Small Ways to Tangibly Connect with Your Current Read
You know how when you get really wrapped up in a story, it stays in your head all day? You're going about your day with one foot in another world, and sometimes it just feels really good to tangibly connect with it. Getting the story and it's spirit into the real world and out of your brain and off the page can be a really satisfying exercise. You guys already know we love to throw literary dinner parties (here's our how-to-guide, if that's your thing too!), but of course that's just a bit too much for every day life. When we need a smaller outlet we find ourselves turning to a couple of things:
1. Eat food inspired by the book- Maybe your book has specific references to dishes, but often we find that novels are strongly rooted in time and place, and you can draw from the setting to create something tasty for a meal or just for a snack. Bryton has a really amazing archive of recipes from popular novels that we especially love (and there are a couple of cookbooks out in the world too!), but often we just pull inspiration from the setting or mood of the novel. It can be as simple as a batch of cookies or as elaborate as a big dinner, and heck, you could even order yourself some takeout that fits the book!
2. Don't forget drinks- If food inspiration isn't striking, your other edible option is drinks! We love to pair wine with novels, based on their setting, but cocktails are also a great option, as are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks. Again, sometimes a drink is specifically mentioned in the text, but often it's a matter of drawing on the setting and picking something that feels fitting to you! Books set in foreign countries are especially fun for this, because you can look at what's popular there! Sake for Japan, fancy tea for England, etc.
3. Add some simple decor- Think about what colors feel fitting for the book, what kind of mood and tone it has and add a jar of flowers in those tones. Go a little further and pull some candlesticks out, or maybe you have a couple objects around your house that fit the theme of the novel you can put in the center of your table, and suddenly you've got yourself a mini-tablescape and a perfectly set scene. You'd be surprised at what you have tucked away and how fitting it can become put together.
4. Go exploring- Check out what might be near you that also exists in the book you're reading. Maybe there are a lot of references to libraries, or the setting of the novel feels park-like; whatever it is, go find it in your hometown! Drop by a park for a few extra minutes of reading after work, duck into that restaurant that's just like the one in the book, just go do the thing that makes sense for your current read. If you think ahead, look for books that are written by a local author, it's so fun to read about and visit places you're familiar with and add an even greater sense of connection with the novel.
5. Watch the movie, or a movie like it- So many books (especially classics) have movie adaptations, so it's worth a google search. If there isn't a direct adaptation, there will often still be an option that fits in. Maybe you pick a foreign film from the country your book is set in, or a movie adaptation of one of the author's other works. Maybe there's just a movie out there with a similar storyline you can watch and compare it to.
As you're reading, if something sounds particularly interesting, take down notes of food mentions, flowers, and drinks that are worth trying (we've done this plenty). Whatever you choose, we hope it genuinely helps you feel more connected to the book you're reading and creates a great memory to go with the experience of reading the book! Let us know in the comments if you've ever tried, or want to try, any of these!