May 24, 2012

Reading in Bed

Photo found here.
I think a lot of people read before bed to make themselves sleepy. The problem is for me (and perhaps for some of you other book addicts?) is that if I start reading just before bed, I can't go to sleep. Instead, I stay up reading and reading and reading, and am inevitably tired and cranky the next morning.

For a lot of years I just didn't read before bed - I watched movies, or got online. But since Eleanor came on the scene and my reading options got much more limited, I've rediscovered reading in bed.

I have to be very careful about what books I choose though. Too vivid? I get nightmares. (Hello Hogwarts dreams). Too boring? I fall asleep early, wasting precious book time. Too interesting? I stay up late reading, wasting precious sleep time. It's a tricky balance.


But if I pick correctly I generally end up having 3 or 4 evenings a week where I can enjoy a book before bed. I've found the best option to be narrative nonfiction. Craig Taylor's Londoners is a perfect example - interesting essays, but short chapters, so I could read a handful before dozing off. I also read City of Scoundrels over the course of several evenings. My current bedtime reading is Tony Horwitz's Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before. It has rather long chapters - so I usually only manage one a night, which is why I've been reading it for almost a month now.

Part of me wants to sit and read a big chunk of Blue Latitudes some afternoon, just because I don't like taking so long to read a book. But the other part of me has realized that it's pretty perfect bedtime reading, and I might as well enjoy it! Plus I keep having dreams about tropical islands, which is much better than Hogwarts.

Do you read before bed? Do you get nightmares easily?

The book images are Amazon affiliate links.