By Jenny Bullough, Manager of Digital Production for Carina Press and occasional fiction-induced insomniac
I always, always read before I go to sleep at night. I have for as long as I can remember. For me, it’s the best way to lay the stresses of the day to rest, and slowly relax by escaping into another world — a world where I am reasonably sure things will come to a satisfying conclusion and, unlike in life, all loose threads will be neatly wrapped up eventually :)
I choose my bedtime reads very carefully for this reason. No thrillers; no suspense; nothing too dark or dystopian. Romance, cozy mystery, sometimes a complex sci fi or fantasy. (Sometimes, if my darling husband is really lucky, a spicy erotic romance. Rowr!) But nothing too exciting or too sad. After all, the goal with my bedtime reads is not to end the day feeling weepy or anxious, but relaxed and happy.
Last Sunday night I had a rare experience. I settled into bed with my ereader for my usual pre-lights-out relaxing read. But then… the book I was reading got good. I mean REALLY GOOD. Un-put-downable. The plot took a turn, the stakes were raised then raised again and then AGAIN — and I was compelled to keep reading until the end! I couldn’t leave that world until I knew things would work out for the characters, because if I’d turned out the light without knowing, I would never have been able to sleep. I ended up staying awake until I finished the book, around 3am, because I couldn’t leave that world until I’d gone through the full catharsis and reached the satisfying conclusion.
Which is why when my husband came upstairs to bed and found me with tears streaming silently down my face and asked what was wrong, I only answered curtly, “Can’t talk… reading!”
Have you ever stayed up inadvisably late because you were compelled to finish a book? And if so — what book? So I can remember to start reading it around noon, just to be safe :)