Insomnia and the reading life

I was a notorious slacker in grad school. I always read only just enough to get by, and generally succeeded at that.  Of course, “enough to get  by” generally meant 300 or so pages weekly. For several classes, I was reading a book once a week. After 3 years of theology and ethics texts, I was ready to be done. However, I’ve always read a book before bed, usually a novel.

This habit has only picked up since I’ve acquired insomnia during my pregnancy. Since the first trimester, I spend at least 4 (sometimes 5) nights a week wide awake at night. Occasionally I awake with crazy heartburn or a terrible backache. But most of the time, I just wake up, usually between 2 and 4am, and read for 3 hours until I feel tired again. This of course means I am bulldozing through entire books in a matter of days.  This also means that reading has become an essential part of my night routine. I panic when I finish a book and there isn’t another to take its place. I’ve been hitting up a lot of used bookstores lately, and I joined our local library. Life-savers!

Here’s a list of books I’ve plowed through since July (i.e., since moving to Raleigh and becoming pregnant). This averages out to about a book a week.

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

The Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon

Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

Slow Man by J. M. Coetzee

Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire

Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides

How to Be Good by Nick Hornby

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

For the Time Being by Annie Dillard

A Good Man is Hard to Find: Short Stories by Flannery O’Connor


One thought on “Insomnia and the reading life

  1. Pingback: When Your Body Goes Absolutely Nuts: The Postpartum Edition | One Brick At a Time

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