Reading In Bed

Most mornings I wake up and lie there for a little while charting my course through the coming day: how can I wish the day away fast enough to climb back into the sanctuary of my cosy bed and take up my place in one of the many virtual worlds to be found inside my beloved Kindle? Yes my darlings I am one of those: a lady who would rather be reading than doing almost anything else. Life does get so outrageously in the way of all that is to be experienced and enjoyed within the pages of a book doesn’t it?

While reading is wonderful wherever one finds oneself, there is a special place in my silly heart for reading in bed. Once my evening meal has been devoured and my body relaxed by a salty hot bath, my whole being yearns to slip between the sheets, a fuzzy grey blanket around my bare shoulders and the pillows arranged just so…

I light a musky candle at my bedside and spritz my sheets with lavender. The room is lit by a single lamp at my bedside and the room immaculately tidy because I cannot sleep in chaos. It is comfortably cold, the heating never turned on in the bedroom and the window, even in the depths of Winter, ever so slightly open. On my bedside my two Kindle’s lie (yes, two! A Kindle Fire and the original -darling- Kindle with keyboard), and next to the bed a little vintage basket in which I now keep Simple Abundance and whatever vintage books I have happened across during the most recent of my treasury hunts, each one welcomed into my literary fold by the addition of a vintage postcard for use as a bookmark and place to make penciled notes upon…

My preference now is to read one of my Kindles at bedtime: the weight of the device in my hand is just right, and though I know traditionalists shudder, and some get terribly sniffy about the whole affair and declare that because they are book lovers they would not contemplate the purchase of such a machine, forgetting methinks that their beloved writers trade in words not paper and don’t give a damn really how those words are conveyed to their readers hearts and minds…

When I am tired, the glare of the Kindle Fire is too much for my befuddled eyes, so I pick up my original Kindle and click through the pages merrily, often deep in to the early hours, in the complete darkness, while Richard snores beside me – my way lit by my darling little Kandle, a tiny Kindle book light (Kindle candle, get it??), I keep in the little black velvet bag it comes in at my bedside. While I have found most Kindle lamps to be the most awkward of fiddly little wotsits, the Kandle is  unobtrusively gently lit and small enough not to be a bother and both me and my Mum who is similarly addicted to her Kindle, are delighted with it…

Last night I Kandled my way through The School of Essential Ingredients and within the first paragraph received a warning of what it is to find too much solace in books…

Lillian had been four years old when her Father had left them, and her Mother, stunned, had slid into books like a seal into water. Lillian had watched her Mother submerge and disappear, sensing instinctively, even at her young age the impersonal nature of a choice made simply for survival, and adapting to the niche she would now inhabit, as a watcher from the shore of her Mother’s ocean.

Heavens! But it won’t stop me. Not when books like this one from Erica Baeurmeister exist. The School of Essential Ingredients is a delightful soul-warming tale of a Monday evening cooking school and it’s respective attendants. Full of quiet, elegant prose, it is a light book resplendent with the kind of truths that gently poke at ones own heart.

For this then, is what reading is to me:  a reminder that even in the middle of the night, I am not alone. That other women feel like I do… 

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9 comments on “Reading In Bed

  1. Susan Telford on said:

    Hi Alison,
    I too love reading more than anything. And right now my favourite author is …………! :-). I am having loads of fun reading all your stuff here. I am working my way through your author archives. Stayed awake til the wee hours this morning reading from page 475 to page 430, while my DH snored gently at my side :-).
    Mind you, I just have to go from loving reading about domestic bliss to actually doing doing the work necessary to achieve it.
    Anyway, just wanted to say thanks, I love your work and Simple Abundance is my all time favourite book too. I bought it when it first came out and have read it every day since. I write in the margins and it is absolutely scrawled on and falling to bits, but I love seeing how I have changed and grown over the years.

    Lots of love


  2. We are a lot alike Alison! Love reading in a cool, clean room on my ipad mini! Love it Love it Love it! I so wish it burned calories.

  3. Oh, I loved the glimpse into your habits… I have two kindles and an iPad! The original first edition turned pages with the slightest graze… That excerpt about slipping into another world…. Beautiful!

  4. I love my kindle fire. For some reason I seem to be able to read more with my digital device than paper and hardbacks. I do love to look at my collection of books on my desk though. At night I turn down the brightness on the kindle fire to low so that I can fall asleep easier and it doesnt disturb my husband.

  5. I absolutely loved “The School of Essential Ingredients”! I recently read her newer one – “The Lost Art of Mixing” and it was just as enjoyable – maybe a little more melancholy, though.

  6. Linda DeFazio on said:

    I use my Kindle every night. When I retired earlier this year, my office gave me a Kindle and a huge basket with all the luxuries to go with it. I do read on into the night and so mornings are very difficult. Lots of coffee to wake up!

  7. Oh, I love reading in bed. Ultimate luxury for me is sleeping in on a Saturday, then grabbing a book off the nighttable and reading in bed for a while before getting up. That doesn’t really happen right now with two wee ones, but someday it will again. And I loved that book as well!

  8. Taking deep, soul soothing sniffs of a kindle simply does not contain within it the same satisfying sense as sniffing a book.
    And if you drop a book in the bath there is still hope for its recovery.

    I too love to read – and, really, I have nothing against kindles. They would likely be far more easy to manage when one is snuggled deep down in bed with the covers pulled snug under one’s chin.

  9. This is so inspiring 🙂 I think that my Snuggery is screaming for an overhaul and I am going to do it tomorrow!