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Night Owl

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What’s the latest you’ve ever stayed up reading a book? Is staying up late reading a usual thing for you?

I hardly read in the evening, let alone pulling an all nighter to do so. A habitual early bird since the days of college, I am the least of an owl. Instead I wake up early, before the crack of dawn and the rooster’s crow, to read for two hours before I start off the day. But there is always an exception. Back in fall 2009, I stayed up to the wee hours to finish Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, which, to this day, still blows me away the way she holds off the suspense to the very end. It’s chilling my bones just to think of that revelation. I am to re-live that sensation with the audio edition, which I just picked up. In spring 2010, while in Palm Springs, California, Sarah Waters kept me up all night reading Fingersmith, in which the approach to the truth is so convoluted that appearances in one case have pointed one way while the truth lay all the while unsuspected in another direction. The novel concerns the intertwined fate of two orphaned women. As per 2011, not that I haven’t read great books (in fact this has been one awesome year in terms of unforgettable readings), I have yet to stay up for a book because my habit has changed completely and works around the gluten-free diet. Staying up late implies munching that is strictly prohibited by the diet. It also messes up the biological clock that dictates the following day’s meal time. Back in high school I stayed up late to read books outside of what was required of me in class. I could still get up early without coffee (isn’t that a sign of aging?). During camping trip I would stay up late to read a book or two. Those were the days…

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8 Responses

  1. You are so disciplined. I wish I could be that way. I have the hardest time getting up in the mornings. I used to be a night owl, but the older I get, the more sleep I crave. Unfortunately, I will very often stay up all night reading a book. In fact, it’s ridiculous..I’m so scared to look at the time, I don’t keep a clock by my bed. I try to be better about it now, but very often I don’t have much time to read until evening. That said, I still love the kind of book that can do that to me, and both you mention kept me up most of the night.

  2. I very rarely stay up late reading. Usually it doesn’t matter how great the book is, if I’m a little tired and trying to read, it’s all over. I love reading first thing in the morning, like you. I wake up pretty quick, and I feel like the reading I do in the morning is reading that gets my full attention/mind power.

  3. Ah, to be able to get out of bed without coffee…

  4. I stayed up very late the first time I read Rebecca as well. I didn’t see the twist coming and that is what made the book so satisfying.

  5. I stay up late a few nights a week, especially if I am close to the end of a book or at a really good part. There are some nights when I just can’t keep my eyes open, but going to bed has meant reading for me for years. I would love to find more time during the day to read other than evening, but lately that is my reading time.

  6. I am also an early riser. I arrive at work at 6am so that I can get a good hour and a half of reading in before I start my workday. Getting their early allows me to miss the traffic too and it’s nice and quiet with just me, my book and my coffee.

    I stay up late for certain books. On vacation, I am always up late reading but on a regular night, I will stay up for a suspenseful thriller as I do read them in between the heavier stuff.

  7. I’ve tried to stay up late to read and found myself with the book on my chest!!! I’m an early riser these days and enjoy getting up early and having quiet time to myself before the madness of life intrudes.

  8. I still stay up late to re-read Harry Potter. When I was 11, my mom let me go to the midnight book release of the Order of the Phoenix (the 5th of the series). It became an obsession with me, and I went to the midnight release of books 6 (Half-Blood Prince) and 7 (Deathly Hallows) as well. I started reading Deathly Hallows as soon as I got it around 12:15, and I was done by 9 AM (760 pages!). Never have I read more quickly or obsessively.

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