A Guide to Rainy Day Reading

I woke up this morning to raindrops outside; I noticed the impressions on the small river behind my apartment, and a local meteorologist confirmed the activity as I watched the news while getting ready for work. Oh, how I daydreamed about staying home, opening up a book, finishing that book, opening another, and so on, but – oh, the humanity! – I still had to go to work, far away from my bookshelves and piles of novels. I got some satisfaction when at lunch, I was able to live inside a few pages of the book that claims current residency in my bag: The Pier Falls.

By the time I left work the sun was shining and the rain was long gone, but I still had rainy day reading on my mind. So I decided to create a guide to this particular type of reading for the next time clouds decide to dominate the day. Follow closely…

Choose a variety of reading materials

My go-to reading materials for a rainy day are a book (okay, two or more), the stack of half-read The New Yorker magazines floating around my apartment, and an electronic device on which to read blog posts.

Choose a beverage – remember, it’s a rainy day so time doesn’t exist!

Wine is my beverage of choice. A rosé or Pinot Grigio will do just fine.
If you are up early or feel like something with less alcohol content, tea will do just fine. It’s true, I would choose coffee over tea in any other situation, but tea’s appeal heightens dramatically when wind and rain are pounding the windows of your abode.

Choose a spot in your place of residence

Ah, the most important decision you’ll make in this process. Do you choose your bed? Undeniably comfortable, but perhaps too much risk of falling asleep. Hey there, couch. Eternally reliable, but maybe you’re feeling a new spot for this dreary day. Recliner/easy chair? You can lay back or sit up, put your feet on the floor or up on the foot rest. You’re not thinking the floor are you? Well, there is virtually unlimited space to roll around in happiness/angst/winemotions, but you don’t want to be there all day. And besides, when was the last time you vacuumed?! You’re certainly not doing it today. Okay, back to the couch. Plenty of room to spread out, and the coffee table is right there to place your reading materials and beverage(s).

Don’t forget your favorite blanket or throw

Even if it’s muggy and one million degrees in your home, you’ll want this to hold if you need to cry, need extra comfort during heartbreaking plotlines, or something non-destructive to throw when your favorite character dies or lets you down.

Select your writing utensil(s), notebook, memo pad, dictionary

You know you’ll find a word you need to look up right away or later, and will want to remember that particular scene or phrase to add to one of your many “favorite” lists. I prefer to keep my smartphone within reach for emergencies, but stick to my physical notebooks, pencils, and other bound resources while reading. They are less distracting to me, and rifling through a dictionary or index is more satisfying than having Google look something up for me. But if you have them all on your smartphone and prefer to use it, all the power to you! This is your day, after all.

Relax, Replenish, Recharge

The three R’s of rainy day reading! The first is the easiest, the second will come with thirst or hunger (light snacks recommended), and the third is important not to neglect. Get up, do some stretches, crunches, pushups, jumping jacks; get your body moving – you won’t feel as sluggish than if you don’t utilize this last R, and your mind will work more clearly when you return to your reading.

Using this guide, you will have a successful day of reading on your next rainy day. Have a tip you would like to add? Leave a comment or send me an email – I’ll be happy to hear from you. Happy reading!


  • anhistorianabouttown

    It’s so important to remember to get up and move!! Although I think that all of us would love to snuggle into our blanket and forget about literally everything else but what’s happening on our page, I really feel it when I’ve been sitting for a few hours (it might be my arthritis, but it still happens…). I try to stand up and walk around for 3-5 minutes every five or six chapters- as long as they are decent length chapters, it doesn’t feel like I’m getting up ALL of the time, but I’m also not frozen in place. Do you have any books that you recommend reading in one sitting on a rainy day?? I have a post on how to improve your reading experience, too: I think I need to update and improve mine now!! 🙂 Great post!!

    • kmac14

      Thank you for reading! Whenever I can take advantage of a rainy day to read, I almost always return to books I’ve read, just because they already bring me so much comfort. Besides some of my favorite series (Harry Potter, the All Souls Trilogy, Narnia), I would say these titles are perfect for reading in one sitting: I’m Thinking of Ending Things, The Little Paris Bookshop, Walk Two Moons, The Secret Garden, Jane Steele (and Jane Eyre), Coraline, A Room of One’s Own…and many others! 😉

  • angelanoelauthor

    Your tips will add meaningfully to my next rainy day read! The only thing I have to get over is the pressure to want to write, rather than read. Both are good, but curled up under a blanked with my favorite book and a glass of wine (or two) can be just what the writer in me needs. I don’t always allow myself the luxury and I should!

    • Kelsey

      Yes, you definitely should! 🙂 Rainy day writing can be lovely, I agree, but recharging and escaping with a good book does wonders for the mind and heart.

  • Jennifer

    The bed is one of my favorite reading places on a great day. It gets me out of the living room and away from the TV which my husband might want to ”’read.”

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