How I Use Paper Books to Coddle Myself to Sleep

I've always loved reading. Always

There have certainly been periods of my life when I read a lot less due to stress, various distractions, or the dawn of the Golden Age of Television. You know, when Netflix and HBO blew up and everything on TV was delicious. (Okay, television is still delicious, let's be real.)

I mean, who could really keep their nose in a book when there were still new episodes of Breaking Bad coming out? The written word is cool and all, but that show was insane.

Even still, I always come back to reading. 

When I was a pre-teen, I would beg my parents for new clothes, CDs, or other stupid shit. They didn't, like, deprive me of these things, but they were always more inclined to buy me books instead. I definitely didn't get anywhere close to everything I asked for growing up, but books were always in the budget. My mom said that I couldn't watch The Rules of Attraction but allowed me to read the book. In retrospect, this was a pretty reasonable rule. 

In middle school, we'd go to Borders or Barnes & Noble and she'd buy me a stack of books. Sometimes, we would order a few from Amazon, and even in the early 2000s, they arrived within a couple of days! What a privileged little book brat I was. 

It was awesome

I like reading about nutrition. I like trashy novels. I like young-adult books. I'll dip into classics. I'm down with teenage vampires. I like sci-fi and self-help. I'm bonkers for Harry Potter. I've been to Narnia and like hanging out with the Boudelaire orphans. I'll read anything by a comedian. 

And I've also always loved memoirs about drug addiction and eating disorders. They are the juiciest. What can I say? It makes me feel better to read about other people's problems. Kinda like why we all watch reality TV, right?

Anyway, I was totally out of my book rhythm for a while after moving in with Joe last year, but now I'm BACK!

My reading revival came about when I decided to try out the book Eligible that I got for my birthday last year. It's a modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice with a tie-in to a fictional version of The Bachelor. It's super cheesy and predictable. And it's delightful

After I finished that book, I added about 200 more books to my 'Saved for Later' Amazon shopping list and have been chipping through the stack ever since. I mean, they just keep suggesting great books for me to read! What am I supposed to do?

At this rate, I'm plowing through 1-2 books per week. And considering that I work a full-time job, write freelance on the side, am planning a wedding, and run a lifestyle blog, this makes me feel like an evil book queen who's getting away with something naughty. 

In fact, I've been getting so into reading books lately, that TV has sort of lost its lust. I haven't even finished the new seasons of Orange is the New Black or Master of None! Can you believe it?!

So at around 8:00 every evening, I go curl up with a non-digital book to get my natural melatonin flowin' like the scholarly sloth I am. (Okay, sometimes it's 7:30 and sometimes I used over-the-counter melatonin. What? I get up at 5:00 to work out every morning!)

Reading a paper book has been the greatest addition to my nighttime routine. I sleep better, feel better, and wake up happier.

I figure if I'll ever be able to get away with reading for 10-15 hours a week, it's now. I don't have kids yet and we're not going out very much this year since we're saving for our wedding. 

And, falling asleep without staring at a screen is pretty nice! Reading books is relaxing, entertaining, and makes you hella smart. Some of the most successful people in the world attribute their success to reading their little hearts out. It really is the tastiest treat. 

read for better sleep