Every month or so, I book onto a local ‘silent reading retreat’, which runs as follows (and is a bargain at £5):
2 hours, 7- 9 pm
Drop in when it suits – don’t knock, just come in (I pre-book so Kirsty, the host, knows who to expect)
Choose a seat – anywhere with a bookmark
Text to order your drink (subsequent drinks are free, plus a slice of cake thrown in)
Enjoy the ambient playlist and cosy atmosphere
‘In short,’ says Kirsty, ‘it’s just like a normal cafe … but without the noise’.
Now, I’ll be honest, my husband thinks all this is bonkers, and that you could do the same thing at home for free. However, there’s something about pre-booking, making a space for reading, making the effort to show up with your book (although her bookshelves are well stocked), being sociable enough to give a quiet nod to the others without being distracted by conversation … well, you get the picture. Anyway, that’s where I’m off to tonight. And 3 Watering Place Road, Thurlstone, (Shefield, S.Yorks) is also a very comfortable Airbnb if anyone’s interested!