have contributed to the iconic imagery of kids engrossed in their books with a light under a blanket. They have captivating audiences and evoke a sense of nostalgia and wonder.
We embrace nostalgia, create cozy reading spaces, and try to remake this reading experience. I do not believe grown-ups can spend much time this way, but why not? Thus, let’s journey into that reading type and rediscover the joy of books.
As we mentioned, reading under the blanket has a vibe.
- Sense of wonder: Capturing the magical atmosphere created by the dim light and cozy setting is a hallmark of the scene where characters read under a blanket in movies. This carefully crafted ambiance transports viewers to enchantment and warmth, evoking a sense of comfort and wonder.
- Imagination and escapism: The dim light plays a crucial role in setting the mood. It casts a soft glow that adds an element of mystery, creating an intimate space where imagination thrives.Shadows dance across the pages, adding an ethereal quality to the scene. The limited illumination draws focus to the book, making it the centerpiece of attention, while the surrounding darkness heightens the sense of immersion in the story.
Growing up, we notice that exactly those pros cause the following cons.
- Lack of visibility: Reading under a blanket with a limited light source can strain the eyes. Insufficient lighting may lead to squinting and, in addition, holding the book too close to the eyes, resulting in fatigue, blurred vision, or headaches.
- Insufficient lighting can also impact reading comprehension and overall reading experience. Dim lighting may make it difficult to read small print or distinguish between letters, potentially leading to decreased understanding and enjoyment of the text.
- Disruption of sleep patterns: Reading with a small lantern at night can disrupt sleep patterns, especially close to bedtime. Many electronic devices, including small lanterns, emit blue light. Blue light suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. Exposure to blue light before bed can interfere with the natural sleep-wake cycle, making it harder to achieve restful sleep.
Besides, the brain remains active, processing the book’s content, potentially affecting sleep quality and causing restlessness at night.
If it is about cultivating this style in kids, do not encourage this type of reading. Better, read with them. There are a lot of sources with ideas to make the time together memorable.
How to treat the cons?
Avoid reading with a small lantern close to bedtime to promote healthy sleep patterns.
Instead, consider establishing a relaxing pre-sleep routine that includes reading printed books with dim lighting, practicing mindfulness, or engaging in other calming activities to signal the body that it’s time to unwind and prepare for sleep. Read with kids as well.
Digital Reading Positions
Digital reading positions have become increasingly prevalent in our modern age, as electronic devices such as e-readers, tablets, and smartphones have revolutionized how we consume written content.
Besides, the revenue generated by publishers in the United Kingdom (UK) through digital book sales witnessed significant growth from 2008 to 2019, according to Statista.
While the traditional physical book holds its charm, digital reading offers unique advantages and necessitates specific positions to optimize the reading experience.
- Portability: With a compact device in hand, we can read virtually anywhere. Whether sitting on a park bench, waiting in line, or traveling, digital reading positions allow us to carry entire libraries in our pockets.
- Adjustable displays: Devices offer readers accessibility. There is no need to look for good lighting or glasses, as one can adjust font size, brightness, and other settings. Now, people can read at night, on a train or plane. This flexibility accommodates various digital reading positions, such as holding the device in one hand or propping it up on a stand.
However, it’s essential to be aware of the potential downsides of digital reading positions.
- Eye strain: There is an issue of increased eye fatigue due to screen usage. Excessive screen time can lead to eye strain and fatigue and sometimes may cause sleep disruptions (especially in older adults). Taking breaks, adjusting screen settings, and maintaining proper posture are advisable to mitigate these effects.
- Distractions: The temptation to multitask is huge, as we can do more in shortened time frames. The digital nature of reading devices opens up a world of distractions just a tap away. The allure of notifications, social media, emails, and other applications can easily distract us from the focused reading experience.
- Multitasking: Digital reading divides our attention and hampers comprehension and engagement with the material. Our brains can but do not like switching between tasks, and studies have shown that multitasking leads to decreased productivity and reduced cognitive performance.
How to handle the cons?
To combat the multitasking trap and get healthy eyes, cultivate mindfulness and discipline. To engage in digital reading, set boundaries.
Creating dedicated reading time without distractions can help mitigate the urge to multitask.
Turning off notifications, enabling “do not disturb” mode, or utilizing specialized reading apps that minimize distractions can also contribute to a more focused and uninterrupted reading experience.
So what reading position is the best?
The best reading position varies from person to person. Some individuals may find sitting on the floor most comfortable, while others prefer the convenience and ergonomics of a reading stand. Standing up might work well for those who seek an active and dynamic reading experience.
Follow your inner voice
Listening to your body is important, as it is always a good advisor. Experiment with different reading positions. And consider factors like comfort, posture, and the duration of your reading sessions. Take breaks and maintain good posture regardless of your reading position. Ultimately, the best reading position in bed or on the street is the one that allows you to enjoy the content!
By exploring and adapting our reading positions, we can create personalized reading havens that enhance enjoyment, promote healthy habits, and ensure a fulfilling reading experience for years.
So, whether you’re curled up on a couch, sitting on the floor, or even standing tall, let your chosen best reading position be a gateway to the magical realms within a book’s pages. Enjoy!