Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Between the Sheets



Between The Sheets

I confess,

to sleeping with books,

covers spread open and waiting -
they beckon,
a fluttering of leaves
like lapping tongues.
Oh, their smooth embossed spines.

The tawdry ones are good for a night.

Rumpled, smelling of smoke,

usually borrowed and broken.

They're anybody's book,

sorry, sticky maybe,

used and returned.


The worldly wise leave an exotic taste,

others have the common language

of guttersnipes but
provide good tale.
Some disappoint -

summer flings, read

and dismissed,
important as the sand
shaken from my shoe.


I can't help but embrace them all,
stroking the ones I love,
smelling their words.

After a good read, I'm bushed.

Lying across my chest,
the latest listens to my heartbeat
while I take in what else it says.
~ Ellen Wade Beals


Whenever I make my 13-year-old's bed, I find several books buried under the covers and hidden under his pillows. I love it!

When was the last time you woke up with a good book tucked in next to you?

41 comments:

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

LOL. I like to imagine that I do this, but the fact of the matter is, I don't. I have a tough time getting to sleep and any book spine digging in my side wouldn't last long in that position!

Lovely poem, btw.

Aubrie said...

Oh yes, this happens to me, too! I always lose my page. :)

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

I don't fall asleep with the book open but I do start to fall asleep, put my bookmark it and put the book down on the bed.
I'm lucky I've never rolled onto them. Yet. :)

Charmaine Clancy said...

This is gorgeous, I often find my girls have their brand new books tucked under their pillows because they can't bear to be separated while they sleep. My youngest usually has a notebook and pent tucked under the doona too, whereas miss 12's bed is loaded with plastic dinosaurs, hidden so mum won't make her put them away.
Kids really see sleep as an adventure.

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

What a cool poem! I don't think I have ever fallen asleep with a book in my hand or next to me, I get tired and make sure to mark it then put it on the nightstand. I'm wierd in that I hate if a book gets "messed" up. Not sure why but they have to look brand new or I get peeved.

Jaydee Morgan said...

Love the poem.

I never read in bed - or not before I want to sleep anyway. I get too involved and don't want to put it down. I've never understood those who read a book to fall asleep. I'm the opposite.

Jen said...

This was beautiful, loved the poem!

I haven't read in bed in years, I'm thinking it's time that I start it up again! I have the perfect book to fall asleep with as well.

I think it's adorable your 13 year-old loves books and falls asleep with them in bed. I hope I get the same experience one day!

Slamdunk said...

Now that is a great thing to find hidden in a young person's room.

My last book left next to me while sleeping was "Fields of Fury."

Kenda said...

I love to hear that children are still so attached to books! That is very encouraging...

I have my stacks of books to read, but none in the bedroom--everywhere else in the house, though :-)

Diane said...

Glad your baby has a love for reading as much as you do. Beautiful! :O)

Roxane B. Salonen said...

Shannon, I love falling asleep with book in hand, but it's hard around here because my husband goes to sleep first and is bothered by the light, no matter how subdued. But sometimes, in a desperate attempt to steal away a moment with my book, I'll create a tent with my side of the blankets, flashlight above and book positioned below, all undercover, cramped quarters but worth it for those moments with the written word. :)

Mary_not_Martha said...

This is such an interesting post today. I thought everyone read before bed! I love the comments.

Jana said...

In my hnouse no one but me reads before bed and I always put it down before it falls out of my hands!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I looooove to read myself to sleep, but I manage to bookmark and put aside the book after I realized I've dozed. I have awakened, though, to find earplugs in when I've fallen asleep to an audiobook. I wonder how the words playing affect my sleeping brain? :-0

Sandy Shin said...

Cool poem!

I have actually been waking up with books next to me, but sadly, they're study books. :( Novels would be MUCH preferrable. :)

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Fantastic poem.
And aren't you happy your kids take after you?
I wake up with a book next to me, everyday.

Theresa Milstein said...

The poem captures the feeling of laying in bed with a good book perfectly.

I always put my book on my night stand when I'm done. I love books but not enough to get stabbed by their corners in the middle of the night!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I'm always falling asleep with my books...Then in the middle of the night I wake up and can't find my bookmark.

Lovely poem!

Falen said...

i can honestly say never.
BUT that's only because i'm so OCD with my sleeping habits.

LOVE the poem

Jennie Englund said...

Shannon, can you tell us which books you're finding? I need some recommendations for my 13 year-old reader boy.

Thanks!

Patti Lacy said...

Last night. Sometimes, though, they plop into my face rather than slide from my hand...

Makes for a jerky wake-up!!

GREAT TO BE BACK HERE! Love it!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Hehe...the title drew me in ;)

I fall asleep on books all the time! Sometimes with my glasses on. Oh brother. The poor spines get crushed an my glasses get all funky. But I can't help it. Sometimes, bedtime is the only time I get to read. I love to hear of kiddos who have the same problem. So good to hear of kids reading.

TerryLynnJohnson said...

that's so great your son sleeps with books!
I also have woken up with books with pages creased.

Jen Chandler said...

I usually fall asleep with a book on my couch. It's more comfortable than my bed :) But every so often, I'll find a book on the nightstand that my husband moved from my hands before he turns off the light. If he didn't move the book, I'd end up poking myself (or him) in the eye with it! Somehow, some way...

Happy Tuesday,
Jen

Laura Marcella said...

This is so funny because this morning I woke up with my book between me and my husband, haha! That doesn't usually happen because I'm afraid of the covers and pages creasing (it makes me sad for the book!). But last night I was so tired, I turned off the light and fell asleep immediately without putting my book on the night stand.

Loved the poem! And that's great for your 13-year-old. It's wonderful hearing about kids reading!

Carolyn V. said...

Hey! My daughter does that too! There is a pile in there right now. she loves those books (it makes me smile). The last time I found a book under my sheets was a couple of months ago. I need a really good book to read. =)

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

SO true. My relationship with books was so much stronger when I was a kid. Which is why I like to write for kids. But I do have books that I can't put down. You know, the ones where you have to stop yourself from yelling at anyone who interrupts you while you're reading. The Body Finder was one of those. ;)

salarsenッ said...

I imagery and feeling is great, but I'm a stickler for keeping my books...neat. I know. Nothing like a good worn-out binding and tattered page. I suck at that. I have to put it on my night stand or on the kids bookshelves. But honestly, ever book I've ever read has shared my last thoughts before I put it down to fall asleep.

Tere Kirkland said...

I used to do this every night as a child, flashlight and book under my pillow. My mom always told me I'd ruin my eyes reading in the dark, and I probably did. I needed glasses by age 10.

Now it's an overflowing pile of books on my nightstand.

Fun post, Shannon.

Tahereh said...

i love love love that poem, Shannon! it hits so close to home. haha, in fact, i woke up with a book under my pillows just the other night.

strange how i didn't notice. lol.

Angela Ackerman said...

This is a great poem! The author nailed it. I always admire poets and what they can do with only a few words and a perfect rhythm.

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Janna Qualman said...

Seductive and lovely, Shannon. Wow!

Mary Aalgaard said...

Mmmm. I still need my bedtime story, whether I fall asleep on it or not. Often, I read the same paragraph over again, wipe the sleep drool off the page, and tuck myself in.

Nicole MacDonald said...

Excellent poem :) My partner has to steal the book I'm reading when I head to bed or I'll stay up for hours till I fall asleep - and I need my 8 hours *grin*

Kittie Howard said...

Cool poem! Thanks! And, Shannon, what a treasure to find books tucked away in your kids' beds. This has got to be a Mommy's Oscar, one of the best awards ever. I don't go to bed with books. I lie on the sofa with a book, window open, fan whirring softly...it sometimes surprises me that I get as much read as I do *yawn*

Jemi Fraser said...

Fun poem :)

I fall asleep with my book at least twice a week!

Myrna Foster said...

I'm always pulling books and Legos out of my kids beds at night. Okay, I pull the books out of mine too, but not the Legos!

Stephanie Thornton said...

I love that you pull books out of your child's bed. So cute!

I discovered a book in my bed a few weeks back. Usually I read in a different room, but sometimes in bed.

Nicole Zoltack said...

It's been a little while since I fell asleep while reading. I usually stay up and finish the book, lol

Jade said...

That was great!

Unfortunately I don't think I've ever fallen asleep with a book. In fact, I've never understood how people can. When I'm reading, I'm using my brain so how does it fall asleep?

AchingHope said...

Strangely enough I've never slept with a book. My friend uses a Dictionary as a pillow, practically, but I tend to leave my books in flat places, to keep them safe. I'd be afraid of mussing them up.

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