Yesterday afternoon I was working on my biography project and thus reading about the histories of the high school and college that my subject attended.
Then, over dinner, D. and I watched an installment of Middlemarch, which we're enjoying.
Afterward, I took advantage of the spring break luxury of time and went to bed at 9:00 with a big stack of books.
First I re-read one chapter in my biography subject's memoir; I needed the info for the chapter I'm working on, and every time I read that memoir I fall in love again with her voice and get reenergized for the work of this biography project.
Then I read one chapter of Adam Nicolson's God's Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible. I'm finally getting around to reading this in honor of the KJV's 400th anniversary, but it's also working so beautifully with the prep work I'm doing for teaching Macbeth again this spring. And it's just so interesting in its own right!
Then I turned to Bill Bryson's At Home: A Short History of Private Life; I'd been reading it the night before and enjoying it but had gotten sleepy in the middle of a chapter and so wanted to finish up that chapter (on "The Hall," so I'm near the beginning).
Finally, I opened David Levithan's Boy Meets Boy, a young adult novel about a romance between two tenth-grade boys. I meant to read just a few chapters, but it's such a sweet and engaging story that I got swept away and kept saying "Oh, just one more chapter; they're short, after all."
Suddenly it was well after midnight and clearly time to turn out the lights.
But not so easy to turn off my brain, with all of these different stories swirling around in my mind. Causabon and medieval houses and King James I and teenage romance and nineteenth-century education for women, all mixed up together until I felt like I was going crazy! I tossed, I turned, I tried concentrating on only one of the stories, I muttered, I tried wiping my mind entirely clear and thinking about no stories at all, I sighed gustily -- still, no sleep. Finally I guess I wore myself out, for I know that I did eventually fall asleep, but I was not especially rested this morning.
Note to self: Reading in bed is fine, but choose just ONE book at a time.