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