What is a book spa? I first came across this idea at a local independent bookshop, ‘Mr B’s Emporium’ in Bath. They advertise ‘reading spas’ and I bought one for my mother as a birthday present. You go along, get plied with drink and cake, and discuss your favourite books with a ‘bibliotherapist’. They then hand you a massive stack of books and briefly describe each of them to you, whilst you sit back and relax. At the end of the day, you can buy the books you select using the £55 book voucher that comes with the reading spa package.
This got me thinking about how you could turn the reading experience itself into a spa day minus the chlorine and sweaty gentleman who just winked at you in the sauna. So here we have the Evie Alexander guide to how to have a book spa from the comfort of your own home.
How to have a book spa
1. Choose the right book
Check out my blogs for regular reviews of some of my favourite recent reads, or line up that special book you’ve been dying to dive into. If you’re not sure what to take on your book spa, either choose an old faithful, or make sure you’ve started a book already and know it’s a page turner before entrusting your spa time to it.
2. Select the right setting
Are you near a quiet tropical beach or is a hot bath the only water you have access to? Do you have a super comfortable sofa, or a shady tree to sit under? Choose your spot with care, making sure that you maximise peace and quiet and comfort.
3. Choose your fellow participants
You might love reading with friends or a partner, enjoying reading funny (or sexy) bits out to them. Or you may want this time just for you. A book spa is special so make sure you’re spending this time with exactly who you want. For many of you this may only include your furry friends.
4. Remove extraneous distractions
Turn off your mobile phone, lock your kids in the attic, send any leftover family members out with the dog (unless they are an integral part of your book spa), and allow yourself to focus fully on your relaxing and immersive reading experience.
5. Select your music
You may only need the lapping waves on the shoreline to provide the soundtrack for your book spa, or you may have a playlist that puts you right in the mood. Whether it’s Mozart or Maroon Five, select the right music for you.
6. Select your snacks and drinks of choice
In my opinion, food goes with pretty much everything, and reading is one of those delightful pleasures that is amplified by a box of chocolates, a glass of wine, or any other mouth pleasure you wish to indulge in. Always remember though, reading may be calorie free but eating unfortunately isn’t, and you know how quickly time flies when you’re having fun? Oh look, that box of chocolates appears to have disappeared into my stomach…
7. Pleasure the rest of your senses
If you’re in a bath, use sweet smelling bubbles or exotic oils, while if you’re just curled up on a sofa inside the house, maybe diffuse some essential oils. Or perhaps just spritz yourself in your favourite perfume. Check the lighting is right. Light candles and put up fairy lights if it’s dark, or if you’re outside, make sure you aren’t out in full sun getting slowly roasted as you lose yourself in your book.
8. Take care of logistics
If you’re using an e-reader, is it charged? Have you been to the toilet? Do you have a blanket in case you get cold? The last thing you want to do is settle in for your book spa only to have your kindle die, your teeth start chattering and your bladder almost explode.
But what if you want to have a book spa on the go? It’s possible to have a book spa even if you’re on a crowded commuter train on the way to work. What you need to do is to employ music through noise cancelling headphones, wrap a scarf around your neck under your nose that has been doused in your favourite perfume or essential oils, and wear a wide brimmed hat to keep your vision narrowed onto the page in front of you.
So there’s my guide to how to have the perfect book spa. What other things would make your own book spa complete? Get in touch via social media and let me know!