How to Give Your Reading Routine a Fall-tastic Makeover

Posted by Blair Thornburgh

Get offa my book, ya pesky leaf!

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but EVERYONE these days is buzzing about fall. Haven’t heard of it? Open your eyes, trend-misser-outer! A perky season with a flashy kick of color, fall brings together the outdoorsy delights of summer and the bundled-up coziness of winter, but without crippling dehydration and/or Vitamin D deficiency!

Like the gradual discoloration and death of all plant life after the first frost, fallsiness is inevitable and pervasive—it must be part of every aspect of your life, and your TBR pile is no exception (you do not want to be one of those poor souls whose reading life is aseasonal, do you?!) Here’s how to wow your bookish friends and impress your literary enemies with a full-on fall-times reading-stuff makeover!


  1. Glue fake leaves to your book for that “just raked” look
  2. Grate cinnamon over your pages
  3. Use a decorative cob of corn for a bookmark
  4. Replace the pumpkin in your favorite pie recipe with canned puree of narrative
  5. Write “Her Excellency Autumnalia, Queen of Fall” on all your THIS BOOK BELONGS TO bookplates
  6. Before reading, give your book a few dunks into a pumpkin spice latte
  7. Head to the backyard and throw a book around instead of the ol’ pigskin
  8. Squeeze all your ripe hardbacks in a press for some delicious book cider
  9. Read some classic stories that somehow involve fall: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, The Fall of the House of Usher, Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater: The House and Its History
  10. When you finish a book, throw it directly into the fireplace to lend your blaze a distinctive literary air
  11. Visit the library, but only if the date is between September 21st and December 21st, thereby making it a FALL visit
  12. If you’re at a café, and you’re trying to read, and someone asks if they can share your table, tell them to “leaf” you alone!!! And no they can’t!
  13. Chop root vegetables into equal one-inch pieces, toss with olive oil and one tablespoon of salt, and roast at 400º F for 25­–30 minutes
  14. That was from a cookbook, okay, it counts
  15. Go apple picking, but…bring…a book? God, I don’t know
  16. Book-o-Lanterns! There we go.
  17. Okay, you know how when you’re walking with boots on and you’re trying to step on every crunchy leaf in your path even though it makes you go in this weird zigzag pattern and then you accidentally catch an acorn under your heel and lose your balance and roll your ankle and everyone on the street looks at you like you’re crazy? Well, that’d be pretty annoying if it happened while you were also reading
  18. Instead of stuffing, fill your turkey with books
  19. Instead of a turkey, fill your books with stuffing
  20. Instead of candy, hand out books for Halloween, kids today are NOT getting enough fiber in their diets
  21. Read with hand-knit gloves on. No, not the fingerless kind, just regular gloves, I don't care how hard it is to turn the pages


That's fall, folks!

Image credits: 1, 2

Blair Thornburgh

Blair Thornburgh

BLAIR THORNBURGH is a graduate of the University of Chicago, where she earned a B.A. in medieval studies and delivered a pretty good commencement speech. She lives in Philadelphia.