For as long as I can remember, I’ve read in bed before going to sleep.
I read in other places, of course, including on the ‘throne’! I’ve known several people who had bookshelves in their bathrooms, so they plainly expected you to be gone for some time and to come out from your ablutions more intelligent than when you entered.
Reading at work was easy when I was a librarian and a teacher, as it’s expected, but I once had a dreadful job on a production line in a factory that made artificial cream. I was second in the process, standing on a raised platform 12′ high, manning a stainless steel bath which tilted in a cradle operated by a large lever. Huge pipes supplied me with liquid ingredients, pumped from silos large enough to contain a bus. I filled the bath with the correct proportions of ingredients—lecithin, milk powder, gelatine, sweetener and vegetable oil, stirring it with a giant wooden spoon to prevent clogging, before tipping the mixture into another pipe which descended to filters and blending mechanisms. These pipes decreased in size until they entered the packing room, where the jollop was poured into pots to be sealed with foil lids. I was up there with nothing do for twenty minutes, in between batches, so took to reading a paperback—until the floor manager saw me. I was banned from reading…worker ants aren’t meant to use their brains.
Incidentally, the single and double ‘cream’ we made had an extra ingredient for a couple of weeks, as a lazy operative failed to clean one of the filters, which was awkward to dismantle. He went on holiday, and his replacement discovered a dead and rather rotten rat in the filter! They didn’t issue a recall for the thousands of pots of cream affected.
Laying in bed with books for companions is relaxing. I’ve lived alone for a while, but have read to wives and lovers, and occasionally been read to. There’s something that’s charmingly soothing about being told a story, like regressing to childhood.
I’m not sure that I could easily get to sleep, without reading first. I like to ring the changes, so have four books on the go at the moment—a novel, a poetry collection, a lovely art book by David Trigg called Reading Art: Art For Book Lovers and a popular psychology book. About 90 minutes of reading sees me nodding off, and after turning the darkness on, I send a wish to my self-conscious about my WIP before descending into sleep.
Reading in bed is a great pleasure and one that I enjoy without disturbing anyone, being a solitary soul. In the past, I’ve read to various wives and lovers at bedtime—and even been read to a few times—happy times.
Nonetheless, an inconsiderate partner who reads for hours, bedside table light blazing, can be a pain. Legendary Hollywood actress Jean Harlow supposedly divorced her third husband because he read in bed, as mentioned in this article:
A discreet clip-on book light helps to keep the peace.
Do you read in bed?
To yourself, a partner or a child?
Do you have a clip-on book light?
Or, do you read from an ebook reader?
Or, an audiobook?
Do you ever dream about what you read?
What are you reading at the moment?
Reading In Bed by Mernet Larsen