- Entertainment and Media
Best Winter Sport Ever
Reading - Preferably Curled Up On the Couch with a Cup of Hot Cocoa and a Bowl of Popcorn to Go with It
Choosing reading as the sport you will pursue this winter has much to recommend it. Many winter sports can be dangerous (skiing), violent (ice hocky), uncomfortable (cross country biking during the rain), or just downright monotonous (imagine staring at a dog's behind for eight days running - if you'll pardon the pun - as do participants in the Iditarod dog sled race.)
In contrast, reading as a winter sport offers many rewards, not the least of which (as my dear mother always says) is that no one has ever hurt themselves while lying on the couch turning the pages of a book. Well, I suppose she may not be quite up to date on that. I imagine that one might theoretically get eyestrain from one of the poorer quality new ebook readers, or perhaps drop one and get cut on the shards if the screen broke, but by and large, reading is considerably safer than, say, ice skating or tobogganing. (As you can see, I don't come from a very athletic family. I had to google "Winter Sports" to even find some to mention for the sake of comparison.) But, my assignment was to write about winter sports, so in this day and age of equal opportunity, I decided not to let my disadvantaged background stop me, and (as we are often admonished to do) just to write about what I know - which is reading.
What Equipment Will You Need to Pursue this Sport?
You won't need any expensive equipment if you take up reading as your winter sport (though of course you can spend a small fortune collecting books if you wish). High tech options such as the Kindle may cost a bit more. (Nothing on ice hockey gear though.)
But I would say that you need at least the following equipment (most of which you probably already own) in order to fully enjoy your new winter sport:
Optional Equipment: A Kindle or Two
Having an eReader such as the Kindle will make it possible for you to pursue your chosen winter sport without having to go out into the cold and wet at all, even to restock up on your sports supplies. You can buy books directly on the Kindle and if you live in the US, you have the option of borrowing books on your Kindle from more than 11,000 libraries through the Kindle Library Lending feature. Amazon also offers a selection of free books for the Kindle. (There, you see, another advantage of choosing reading as your winter sport. You haven't seen anyone handing out free ice skates or toboggans lately, have you?)
Serious readers should stick with one of the basic or paper white models, as they are easier on the eyes.
If you are going to be using your Kindle to read just before bedtime, this is a good choice. You should avoid back lite devices for bedtime reading, as studies show that they can disrupt your sleep by disturbing your circadian rhythms.
The newest Kindle with the works. This is a full fledged tablet that lets you play music and watch videos, as well as read books. But the screen is not as easy on the eyes if you are going to be using it for prolonged periods of reading.
So What Do I like to Read During the Winter?
Well, as you might imagine from my lensmaster name, one of my favorite things to do during the winter is re-read the Harry Potter books. They are full of cheery winter scenes such as Harry and Ron toasting marshmallows by the fire in the Gryffindor common room, images of the great hall decked out with mistletoe and fairy lights, and wonderful winter fare such as roast beef and Yorkshire puddding.
Roast beef, buttered peas, mashed potato and Yorkshire pudding used under Creative Commons from Gene Hunt
Even when reading the more unpleasant winter scenes, such as when Oliver Wood insists that Harry and the team have to practice in the driving rain, or when Harry had to dive into an icy pool to retrieve a horcrux, one can enjoy the contrast with ones in one's own (hopefully) warm and dry surroundings while reading about Harry's misery (yet another confirmation that the best winter sport is, indeed, reading)
And if one gets tired of rereading the Harry Potter books, there are always works about the series to read.
Some of My Other Favorite Good Reads
Stieg Larson's best selling trilogy is good winter fare, being set in snowy Sweden with its short days. A compelling crime story, and a tale of how the past damage suffered by one of the protagonists, Lisbeth, is alleviated by her contact with the sheer humanity of the other protagonists, investigative journalist Blomkvist and his long time lover, Berger.
A well written mystery, full of secrets and ghosts, set in a mansion deep the wintry English moors, that will keep you guessing til the end. By a book lover, about book lovers, for book lovers.
Somehow drafty old castles always remind me of winter. This award winning historical novel and its sequel, are set the time of Henry the VIII. A fascinating portrayal of Cromwell, Henry, Sir Thomas More, Ann and Mary Boyeln, and the English court in the early 16th century. If you like historical novels, don't miss this one.
More Good Winter Reads
- Good books for cozy a winter's evening or otherwise
A varied listmania list from Amazon, with classics, fantasies, mystery novels, and bestsellers.
- The 50 Best winter reads
More good reads from The Independant.
- Good winter reads
A list of good reads for animal lovers
I hope I've managed to persuade you that choosing reading as your sport this winter will provide you with an alternative that is safer, cheaper, more entertaining and more educational than batting some silly ball around a court in horrible weather.
If, however, you insist on pursuing a winter sport which offers more exercise than, say, getting up now and then to make popcorn, allow me to recommend Quidditch. It's a great sport for us bookish types, and I say, if you're going for silly, you might as well go all out. In case you think Quidditch is only for college kids, you should know that there are community teams with members as old as 55, who have even played in the Quidditch World Cup. I'll be writing about them soon.
(There, I've finally managed to sneak in a plug for Quidditch.)
MTV Quidditch Promo to Get You Started - Starring Emerson and Middlebury Quidditch Teams
There's Even a Quidditch World Cup - Just Like in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Quidditch World Cup
When you read The Goblet of Fire did you wish you could go to a Quidditch World Cup? Well now you can, April 13th-14th, 2013 in Florida. Tickets to the Quid...