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Reading

Turn your balcony into a reading room

Read a good book lately? `Course you have. Where'd you read it, bouncing up and down on the subway stuck between two hulks?

Clive, our balcony connoisseur, is aghast. When such a lovely tangle of vines and flowers awaits you at home, reading anywhere else is an insult to the author. No excuses. All you need is a good place to sit, decent lighting, and a juicy novel or magazine to devour.

If you're an avid reader, put some thought into where you'll be parking. Are you more of a hammock person or do you like your chaises longue? Is your comfort level directly proportional to the number of pillows around you? (Trust us, you don't want to realize halfway into War and Peace that your hip's out of joint.) Push your metal cafe chairs aside and try curling up on a cushy old sofa. Even if it takes up half the garden, your body will thank you.

While you're at it, read out loud to your plants and see if they grow any faster. Hey, you never know!