It’s not a new concept. Coffee and books.
A quick Instagram search will yield several accounts dedicated to just that, and I too have been known to post quite a few pictures of my morning cup of java next to whatever it is that I am currently reading. In fact, heading to a coffee shop for a cappuccino and a dedicated hour to read is one of my favorite pastimes.
So that begs the question: Why do coffee and books go together so well?
I’m sure there are a lot of theories out there on this phenomenon, but it’s probably about as quantifiable as why a coffee shop is so successful or why a particular brand of wine is favored. Much of that is determined by constantly changing consumer tastes and depends greatly on individual circumstances and beneficial timing.
So I’ve decided to narrow down the question: Why do coffee and books go together so well for me?
As I’ve written many times before, I am not a morning person nor a people person. I don’t like a lot of small talk and am highly sensitive to loud noises and crowded places. I am not an emotional person but I do feel things more deeply than I care to admit, which means I spend a great deal of time thinking about, well, anything and everything. As a result, I suffer from an anxiety disorder that can make it very difficult to focus and, worst of all, rest.
Unfortunately, this often means that activities I find exciting, refreshing, and enjoyable are hard to come by. For example, during my college years, I would spend many a weekend traveling to iconic Texas dance halls for a night of two-stepping and classic Texas country. My friends loved the outings, but between the loud music, crowded dance floor, late night hours, small talk with strangers, and just general overstimulation, I found myself physically and emotionally drained from the event for weeks at a time. Nowadays, I even find listening to the radio during my work commute to be just too much noise.
So I’ve turned to reading. Whether I’m at home, the library, or a coffee shop, there is nothing quite like the experience of sitting down with nothing more than a thick collection of paper covered in ink and somehow finding myself in a completely different universe within five minutes. For me, the worries of this world, the noises and its complexities, the things that exhaust and confuse me, all disappear for a short period while I explore another perspective which has more often than not provided clarity and comfort with my own issues and struggles.
So where does coffee come into play then?
Well, since reading is the key to relaxation for me, I ironically enough find myself drifting off in the middle of chapters. Now if I’m at home and have enough time for a nap, then it’s no harm, no foul since I don’t get enough sleep on average anyway, but when I’m out and about, I need something a little extra to keep my focus and my senses alert. Coffee with its strong taste profiles and caffeine kick is the perfect solution to combat my sleepiness, and on cloudy days, warm liquids always add to the atmosphere of coziness.
And besides, coffee is an interesting story in itself. Its history, its influence in international politics, its play in global economics, and its curious effects on health and community are all greatly enjoyable topics to read about. If you are intrigued and would like to learn more about the world of coffee, I highly recommend checking out Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How it Transformed Our World.
And continuing in the spirit of coffee and books, I also highly recommend trying out Novel Coffee Roasters, located in Dallas, TX. They are all about sharing the story of the various coffees that they sell, and I greatly enjoyed my last bag of beans from them.
In the meantime, I’ve got some more reading to do.
The one and the only Pookachino