What ingredients when combined together make for a perfect read for you? This could be any combination of time, place, book, or refreshments. Does this book and that meal make for sweet reader’s bliss? Or is it this room, that recliner with this type of book that make you scheme for reading time to yourself?The main ingredient for a Perfect Read is, of course, the book. So what constitutes the perfect book? I have written before that I judge a book on three criteria - pacing, characters and plot. Sounds pretty obvious, right? But there are so many variations on these themes that finding the prefect blend is tricky. A thriller needs a full measure of pacing, but only a dash of character development. The romance may need only a splash of plot, but a healthy handful of character insight. The book for a Perfect Read can be any genre, but it must have a good balance of these key ingredients plus that X-Factor Simon Cowell is always talking about - that something-extra that is indescribable, but you know it when you find it.
The Perfect Read usually calls for the perfect side dish. Before my recent change to more healthy eating and watching my weight, this would have been a bag of cheese puffs (slightly stale), Dove chocolate, and a Diet Coke (for balance). These days it's more likely to be air-pop popcorn, apple slices, and a Diet Coke.
The icing on the cake - or the whipped cream on the pumpkin pie - is a dollop of quiet. I am capable of reading while Dave watches TV (or even during the commercials of a show I was watching in the pre-DVR days), or with some Christmas music playing in the background, but when I sit down to devour the Perfect Read, the only seasoning it really needs is peace.