sponsored by the Starbucks Corporation.
I'm merely a longtime dedicated customer.
The opinions, observations and stories shared
here are based purely on my own
here are based purely on my own
Whether I'm plunged head-first into a college class assignment, reviewing a manuscript for another writer or merely enjoying a (very) rare extracurricular op, I'm constantly buried in books. Simply put, I have a passion for the written word and the art of storytelling. However, I read quite slowly. It's something that I've wrestled with for most of my life despite taking high school speed reading courses – a million years ago. My comprehension and ability to retain information rocks, but as I've often joked, it takes me an hour to read the directions on a tube of toothpaste.
As a result of this challenge, my reading environment is crucial. I don't need additional distractions that will further slow me down. I need to lock in and focus. There not only are the obvious distractions involved with reading at home, but being too cozy can also work against me. Not long ago, my girlfriend Michelle graciously set up an office in which I can work and study while hanging out at her place. However, with the non-stop buzz of activity that comes along with having three young kids bopping around all day, even those private quarters don't provide me the serenity necessary to focus. So where can a fella go? Starbucks to the rescue!
As I've tried to convey to so many over the years, my dedication to Starbucks isn't just about coffee – although it IS flippin' awesome coffee. It's about the experience. The calming, peaceful, zen-like experience. But the experience can differ from location to location. And as a true aficionado, I've got my two favorite SB destinations clocked.
When I'm at home in Satellite Beach, Florida, I can get an early head start each day as my neighborhood location on A1A is open at 5:30AM. Like the classic episode of The Simpsons where the town drunks are gathered in front of Moe's Tavern salivating in anticipation of the noon opening, I too, am frequently the first customer of the day at my Starbucks. And since the joint doesn't start going crazy until about 7:00, I can get in, order and claim my comfy "Norm" spot outside in short order. By the time the scene takes on the vibe of a Van Halen concert circa '81, I've already knocked out my daily Bible study, perused my morning copy of The Wall Street Journal, enjoyed my bold venti / Lemon Loaf combo, gotten back in the ol' minivan and begun the trek home. Whooh, by 7:08AM it's time for a nap!
Michelle lives approximately thirty minutes north of me in Viera. When I'm hanging out at her place I can start my morning reading a little later as I face fewer distractions at her neighborhood Starbucks. And it was at the Viera location where I ran across a young lady recently who also had a book with her. Coincidentally, it was a copy of MY latest!
Yes, sitting quietly by myself at Starbucks, enjoying my coffee and subsequent refills, with the sun shining on my face and a gentle breeze blowing is the ultimate environment in which I can maximize my personal reading experience.
So, where is your personal zen-like getaway place where you escape to read, meditate or even pray? I encourage readers to leave comments below regarding this, any exciting new book finds or perhaps even your own personal Starbucks experiences. I'm eager to hear from you!
*Author Christopher Long's latest book,
is available NOW on Amazon.