Sunday, August 29, 2010

True story

Earlier this week, I had to write my new bio for the CYBILS Awards. (I am again reprising my job as the coordinator for the poetry category.) This year we decided as a group to focus on our personal reading histories, and I shared a story from when I was in fourth grade. And I nearly set the house on fire. Not with matches, mind you, but because I was trying to hide the fact that I was reading after bedtime. Not having a working flashlight, I opted to put my actual lamp under a heavy blanket, so I could sit under there and read.

It didn't occur to me (being something like 9 years old) that it would get hot under the blanket. Or that the plastic lamp shade would melt. But melt it did, and I had to confess what happened to my mother the next morning. (And then, I had to live with that mutant lampshade for quite a while because we couldn't afford a new one.)

But after I wrote the bio, I got to thinking that the lampshade debacle didn't stop me from sneaking additional reading time after bedtime. I used to climb out of bed and get down on the floor by my bedroom door so I could read by the teeny bit of light that came in under the door from the hall. Or if was a full moon, I'd haul myself over to the window and read by moonlight. Or if we lived somewhere where there was a streetlight outside (we moved a lot until I was 12), I'd read by whatever ambient light made its way in.

As I've gotten older, I haven't had to resort to such drastic measures in order to keep reading, but when I am reading (which is pretty much daily - I've been engaging in "comfort reading" lately, but will be moving my attention to my TBR pile sometime very soon), I continue to have issues with bedtime. I always want to read just a bit more, even when I know I should get to bed. And even when I know that I can read again the next morning, if I want.

What about you? Did you try to stay up late to read? Do you still sneak extra reading time? Do you do it for all books, or only for certain kinds?

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