Almost every night before I go to sleep, I read in bed. It’s a habit taught to me by my parents, and it’s one I cherish. In fact, I almost cannot go to sleep if I don’t read at least a couple of pages. There’s something about the space that a book puts between me and my day that makes the Sandman come more quickly.
Yet, there are a few challenges to this practice of mine. First, I don’t have a headboard, so I typically read while lying (laying? – I never can get those straight) down on my side. Here I face a little difficulty if I’m reading a book larger than a mass market paperback because I have to prop the book on the bed with it’s edge resting at an angle so that I can read one page; then, I slide the book down and easily read the next page. (I know, my struggles in life are vast). I have tried reading with the book held over my head, but my arms tired quickly (more yoga is in order, I suppose), and when I prop myself on my forearms and lay the book on the bed in front of me, my neck begins to scream (again, yoga). So it seems that the “sidelie” works best.
This position, however, invites certain furry creatures to see the space framed by my body, my arms, and the book as a prime location for settling in. Those of you with cats know that these creatures seem to hunt out paper (or laptops – something related to words will work) as the ideal resting location, never mind the sheepskin beds and carefully scrunched afghans that we lay around for them. A grocery bag or half-graded paper will do the trick. Thus, my bedtime reading posture can often become a cozy one that sometimes I find annoying and sometimes I find so sweet that I just lean into the fur and breath. (One of my cats smells like honey, the others – not so much).
In reality, though, this challenge is so minor that I hope you read this post as comical, as sincere and honest as it is. Sometimes I just need to focus on the little things because the world around me seems so harsh. The feeling of cat fur on my face – that is something real and benign and loving. That is something good.
– Bascove’s “Reading in Bed” (from Legendumst)