Friday, May 17, 2013

Books on the Nightstand

“Sleep is good, he said, And books are better.” So wrote George R. R. Martin. The current state of my nightstand illustrates that sentiment perfectly.

This is not my nightstand. A photograph of my nightstand would not be so homey and picturesque. And I do not use anything so practical as a bookshelf beside my bed because I have not fully accepted my book hoarding habit. I chose this image for its piles of books, not artfully arranged like something from the pages of Southern Living, but joyfully askew and well-thumbed.

There is a hierarchy, loose but real, among the stacks that bury my alarm clock. Right now, including an e-book and e-audiobook inside my smart phone, my nightstand is home to 15 books. My current favorites are Kate Atkinson's Life After Life and The Heart and the Fist by Eric Greitens. I keep them front and center, balanced on an open drawer. Beside those is the tower of books I have yet to start but cannot wait to read, just as soon as I am finished with the books I am already reading. On the floor rests a pair that I am making my way through slowly, a chapter or two at a time: the 1000+ pager I cannot give up on and the latest book club selection. Why is it always harder to do required reading, even when it's a great book? In another pile I've got the The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I'm reading that aloud to my kids, then silently continuing to read it once they are asleep. Next comes the mystery I started and didn't much like, but somehow feel I should continue with. I'll probably just skip to the end to see who dunnit. In that same pile are two gems I have already finished but find myself returning to, seeking out the passages I love.

How many books take pride of place at your bedside? Is there only one (no judgement, just asking), or stacks and stacks? Which would you recommend to a friend? Tell us what books are on your nightstand. Here's everything on mine, for now:

Photographic image via theblackapple.typepad.com


Fiona Dinwiddie said...

Here's one suggestion: make your kids read to themselves or better yet plop them in front of the tv with the Narnia movies. That will knock one of those books off your list.

Linda K. said...

My current nightstand stack includes a large print edition of Dashiell Hammett's Return of the Thin Man. Surprising funny and easy to read without my glasses. Next is Sun Tzu Was a Sissy by Stanley Bing - short, funny chapters. And finally my Nook, where I'm re-reading some old favorites by Carl Hiaasen. (Nook is great for reading in the dark too.)

Lynne said...

Ms. Dinwiddie, great advice with the tv -- worked like a charm, didn't hear a peep out of them all night! Now I can move on to another new book. Linda, maybe I'll give Sun Tzu Was a Sissy a try. The title alone makes me laugh.

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