Bring a tea bag from home and ask the flight attendant for hot water (the coffee is never good, but tea can be). Or get a glass of wine. Bring snacks, too. I like something chocolate (a candy bar or small piece of cake or these little chocolate covered coconut pieces), salty cured chorizo, a few slices of manchego, and really good crackers. Lean up against the window, wrap yourself up in a big blanket, and don't stop reading until you finish the book or the plane lands (whichever comes first).
Fill it up high with water that's way too hot to step into yet. Add bath salts or scented oil or bubbles (or all three). Tightly roll up a towel to use as a pillow and put a mud mask on before you get in. A playlist of something jazzy enough to block out all outside noises, but ambient enough to not distract. Shut the door. Sink in. Read until the water turns cool and your fingers are soft little prunes.
Not the subway or the commuter train, I mean a proper train that'll take you somewhere that requires a bit of luggage. Bonus points if it's in another country. Again you'll need the seat by the window, the blanket, and the snacks. If there's a quiet car, take that one, and let the only noise be the rocking rattle of the tracks as you turn the page.
The one that helps you forget winter and gives you hope for the summer. Fling all the windows open, and let the breeze flow through carrying with it the scent of mossy grass cuttings and singing birds.
5. Summer I.
There is a whole category of books that exists expressly for being read like this: Outside, by water. Maybe it's a pool or maybe it's the beach (I prefer the latter provided there is someone to bring you a drink). There should be a table nearby to hold your drink, which must be cold, filled with ice and sweating fiercely. The book should be something light and sexy, a bit silly. The kind of book you can read in between quick naps or dips in the water. Disposable, too, so that you don't care about the sand getting stuck in the creases, or the droplets of water and coconut-scented fingerprints marring the pages. When you finish it, leave it behind for a random stranger to find.
This one is best after a day out--maybe at work, or maybe just exploring. Either way, you're hot and tired so you come home and walk straight into the shower, letting the water run as cold as you can handle. The AC should be on--you need the room frigid because outside it feels like a hundred and the humidity is thick. Slip into something breezy and collapse on the bed (which should have been made-- the sheets pulled tight and the pillows arranged perfectly.) You might have plans later, but for a while it should be just this book, this chilly room, and the afternoon light streaming in through the window.
Turn the computer off. Or the iPad or your phone or anything that lights up or beeps or demands attention. Most of the lights should be off (except the one you need to read), and the only sound should be the pages that turn. Teeth brushed, face washed, dishes put away. Everything that had to be done has already been done (or you've accepted that it just won't be.) This isn't the time for a new book; you want something you've already read or you're already deep into so you can get right into it. Maybe you'll read for a few pages, or maybe it'll grab you and you'll stay up all night. Your body knows what you need; let it guide you.