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5 Fall Feels Every Reader Gets in Autumn

Fall might officially start on Friday, September 22, but I consider savoring the first pumpkin spice latte (PSL, naturally) of the season to be the true kickoff for my favorite stretch of the year. Besides, once we’ve gotten to September 1—the day the Hogwarts Express departs from King’s Cross Station—fall is here. 

Arguably, there is no better season for readers than fall. From associating the fall with the start of school to using cooler temps as an excuse to stay inside and read away a lazy afternoon, the autumn is definitely reading season.

And I know I’m not the only one who gets bookish-specific fall feels once summer starts to turn over into my favorite season. Do you recognize yourself in any of these 5 reading #FallFeels?

Fall Feel #1: …Buying new, cozy sweats, snuggle socks, and blankets to be comfy while you read is a top priority.

Fall is the perfect season for cozy reading.

I admit it: I have specifically bought clothing with reading coziness in mind. My dad first started buying me and my mom snuggle socks a few years ago for gifts. Initially I was reluctant to try them since I love going barefoot at home, but eventually I wore down and became a fan, not least because they keep my feet warm enough that I can focus on a book. I also have favorite reading apparel, some that actually has a tie-in to reading (like my Book Riot hoodie!) and others are just oversized, perfectly soft, perfectly worn in and no longer soft, and overall comforting. I’m sure I’m not alone. Do you have a “reading wardrobe” for the colder months?

  • Apparently coziness is a thing now, or has been for a while with the Danish concept of hygge. The hygge lifestyle—embracing a comfy and feel-good lifestyle—aligns so well with reading in the fall. One Rioter’s even written a guide to incorporate hygge into your reading. Find inspiration in:  “How To Hygge Your Reading Life.”.

Fall Feel #2: …suddenly you’re interested in knitting or crocheting again—so you can listen to an audiobook at the same time.

Genius hack: Dumbledore probably gets a book to read itself to him while he knits.

I’m not a great knitter. I can knit a pretty basic scarf. If it’s good, chunky yarn, I can fake competency for Christmas gifts. Anything far beyond that and I’m lost. A few months every year—the colder ones—I feel a renewed energy for knitting, talking myself into thinking this year I’ll finally learn to cable knit. I clip coupons from the Sunday newspaper circulars for Michael’s Arts and Crafts and buy several skeins of pretty yarn. It’s all a front, however, for sneaking more reading time in. Yep, the fall brings out my perennial interest in knitting, but only as a mechanism to burn through audiobooks. It doesn’t get any cozier than knitting something warm while listening to an amazing audiobook. Do you also take up a seasonal crafting hobby to pair with audiobooks?

Fall Feel #3: …neglected hot beverages get cold faster when you can’t put a good book down.

Remember to put the book down and enjoy your tea while it’s warm.

The changing temps bring a craving for a soothing hot beverage of choice. I’m a year-round tea and coffee drinker, but the crisp air of the fall always brings out my itch to have even more, especially after humid Philly summers can make even the most diehard hot tea drinker choose the iced option. As a reader, a piping hot “cuppa” or a PSL or some hot cider is a great companion to reading. But, if you’re like me, you often neglect your warm drink once you get wrapped up in reading. Absorbed in a book you can’t put down, you literally can’t put it down and suddenly remember your beverage when it’s too late—it’s gone cold. This is a risk year round, but in fall that mug will cool quicker especially if you’re reading an awesome book. Here’s a friendly reminder: don’t forget about that drink!

Fall Feel #4: …halloween is the perfect excuse to dress up like your favorite bookish character.

Halloween. Hogwarts. With a bookish costume, this could be you.

My social anxiety might be too much to overcome for a true Halloween costume, but I have definitely rocked cat attire (more than usual!) while working as a library intern or just going out to the bookstore. Regardless, even if you’re sitting home with the porch light off and working your way through a Buffy marathon (and a bag of bite-size Snickers), it’s still fun to get dressed up for the holiday. Literary Halloween costumes are the best to get lost in the festivities. You can be anyone you want on Halloween; it’s your night to step into the universe of your favorite book and live in that world. Planning an amazing literary costume is a definite Fall Feels milestone for readers, whether they are going to a party or staying in with a book. Which character do you want to be this year?

Fall Feel #5: …the Goodreads Challenge suddenly gets a whole lot more intense.

Like Sherlock, you’ve got your game face on for the final months of the reading year.

Summer whatever. I can write off a lot of missed reading time in the warmer months. But there comes a point every late August or early September when it suddenly dawns on me that the time is draining through the hourglass to complete my Goodreads Reading Challenge. Maybe you slacked off a few weeks in the summer, and you might have had a reading slump earlier in the year. From September 1 to December 31, there are only 122 reading days left. Once autumn gets here, I start obsessively calculating how many months, weeks, and days I have left to read more books. Sometimes this involves desperate efforts to finish several shorter reads. Either way, I’ve got my game face on and am prepared to keep going until I win my challenge. Are you similarly Goodreads Challenged obsessed come autumn?

  • Psst: We’ve collected some of Rioters favorite tips for how to read more. To sneak in more reading time to meet your Goodreads Challenge, check out our group pointers on “Tips and Tricks for How to Read More.”

Which of these bookish fall feels do you experience? What did we leave out? Drop a comment below!

Samantha Irby and Robin Sloan talk about their favorite books in our newest podcast, Recommended. Download it for free from Apple Podcasts or Google Play.


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