The Book That Lives Under My Bed

I usually keep a book or two under my bed, within arms reach. Reading a bit before I go to sleep slows the race in my mind to a casual stroll and allows me a good nights’ sleep.

It seems weird that another person’s words would make the ones running through my mind take a break. Perhaps it wouldn’t work if people wrote books about things I’m supposed to do tomorrow or expressing concerns about my uncertain future. Thankfully, books about me are not among the more popular genres.

In The Interest Of Accuracy

“A book or two under my bed” is not completely accurate. If you were to look there, you’d usually find two books. One of those is just passing through.  It will be gone in a week or so. The other one lives there.

As best I can remember, I started reading the book that lives under my bed at least ten years ago. There is an airline ticket from 2004 stuck between the pages as a bookmark, but the book and I were together for several years for several years before that trip.

I went through the book the first time and immediately restarted it. I’ve been reading it more or less continuously ever since. My book is like one of those films you re-watch and see something new in each viewing. Each reading provides a new discovery. It is an amazing piece of work, especially given the difficult personal circumstances the author was in at the time.

Sometimes The Book Makes The Choice

The Book.

When I am between readings, I still pick the book up and read a chapter or page at random. Sometimes I’ll seek out a particular section.

Other times, I start reading wherever the book decides to open itself to me. Perhaps that is part of the book’s charm for me now. While the author’s mastery of the language and ability to make me see what he did hooked me on the first reading, this particular copy of the book is part of the experience for me.

Purists would have a fit over the condition my book is in. The binding is broken. The pages are dog-eared, some purposely, others from being dropped back over the side of the bed. The cover has a big crease. I could replace it with a duplicate copy for a few dollars. But I couldn’t find its equal, ever.

My book has traveled with me. It has been on family vacations and business trips. I’ve read it on my lunch break from work. Sometimes I think I can smell the ocean in it from when I brought it on scuba trips, but maybe that’s me getting wrapped up in what I’m reading. The wear of those travels, each bend and tear tell me the story of the journey the book and I have been on for all these years.

I read it a little last night. Later this week I will read more. We’ll keep being roommates, with me in the top bunk.

Thanks Mark.

Be good & you will be lonesome – Mark Twain, from the frontispiece of Following The Equator


27 Comments on “The Book That Lives Under My Bed”

  1. AiXeLsyD13 says:

    I’ll have to check this book out, I’ve never read it. I enjoy the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader series for bedtime reading. They’re full of wonderfully useless yet entertaining information. I also have a thing for rock star bios. Unfortunately most of them are the “here are all the drugs I did/don’t do drugs” format, but I love the name-dropping & timelines. Ha ha.

  2. I have more than a few books like that in my collection. Reading them is like sitting down with an old friend.

  3. Wendi says:

    I love that you have this lifelong relationship with a book. There are a few titles that I go back to every so often but none that I have an ongoing appointment with. I like that idea though…I may have to grab Atlas Shrugged off the shelf and put it on the nightstand.

    • omawarisan says:

      That book makes it easy to pick up and read from anywhere.

    • Betty says:

      I’ve had Atlas Shrugged on my nightstand for about 3 years now. I usually read two books each week but I can’t seem to read more than a few pages of AS in a sitting and go for several weeks without being able to pick it up again.

      • sekanblogger says:

        Atlas Shrugged was one of the biggest wastes of time I ever volunteered for. It’s really predictable. The bedside is a good place for this book, as it will make you sleepy. Once you are sleepy, it’s thick enough to be used as a nightstand.
        I’ve never understood the status that Rand enjoyed as an author. Not enjoyable reading, and she could have had a much better book if it was about 1/3 the length.

        Spoiler: John Galt doesn’t exist.

  4. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Now I’ve got to read that book! I keep books on both sides of my bed, on the floor, wherever they land. I must be reading at least 5 books now, unable to pick one up and just finish it. Frankly, if I went into the home of someone and found no books next to the bed, I’d seriously reconsider the relationship.

  5. My books form a tower next to the bed. After awhile, I put them sway. Then a new tower starts.

  6. Todd Pack says:

    That is what you’d call dog-eared. Mark Twain would be proud (but he probably woudn’t admit it).

  7. . . . be lonesome and you will be free. . .

    It makes perfect sense that Twain is your traveling companion.

  8. Lenore Diane says:

    You’ve tweaked my interest, Oma. I’ll have to explore this book.
    By the way – tomorrow is your big day. Oh, I know you don’t need me to remind you. Still, I wanted you to know I did not forget. Oh, and your son’s performance is coming soon, too? Busy schedule – even without the holiday. Here’s to escaping (again) with Twain.

  9. Debbie says:

    I haven’t read that one — sounds fascinating, especially if it’s something you’ve enjoyed all these many years! Again, best wishes for your “journey” back to health tomorrow.

  10. Laura says:

    I’ve never heard of that book — I’ll have to check it out.

    Best wishes / good luck for your surgery tomorrow. And I hope you got the result you wanted from that pregnancy test.

  11. I haven’t seen that Twain book, Oma…being a fan, will have to seek it out!

    Will be thinking of you tomorrow…


  12. jacquelincangro says:

    To heck with all those purists being offended by the condition of your book. To me good wear and tear is a measure of your love. I can’t think of a better endorsement.

    Love Twain.

  13. planetross says:

    I usually have a copy of “The Catcher in the Rye” around somewhere.

    note: I think I’ve just been put on a government list for saying that.

    double note: I’ve watched “Shawshank Redemption” way too many times … and can start watching it at any point. … and the chase scene in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, which is about 26 minutes long, I could watch quite regularly too!

  14. sekanblogger says:

    Twain is a great author. What a wonderful character with a populist streak that I’ve always found appealing.

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