For her birthday, from her mother and brother, Cowgrit got a pair of new nightstands for our bedroom. They came through FedEx this weekend, and we set them up on either side of our bed. We moved our stuff from the old bed-side tables to our new nightstands — we both have a lamp, a clock-radio, and a small collection of books.
Our lamps are a nice matched pair, but the clock-radios are completely different. Mine is squat and black, hers is a cube and white. Neither of us use the radios, and we only rarely use either of the alarms (Calfgrit4 wakes us up in the mornings).
In transferring my stack of books from my old table to my new, I decided I should put most away on a shelf. I don’t often read in bed much anymore, and when I do, I usually bring a book from my office rather than pick up one of the books already on my table. In fact, I hadn’t even looked through the selection of books on my bed-side table in a long time:
- World War II On the Air — by Mark Bernstein & Alex Lubertozzi
- The Illustrated Star Wars Universe — art by Ralph McQuarrie, text by Kevin J. Anderson
- A Brief History of Time — by Stephen Hawking
- Just a Geek — by Wil Wheaton
- The Black Company — by Glen Cook
- And a loose dust jacket for Stephen Biesty’s Cross-Sections Man-Of-War
I looked at the books. What does this small collection say about me? I thought.
And yeah, I needed to reduce the pile and clutter beside my bed. But I figured I should probably keep one book there, just in case I find myself in bed, awake, and wanting to read? What to keep? I sat on the edge of the bed for a minute, contemplating the decision.
I pondered. I flipped through the pages of some of the books. At last, I decided to keep Stephen Hawking‘s book at hand for bed time reading. I opened the nightstand drawer, put the book into it, and closed it. I took the other books and put them on my desk in the office, to be properly put away later.
Then today, while sitting at my desk to write this post, I looked at these books sitting here. When I first took the books off the bed-side table, I wondered what that collection of books says about me. Now, sitting here thinking about the only book I left beside my bed, I wonder what my decision to keep that one book says about me.
I’ve read A Brief History of Time at least three times, and I find it absolutely fascinating. It’s more likely to keep me awake than to help me go to sleep. Thinking about it now, I think I’ll take it away from my bedside and put it in my backpack (read: “briefcase”) so I can read it during lunches.