Monday, August 16, 2010

Books in Bed

One day when my oldest daughter was eight, I discovered that her bed was literally covered in books. She slept on the top bunk and I hadn't been up there in a while, because I was in an unwieldy pregnant state. When I say that her bed was covered in books, some naive people may be under the impression that this means a mere five or ten or even twenty books. Those people would be quite wrong. No, the books were five or ten thick covering the entire surface of her bed. They were children's books and therefore thin, but the poor child probably hadn't felt the mattress in weeks.

I think the obvious question that comes to mind at this point is why I wasn't aware that so many books were missing. The answer is that we have such an abundance of children's books that I had no idea. (The eternal state of our bookshelves will now be easy to guess--unruly.) I did realize that some books were up there on her bed, but the magnitude was surprising. She was supposed to be sticking of a limit to five books in the bed each night. She may have even been sticking to that limit, but neglecting to put away any of the books.

Reading is a delightful way to end the day, but books are not always very comfortable in bed. It is a skill to read a large hardback book while lying on one's side, and I certainly have logged plenty of hours trying to learn it. Paperbacks are so much easier to navigate that for a while I declared a personal rule of no hardbacks in bed. This lasted for a good six months before I succumbed to the whiles of Gone With The Wind. Falling asleep on a paperback isn't much more comfortable than a hardback. Some paperbacks are so large the pages flop back and forth if you read them with any tilt at all. And the thicker the book, the more impossible the whole scenario becomes.

Even though reading in bed can present its own unique challenges, I won't stop. I will continue to fall asleep with a book in hand more often than I would like. My rest will continue to be disturbed by paper companions. I will lose sleep as I stay up later than any sane person would to see what happens next. Books in bed are part of my life, and have been for as long as I can remember.

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