Are you a night reader, or are you a day reader?
I saw this awesome meme not so long ago that made reference to us folk that are neither ‘early birds’ nor ‘night owls’. We simply exist in limbo, floating around in the ether between these magical states of being. We are just ‘permanently exhausted pigeons’.
Basically, if you hadn’t guessed already, I’m both a night reader and a day reader. I have a naughty habit of going to bed really late and getting up really early (okay, like 8 or 9 if I’m not working, but that’s pretty early when you consider there’s another 15 or 16 hours of the day left to suffer!)
Are you, like me, a permanently exhausted pigeon wanting to make a lifestyle change? Do you want to be able to throw yourself into the arms of sleep at 9pm, to awaken seven hours later feeling refreshed and rejuvenated as you tackle that ever growing TBR pile? Or, does the night call out to you, imploring you stay and read it just one more chapter, breathing life and meaning into the emptiness of its existence? (Jeez, the night needs to cheer the fuck up)
Excellent, you’re in the right place! I’m going into a head-to-head battle with none other than…erm…myself! Who shall be crowned champion, Night Reader Jazz or Day Reader Jazz? Stay tuned, peeps, stay tuned…
- You can read uninterrupted for hours and hours and hours…and more hours, right until you see the sun peeking shyly above the horizon (I’d be pretty shy about making an appearance too if I had the audacity to wake people up at 4am in the summer. Ha, I’m not bitter at all).
- There’s no guilt! The laundry has been done and the dishes have been washed, and even if they haven’t, who the hell does those things at 2am!? That’s right! There’s nothing and no one that requires your attention! (except me, love me and hold me and call me nice names *slaps self* Jazz!*
- It’s a great way to unwind. Studies have shown that being exposed to the blue and white lights emanating from the screens of our smart phones and tablets prevents our bodies from producing a hormone known melatonin, which essentially tells our bodies that it’s time to go night night. Good old-fashioned paperbacks will guarantee you a good night’s sleep…if you ever make it to bed that is.
- Dropping the book on your face if you snooze for even a microsecond. I recently dropped Charles Bukowski’s The Pleasures of the Damned on my face. One word: fucking ouch (that’s two, but what the hell)
- “Just one more chapter,” you whisper to yourself, “I swear this will be the last chapter. I know I said that seven chapters ago…but just one more chapter.” I don’t need to elaborate. We’ve all suffered at work following a night of failing to follow through with our empty assurances of just one more chapter.
- When you do eventually make it to bed, it can be near enough impossible to switch your brain off after reading a particularly engaging or thrilling read. I once went to bed following a chapter in which these fantastical creatures were in the midst of an epic, bloody battle and I awoke a couple of hours later and distinctly remember saying in my sleep drunken state that “I must prepare my men for battle”. The book continues long after you’ve closed both its pages and your eyes.
- Daytime reading is a good lifestyle choice if you favor what I call ‘heavy literature’ (think Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy). I tried (that isn’t fair usage of that word, I gave up twenty pages in) to read the first The Lord of the Rings book as my bedtime book a few years back and I found myself constantly going back and rereading entire pages, simply because I couldn’t absorb the information when I was tired.
- Sleep doesn’t beckon! Ha! You’ve already slept so you don’t need to fret about that solid eight hours!
- Other people are actually awake. Have you ever reached an epic, shocking climax (haha, climax! *slaps self* Jazz! Get a grip, woman!*) in a book and have felt sick as the excitement/horror/other intense emotion pushes against your internal organs, wanting out, needing release (if this happens, be extra sure it’s not a case of impending volcanic diarrhea), only to find that there’s no one to gush or vent to? Well, that’s an issue completely eradicated with daytime reading…unless your friends live in different time zones.
- Commitments. Ah that dreaded word oft associated with adulthood. Daytime reading can be difficult when you have to work and, oh god, socialize.
- It can be tempting to read while carrying out said commitments and this leads to reading on the bus or train and this also leads to having to close your book when you reach your stop. It’s an agony quite unlike any other, trust me.
- Interruptions. Oh lord, the interruptions. When you read at night, you can almost 100% guarantee that the people you live with will either a) be asleep or b) engaging in some sort of other nocturnal activity (like watching Netflix, of course!) so the chances of being interrupted in the middle of an epic fight scene are greatly reduced.
So, guys, what’s the verdict? Which is better, night reading or day reading? I think I might just stick to being a permanently exhausted pigeon and indulge in both 😉 Sleep’s overrated!