Book Gift Baskets for Women


"Young Woman Reading" Giclee PrintEscape with a Good Book 

While all of us enjoy getting away with a good book, there is nothing that compares to escaping into a reading experience. Simple things like music and a cup of tea can help you set an ambiance that enhances your novel and allows you to become completely enveloped by the story. Selecting the elements for a memorable reading experience involves a little insight and a little magic. Here are some of our favorite tips for creating your own Great Escape. 

Begin, well obviously, by choosing your book. There are so many wonderful books, this often proves the most difficult part for us!


Read the very first page and focus on the music of the words themselves. Do they sway and swirl like saxophones or violins? Are they sharp and staccato like piano or bass or languid and sultry like a feminine voice or a clarinet? Getting the tone balanced is essential. Stretch your imagination. Don't be afraid to stray from your favorites and venture into unknown musical realms. A few styles instantly bring to mind certain musicians or composers for us.Pierre-Auguste Renoir Young Woman Reading an Illustrated Journal  circa 1880-81 Giclee Print

Light and airy - Mozart or Enya 
Heavy and thoughtful - Beethoven or Sarah McLachlan 
Spirited and lively - Vivaldi or Cher 
Romantic and sweeping - Chopin or Diana Krall

Look to the publisher's synopsis on the book to find the story's time period and location. Classical pieces can work with any novel, but fitting contemporary music into historical novels can be tricky. Donít overlook the obvious. For instance, Spanish guitar works exquisitely with novels set in Spain, Latin or South America. Jazz is a great place to start for American novels about the Roaring 20s. It doesnít have to be difficult to be right.


Balance is also an important key to selecting your tea. A robust story or strong heroine fares better against a strong black tea than a delicate white tea. Green teas often provide a lovely middle ground and offer wonderful health benefits as well. The location of the novel will also help you make a good choice, for instance tropical fruit flavors suit tropical locales. Reading about Great Britain?  British Breakfast Tea, of course! Also consider the characters as an interesting nuance. Perhaps the main character is old and wise, a savory herbal tea may compliment the story more than a sweet fruit flavored tea.


Once you've made your choices, listen to the CD all the way through before you venture into your novel. As you read, change the track if you recall one that seems particularly appropriate. Youíll find you can easily listen to a movement or song two or even three times in a row because it isn't the focus of your attention. If the music overwhelms your reading, enjoy it in between reading times instead to set the stage for your return. Curl up in your favorite chair and feel the music as it swirls around the room. Inhale the wonderful aroma of the steam rising from your cup of tea and savor the first sip. It's time to open the book and begin your journey. 


Copyright Elizabeth Barnes ?2005


All Rights Reserved, Provence Unlimited © 2003






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