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Summer is nearly over (sorry), school’s about to start up (so sorry), and that means less reading time for students, teachers, and pretty much everyone connected to education (so, so sorry).

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Here we have what appears to be the youngest Weasleys reading their family history on the potentially Nargle-infested lawn.

This summer, like others before, I have been baffled by aesthetic pictures of people reading happily on beaches, porches, hillsides, and in meadows. But something I’ve often wondered is if this phenomenon even occurs in nature.

To read outside where I live, you must brave not only the scorching Texas sun and varied array of violent insects, but also intermittent wind gusts. I’ve tried reading in hammocks, on porches, and under trees, but the only time it has worked is in the shelter of some non-picturesque wall over concrete. Even then, it wasn’t exactly comfortable. (My backside does not appreciate extended periods squished against cement.)

I know some people claim to do it, but do theyΒ really? I know it makes a good photo, but the subgenre of outdoor book photography is mostly false advertising.

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There would be a blinding glare on like half a page. She’s not fooling anyone.

Reading my Kindle outside has generally proven easier, just because of the light adjustment setting. But if I’m in bright sun, I’ve got bigger problems, like impending lobster face/neck/arms/shoulders/legs. Then, you’ve got birds and car fumes if you’re in the city and chiggers, snakes, and Lord knows what if you’re in the country. To be honest, I’m terrified of the wind blowing my book into the ocean at the beach. Not to mention sand gets into the spines and just…ick.

I’m not saying it’s impossible, I’ve just found it to be incredibly uncomfortable. Either way, I think this is definitely one of those “expectation vs. reality” things. I’ll stick to reading indoors with solid walls and air conditioning, thank you very much.

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