When I was a child, I had a curfew of 10pm, which meant that I had to be in bed by that time. Luckily, I didn’t have to actually be asleep by that time. I couldn’t watch TV (not part of the curfew), but I could read. And so, like any enterprising boy who didn’t really want to lie down and go to sleep, I read . . . and read . . . and read. I usually read for about 45 minutes to an hour, though sometimes I stretched it a little. I can only remember getting into trouble one time for staying up too late as my family was huge on reading.
I relate this story because I discovered that I don’t really read at night any more–haven’t for a while. I had a reading light when I was a child, but the overhead ceiling lights aren’t really conducive to reading in preparation for bed. Luckily, over the past year I found a nice lamp that doubles as a good reading light so, periodically, I’ve been experimenting with reading at night like I used to as a child. I haven’t been able to find the right book . . . until now. Most of the books that I read are novels and I tend to devour them, especially now that I have so little reading time. I tend to read too long and stay up too late reading.
However, after much trial and error, I’ve finally found (hopefully) a genre of books that seem to work as bedtime reading–not too boring that it will put me to sleep immediately and not too dramatic that I stay up too late reading: Role-playing Games (RPGs). The one I’m reading now is called Legend of the Five Rings and it is a Fantasy RPG that merges a fantasy land with martial arts and magic. Right now I’m reading the “history” of the world, which is a fantasy mash-up of the long history of countries like China and Japan. It is interesting enough as I’m a History minor and love the history behind the world, but not riveting enough to keep me from putting it down when I finally feel tired. I’m able to get ideas for future stories while reading, but I’m also able to rest as well. It will be quite a while before I finish it–it is after all a 338 page book with double columns, but hopefully it will help me both sleep and be productive with story ideas at the same time.