“Care for a Nightcap?”
Care for a Nightcap?
By Meg of write meg!
When it comes to the witching hour, I don’t need whiskey or a soothing bath to get ready to sleep. I’m notoriously irritated if I don’t get my seven hours
of nightly shut-eye, but I can’t sleep at all without a trusty paperback in hand.
That’s right, friends: I’m a before-bedtime reader, that cranky creature who will complain mercilessly if she doesn’t get at least 30 minutes of quality time with her current cast of characters before bed. Though I carry books around everywhere and sometimes sneak in some reading on my lunch hour, I do most of my “real” reading at night. Before I fall asleep . . . with the book still in hand.
When it comes to what’s on my nightstand, I’m convinced a well-read fairy sneaks in around midnight to leave stacks of delicious paperbacks. I mean, seriously — where do these novels come from? Am I sleep-buying online? Has my house become a secret library drop-off zone? Do they require parental supervision to keep from multiplying when I look away?
It gets out of control. But as bedtime rolls around, I’m not usually thinking about the sheer number of reads hovering nearby. I’m running through my mental checklist of everything I need to do the following day, and my evening reading is when I decompress. As such, I tend to keep memoirs and gentle-paced books on my nightstand — stories I might not read during my 9-to-5, but ones that help quiet that calendar- and list-obsessed monster in my head.
Though I currently have hundreds of “to be read” books in a dilapidated IKEA shelf, I only keep a few books on my nightstand at once. Those reads-in-progress include Julia Child’s My Life In France, a lovely and fragrant take on her time learning to cook and enjoying the Parisian life with her beloved husband; and Lip Service by M. J. Rose, which is a little bit naughty — but in a smart way. Heralded as a Fifty Shades of Grey before such a beast existed, Lip Service is light and tantalizing reading. Pretty different from My Life In France, but it’s good to keep things fresh.
I’m not a very staid reader. I flip between non-fiction and fiction, chick lit and memoirs, classics and contemporary young adult. Like so many of us,
I fill my waking “free” hours with colorful characters and dramatic situations. I love books that make me think, cry, laugh — and want to learn more. If a story succeeds in getting me to Wikipedia the tar out of its subject, it’s done its job.
Until I’m researching the Dust Bowl, Ernest Hemingway’s many wives, keys to French cuisine or Jane Austen’s “secret love” at 3 a.m. And then I’m cursing the well-read fairy . . . you know, until tomorrow.
Meg is a writer, editor and Ravenclaw who enjoys taste-testing pumpkin spice lattes, photographing her dinner and annoying her boyfriend with endless questions about the universe. She lives in Maryland and blogs on books, life and food at writemeg.com.
We’d love to know what books are waiting for you on your nightstand. Send a picture along with a description to us here.
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