When Reading Becomes A Snooze

Reading Clip Art

I can look back into my many encounters with reading in bed and recall a host different stories. Whether it was a classic like To Kill A Mockingbird or something newer like the political autobiographies that seem to pop up very frequently nowadays, I have been known to keep a book under my pillow from time to time (and that’s where it is because the unconventional layout of my bedroom does not make a nightstand possible).

Most of the time, when I read, I look up at the clock later and see how much time has elapsed. Usually, it’s quite a while and I have to force myself to stop, whether or not I want to put the book down. There are some times, however, when books have been perfect sleep assistants.

One book in particular accomplished this feat in ways I never thought possible. After graduating from college, I retained most of my textbooks (sometimes willingly, sometimes not) and a handful of them were historical non-fiction from courses I had taken over the years. There is one on my bookshelf about Stalinist Russia; on the back cover, it boasts critical acclaim from The New York Times, amongst others, and it was from a class that I found relatively interesting (though the professor left something to be desired). Furthermore, though it is a harsh, somber read on the realities of gulag life in the Soviet Union, the subject matter is not something I would necessarily find off-putting, since I enjoy history and even minored in it.

So why did I fall asleep every time I so much as touched it?

I’m not kidding: I don’t think I got through more than five pages at a time before my eyes got blurry and I was moments from slipping into unconsciousness.

The book is long, but also very dense — quite a bit of material was squeezed into each page, and none of it was light entertainment. Still, I would normally be able to hold out for at least half an hour of reading a night before succumbing to my need for rest.

If this happens to you once, you might just be tired that night. Should it happen often, it could be that the book just bores the life out of you or is too heavy or unsuitable for nighttime reading. This is why choosing the right reading material for bed is key — unless, of course, you want a book that will knock you out in ten minutes flat.

Have you ever read a book that regularly put you to sleep?

About Joe

Joe is a writer; that should be perfectly evident to you by now. If, for some reason, it is not evident to you, you should probably contact Joe and tell him that he's not trying hard enough. Joe is an author and freelance writer from New York. He has a B.A. from Boston College and has blogged for a number of years. Joe released his debut novel in 2012, and also has penned a number of short stories.