How to Read Late at Night When Sleeping Next to the Love of Your Life

I can’t help it. I’m a late-night gal. To me, “morning people” are a myth perpetuated by coffee companies. Why would anyone choose to wake up early when they could sleep in and stay up as the rest of the world snoozes?

There’s something serene about the night: a quiet sets over the city. My mind, usually jittery, finally rests. I am at peace.

Reading at night is my one of my favorite activities.

However, just as nighttime is one of the best times to read, it’s also one of the best times to snuggle my beautiful boyfriend. Nothing, not even reading, soothes me like the feel of his warm arms around me.

So, of course, comes the question—to snuggle or to read?

Get recommendations for the greatest books around straight to your inbox every week.

I’m incredibly lucky: My boyfriend can sleep through anything. A jetliner could emit a sonic boom over the apartment and my beloved would sleep right through it. So, I can read – with the light on! — while he sleeps. If I’m particularly crafty, I can read on my side and still stay in his soft embrace. It’s a match made in bookworm heaven.

Not everyone is this fortunate. What do you do?

If you can’t have a light on without waking up your sleeping partner, do you just forego your nighttime read? I’ve never had luck with those miniature reading lights; their cold, sterile beam never properly illuminates the right part of the page. How do you read while still retaining the peace of your relationship?

For most people, this really isn’t a big deal. But this is a real quandary for avid readers like us who read at night. So I ask you, fellow readers, for your thoughts.

While you discuss, I’m going to set down my book, snuggle back into the crook of my boyfriend’s neck, and catch a few extra winks. After all, your real relationship is far better than any one you read about.

[photo credit: wavebreakmedia /]

About Kira Walton

Kira Walton

KIRA WALTON has been stalking books all her life as a college English teacher, bookseller, book club consultant, author, and editor.

  • Carla

    I am one of those ‘morning people’ Well, I will be when school goes back. I hate it. I grumble and whine and complain. Mostly because I’ve been up, way past my bedtime, reading….in bed. I do this, while not waking up my wonderful husband, using a flashlight. I am currently reading ‘The Year of the Flood’ this exact way.

    • A flashlight, Carla, I love it! I remember trying to sneak my reading in as a kid with a flashlight under the covers….

  • Lesley L

    This was a quandry I found myself in until recently. Enter in, Kindle Paperwhite. We both suffer from insomnia so if he’s getting a couple of winks and I can’t sleep, He snuggles up to me and what little light that’s given off with a 3 or 4 light setting won’t even register with him.

  • Elaine Hearne

    Ebooks on my tablet have been the answer for me, with the display light set to medium. Kindle is just one of several sites with great ebooks available.

  • Susan Beaty

    When I’m not reading with my Nook which has a backlit screen, I use an LED head lamp. I used to use a book light, but the batteries and/or bulbs burned out too fast. The headlamp can be used on low and doesn’t disturb my light sleeping husband, and it uses AAA batteries which last a reasonably long time.

[email_signup id="4" download="" success="Success! Click below to get your bookmarks."]
[email_signup id="4"]