What you’ll find on my nightstand

Luc and I both love to read. And that’s about where our similarities in this area of interest end.

Jen's Nightstand

Here’s what you might find on my nightstand on any given day:

My latest book club read: When friends and I started up our book club nearly 15 years ago, the only condition was that we read fiction. Perfect for me! Fiction is always my first choice for reading. Whether it’s novels or short stories, I love delving into someone else’s life, thoughts, relationships, choices, worlds. Anything that can make me laugh out loud or burst into tears gets bonus points. Next up is Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot. I can feel Luc cringing at the title alone, but I can’t wait to dive in!

A magazine: When the kids were little (we’re talking the newborn through toddler years) I could barely keep my eyes open long enough to read a page of whatever book club book we were reading, let alone finish the entire thing before our next meeting ( I have a whole row of books on my shelf that the girls tell me I did read and had strong, if not exactly articulate, opinions on, but they’re all a bit of a blur). During that time, I read more magazines than anything else. Much less stressful to pick one up, randomly skim through an article in a sleep-deprived fog, and if I completely forgot about it by the end of the day, well what did it matter? Now I read magazines for interest, inspiration, and all the pretty pictures (some day I’ll make that vision board!) Current subscriptions: Style at Home, Real Simple, Oprah and Best Health.

A self-help book: Although he’s never outright said anything against my collection of self-help books, I’m sure Luc has about as much respect for them as he does for, say, Dr. Phil. Recently I’ve been rereading Take Time for Your Life by Cheryl Richardson. I first read this back in 2002, and it helped convince me that my health and my relationship with Luc were at stake because of my job. I made the drastic move from working about 60 hours a week to working just three days a week. Now that I’m in a completely different phase of my life (10 years and 2 kids different) I’m finding its checklists, charts and challenges helpful for finding the ever-elusive balance a lot of us are looking for as women/wives/mothers/friends/employees. He may not be a fan, but I think Luc’s reaping the benefits…

A classic: A while ago I decided that considering I had been an English language and literature major in university way back when, there were several titles and/or authors that I had never read that maybe I should have. I set a goal for myself that in between new reads I would tackle some as-yet-unread-by-me classics. I nearly gave up after my first two attempts. I suffered through The Great Gatsby (sorry) and slept through Don Quixote (did anyone ever really finish that book?). Then I picked up Anna Karenina (swoon!). I have enjoyed every single word Tolstoy wrote in this marvelous work of art… and even discovered in its pages the phrase I want engraved on my tombstone (no, I’m not telling today, but the first person to guess gets 5 bucks!).

A how to organize your stuff/your closet/your house/your mind/your life book: I spend more time organizing my cluttered pile of decluttering books than I do reading them or following their advice (as the state of my stuff/my closet/my house/my mind/my life will attest). But just owning them makes me feel better. Especially if they’re alphabetized. Top of the pile: How to Organize (Just About) Everything by Peter Walsh.

Some non-fiction “lite”: Luc’s definition of non-fiction and my definition of non-fiction are so different that I don’t even think they’d make it into the same entry in the dictionary. Call of the Mall, The Power of Half, The Happiness Project, Slow Death by Rubber Duck and I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids have all enjoyed a place on my nightstand recently.

We may not be reading even close to the same stuff, but at least it’s something we can do together!

Check out what’s on Luc’s nightstand.


4 thoughts on “What you’ll find on my nightstand

  1. Lynn says:

    I miss reading! I’ve tried over the years to be a member of three different book clubs but I just never could keep up with the reading. I used to devour books as a kid, but now I’m a Magazine Mom, all the way. I kind of miss nursing, as it was my time to sit and read – I’d hold up a magazine with one hand, while holding the baby with the other. I think I made it through two years of back issues of Rolling Stone that way!

  2. […] we’ve already established that Luc and I have very different tastes in books and movies. So I’m sure you’re dying to ask, “What about […]

  3. Philster999 says:

    Yikes! Except for Oprah and the motherhood-related selections you mention, our nightstands sound pretty similar (though I do love Gatsby and F. Scott in general). And I love your bit about how your de-clutter books have actually become part of the clutter. I can’t live without books either and spend waaay too much time moving them around and trying to keep them from accumulating on on every flat surface in the house.

    • I just don’t get Gatsby. I’ve suffered through it twice now–hoping I’d suddenly see the light and appreciate it the second time around–and still dislike it. My fellow book club member/English teacher/good friend is trying desperately to get me to read it again (three’s a charm?) but I don’t know how many times I’m supposed to try to like a book when there are so many others out there I could be reading instead.

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