Tuesday, October 25, 2016

How to have a cosy reading experience on a budget

On the surface, this post might seem redundant. What could be cheaper than reading a book, right? But have you noticed how envious social media can make us, if we pore too long over their wonderful, reading-associated images. There are spacious, well-stocked reading nooks, picture windows with stunning views, special chair-cum-bookshelves, pretty book lights and many other things which some of us can't afford to implement.

Still, I've discovered that it's possible to add a bit of luxury to your reading experience without paying much for it. We've had to stick to a really strict budget for several years, but here are some treats to pick up with a good book, to make it special just the same.  

1) Radox Bath Salts
A bubble bath is a relaxing place to read. Buying scoops of epsom salts from health food shops can get pricey, so one of my staples is only about $7 from the supermarket shelf. These bath salts smell really heavenly and make the bath water a lovely shade of emerald green. They also lather up beautifully when you sprinkle them in while the hot water is running. The description draws me in too, whether or not it really lives up to its claim. 'Herbal Mineral Salts to help soothe tired, aching muscles.' It's good to think that happens as an extra benefit while you're engrossed in a good story.

2) Moser Roth Chocolate
This is one of my favourite secrets. We've only had our Aldi bargain supermarket in town for a fairly short time, and Moser Roth is one of its home brands. It's so creamy, delicious and decadent, I won't choose any other brand now. It comes with different flavours and fillings, but the plain milk variety is my favourite, because it's so good, just like chocolate should be. I like it better than common old Cadbury or Nestle even though it's cheaper, and it's on a par, if not better than expensive brands like Lindor. A block of Moser Roth is only about $2.80. I don't eat it every time I"m reading, of course, but if a book's really good and I'm looking forward to getting back to it, well, those might be the times.

3) Essential Oils
I always like to have a little bottle of lavender oil around. I put a few drops in bath water, or you can rub it on your temples to relax you and take away headaches too. It's about $14 for the larger sized bottle, but takes a long time to get through, so it's well worth it.

4) Cup of Tea
There are all sorts of varieties on the market these days, and they're all fairly exotic, spicy, fruity or floral, however you like it. Even good old Earl Grey isn't a bad choice for lazing back and reading a book.

5) Nice smelling Candle
You see them often in shops for exorbitant prices of $60 to $80, but there are cheaper ones around. I have a couple of friends who make candles which they sell for a fraction of the price of commercial ones. It looks to me as if purchasing all the equipment for candle making, such as wax and scents, quickly adds up. Since they're willing to invest good money for their hobby, I'm more than willing to support them by investing in fragrant candles for mine. It's nice to have a candle burning on my bedside table while I read or write. There's something about a flickering flame that always calms me down for reading, even when I haven't realised I've been stressed to start with.

6) Hammock
It's probably the most expensive item on my list, but it was a combined Christmas and birthday present on special from a local camping store, and probably around the $100 mark. It sits on our verandah, fairly sheltered all year round. On nice days it's a great spot to take a book or kindle. Nothing like swaying in a gentle breeze while you're reading. I'm not much an outdoor reader by choice, because I don't find nature the most comfortable place to sit. Your legs can get boggy on the ground depending on the weather, and tree bark is hard to lean against. So if you want to make the most of warm sunshine and fresh air while you're indulging in a good book, I do recommend investing in a hammock,

What cheap luxuries do you take when you're reading books? Give us some recommendations if you can. 

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