Have you ever missed an important appointment because you have become so engrossed in a book you forgot the time or were up so late reading that you didn’t wake up in time? Been late to work because you couldn’t resist the temptation and left the house too late?
This happens to me all the time - in fact it’s part of the reason I have cut back a lot on the amount I read: I know how dangerous it is! When I was a child my parents regularly had to remove the bulbs from my bedroom lights to stop me reading. I remember staying up as late as 1am while still in primary school, I don’t remember struggling to wake in the morning although mum assures me this was the case!
It’s not always books: not long ago I was almost late for work as I’d been browsing around and discovering new blogs on spinning. One thing leads to another, you click the links and open multiple windows and suddenly it’s t minus 10mins and you have to run for the train.
These days I spend a lot of time rereading old favourites. I don’t become so gripped by the plot that I can’t bear to go to sleep before reading ‘just one more chapter’ and I don’t look up to find I should have got off the tube three stops earlier.
Bedside Table: ‘Possession’ by A.S. Byatt (reread)
I’m reading more bits of this the second time through. The plot is tempting enough that I couldn’t help skipping all the long poems, letters and quotations the first time. Did anyone else do that? I anticipate I’ll need a couple more readings to get through everything.