Books out in the open and books inside a Kindle case.


There are not so many books on my side of the bed. Only five.

This is because our house was built in 1950 and our bedroom is not a large room. The bed itself is an old-fashioned ¾ size, extended lengthwise for my 6’2” husband. Only a small table fits between my side of the bed and the wall and it only holds around five books at a time while still leaving space for a cup of tea.

Here are my current five books:

  • The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain
  • Far More Terrible For Women: Personal Accounts of Women in Slavery
  • The Quakers, A Very Short Introduction by Ben Pink Dandelion (you are getting the author’s name because I enjoy telling you his name)
  • A Fort of Nine Towers, An Afghan Family Story
  • The New Revised Standard Edition of The Green Bible

And doesn’t that make me look like a serious reader? Since nobody ever sees this pile of books but me, I am only fooling myself.

I’m only halfway through three of these volumes, just beginning the fourth, and open The Green Bible mostly for reference. (Can you hear me blowing the dust off?)

Stories of enslavement can be hard to read.

And I haven’t made it though the rape scene of a ten-year-old Afghan boy. (As long as I don’t read it, maybe it never happened.) And I was doing so well before that. Qais Akbar Omar’s prose is flawless, a joy to read. I am sure he will handle this difficult scene with grace and beauty but I can wait to find out.

In front of this pile of books, on the coaster waiting for that cup of tea, is my Kindle Paperwhite, hooked up to its umbilical cord and safe in its needlepoint case. Here is where I keep my light reading, the books that entertain me when I am immobilized with the fevers, aches or insomnia of CFIDS. I am grateful that when I can’t write myself, I am seldom so ill that I cannot read.

Currently, magically concealed behind the Kindle screen, there are historical romances by Mary Blalogh and Sarah MacLean and Marion Chesney. In Chesney’s other incarnation as M.C. Beaton there are cozy mysteries. And here’s The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe (recommended by Smart Bitches, Trashy Books) and a book from Angie Sage’s Magyk series. And here’s the intriguing Transit in B-flat by Joeseph Erhardt, Fearless Leader of the Rich Writers’ Critique Group.

And oh, look! here’s have a sample of McDonough’s William Tecumsah Sherman. I read an intriguing review of that book somewhere and, when I didn’t find it in the library, thought I’d get acquainted with it before making a serious commitment that involves money.

There are also, sometimes, magazines beside the bed; rug hooking or quilting or mixed media magazines with articles that feed my dreams. But not today.

Less you might think me an ascetic, I will admit to more books in the bedroom than these few. There are books on the other side of the bed (which will not be listed because they aren’t mine since) and books on top of my chest of drawers and an actual bookcase on top of my husband’s dresser.

Of course, there are books, magazines, manuscripts, etc. in every other room of the house, too. And more books inside Little Free Library 3966 in front of our house, which itself is featured in the book Little Libraries, Big Hearts.

So, what books are beside your bed?

(*Books undercover are often also under the covers.)


4 thoughts on “Books: the Obvious and the Undercover*

  1. I’ve never been much of a shopper (until recent years) but my parents taught me to appreciate libraries. And that’s a good thing for my house could not contain the number of books I have read over a lifetime. I, in turn, took my children to the library, once, maybe twice a week. We’d leave, arms full to bulging or a bag so weighted down I’d fear it would break before it made it inside the door.

    I read fiction most often these days (I need the escape) but have been known to consume copious amounts of non-fiction as well. My daughters read fiction for the most part but I found myself stunned when my oldest daughter began bringing biographies home at about the age of ten. What child reads biographies?

    As I said above, I’m not much of a shopper, but, then I acquired my first ereader. Initially, I just used it to check books out from my local library, but then I discovered Bookbub and a few other sites where you can “purchase” free books and a monster was created! I have a huge online library stored for free on Amazon. I may “buy” three maybe four books a day and read one or two or three novelettes. Probably my favorite genre is Romantic Suspense, but I read Chick Lit and Thrillers, Contemporary Romance and Murder Mysteries and on occasion I snap up a non-fiction book here or there – usually inspirational books. A few days ago I grabbed, “Shattered: Surviving the Loss of a Child” (for free). When I purchase books (which I do on occasion) I usually buy non-fiction. In recent years those books have revolved around child loss. I bought Randy Alcorn’s book ” Heaven” and C.S. Lewis’s “A Grief Observed”, and picked up two new Bibles. One you color in and another that explains the cultural significance of Biblical events and teaching. Both will likely gather some dust, but they will supplement my trusty and beaten-up NKJ and my NASB.

    I enjoy reading your posts! I’m sorry to hear about your battle with chronic illness. My daughter has a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy called ARSACS (one reason I need an escape) and my husband was recently diagnosed with Fybermyalgia (sp? I haven’t even learned to spell it correctly yet) and I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety with a touch of PTSD following a bad car accident. So, I imagine we understand each other in ways others might not. I read under cover as well!

    Best wishes to you as you struggle your way through CFIDS. And please keep writing!


    1. I once wrote a story that featured a house so full of books it finally collapsed into the basement. It was based on a friend’s house where even the stairs were used as bookshelves, except for a tiny section against the wall. I imagine you and I both would need to do that if we had physical copies of all the books we’ve read.

      I hope your daughter and husband are bearing up well and so are you. I am not always a cheerful or patient person when I am most plagued with symptoms and often have to apologize to my husband.

      And, those of us who read to escape, don’t we owe a debt to the writers? Thank you, writers — just nod your heads in heads in acknowledgement — I wouldn’t want to take you away from your work!

      Liked by 1 person

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