Sunday Scribblings-Bedtime Stories

If you want to get a good night’s sleep, the experts say, you should develop a bedtime ritual and stick to it. I’ve been heeding that advice since I was a very little girl, and the main ingredient in my bedtime ritual has always been stories. When I was very small, someone (usually my mother or grandmother) read the stories to me. Johanna Spry’s Heidi, was a particular favorite. When we reached the part where Grandfather and Heidi shared a glass of warm goat’s milk and fresh bread, invariably I would become very hungry, necessitating a trip to the kitchen for a glass of milk and some bread and butter of my own. I also clearly remember one of the “Little Golden Books” that had a picture of puppies on the cover, and I could never go to sleep until I had covered the book up with a blanket so the puppies wouldn’t get cold.

As soon as I was able to read on my own, I kept books and a flashlight under my pillow, so I could read well into the wee hours of the night – which usually turned out to be all of about 11:00. I’m sure I wasn’t fooling my mother at all, who was wise enough to play dumb about my late night reading under the covers. During this time, I remember devouring Madeleine L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time series, Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy and Tacy books, and Louise Fitzhugh’s Harriet the Spy. I also started surreptitiously reading Jane Eyre and Gone With the Wind at bedtime, because, at age 10, my mother thought I was too young for them. (I think I did fool her about that!)

I still go to bed with books – as a matter of fact, we had a power outage last summer and I took my book to bed, even though I couldn’t read it – just holding it helped me fall asleep! Crawling into bed with a good book remedies even the worst of days, and serves as a reward for a day well spent. I’ve probably never gone to bed without a book in my hand. I’m even pretty sure I took books on my honeymoon, although I can’t remember just how much reading I actually did! Books are my security blanket at night, my magic carpet away from the worries and concerns of the day, and my passport into a land of sweet dreams.

my current bedtime reading

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18 thoughts on “Sunday Scribblings-Bedtime Stories

  1. I, on the other hand, can’t seem to get beyond a few pages without having to put out the light. Not much progress gets made if I take a book to bed!

    Your ritual sounds wonderful, Becca.

  2. I love your ritual…and it’s the same advice that they give parents about their children. 🙂 Your books look good too…I have Write Away, I just haven’t leapt into it yet.

    Wonderful look at your bedtime stories through your life.

  3. I’m like Star, I have piles of books by my bed, and I never get very far before I get sleepy. I’m trying to give myself permission to read in the daytime, too.

  4. Aaaahhh, going to bed with books. I love doing that. The first time I ever read any of the Alice stories was under the covers by flashlight. 🙂

  5. Oh yes! A Wrinkle In Time! I loved all of her books so much. Books were also such a safe place for me. I am so happy that my kids love books as much!
    I also have the Three Junes by my bed. I haven’t started it yet, though.

    🙂

  6. Like you, I must go to bed with books, if I can’t read I feel like I can’t sleep and I’ll even sleep in the guest room if I come home late, so I can read and not keep my husband awake. I liked seeing the books on your nightstand.

  7. That’s a very well worn copy of The Artist’s Way you’ve got there Becca 🙂
    Thanks for the peek into your life in bedtime reading!
    x

  8. My bedtime ritual is very similiar. I love snuggling up with a good book at the end of the day. My only problem is when I get involved in a great book, I tend to continue reading instead of sleeping! 😉

  9. This was really a fun read for me because of your reminder of Lovelace’s “Betsy and Tacy” books. My gosh, I can’t remember the last time I thought of those; but I loved them. And I am sad for those who’ve never read l’engles’ “Wrinkle in Time” books. I did most of my reading in the daytime, but it was certainly my very favorite pastime.

    Sorry for using quotation marks where I should have used italics. I can’t figure out how to get those, either in my own blog or in my comments. When I try to use them in my blog, I consistently encounter problems when I try to publish the blog.

  10. The Pokey Little Puppy was the Golden Book – I’ve been reading it to Angie for the past month. An oldie but goodie.
    I haven’t been reading as much as I used to, but the weather is just so perfect for cozying up under a blankie and reading.

  11. We grew up reading many of the same books! And reading has been a lifelong ritual before bed, for me as well. Lovely post!

  12. ah yes, the Golden Books…so aptly named! a wonderful post that most of us can identify with but love how you shared your particular titles….and the photo was the perfect finish!

  13. I do most of my reading at night when I go to bed. If I’m reading a really good book I have a tendency to keep going until I’ve finished it…sometimes the sun is starting to come out!

    Nice writing!

    🙂

  14. I love the part where you had to cover the book up with a blanket so the puppies wouldn’t get cold. Great ritual to read before bed, but I have had a few books that kept me awake all night trying to finish them!!!

  15. I used to read at night all the time, but now I fall asleep too fast. I love the part about covering the puppies so they wouldn’t get cold. That’s just so sweet.

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