I prefer to fall asleep while reading, an excellent way to avoid those nocturnal thoughts that can suddenly jerk you into wretched wakefulness. On chilly nights, I love to pull the covers over everything but my head and read a book propped up against a pillow until I drift off.
You can only do that with the light on, of course, which means that I’d either wake up at 4 am to a bright bedroom or I’d have to calculate the exact moment when the long, cold reach of my arm to the bedside lamp would still leave me sufficient reserves of sleepiness to close the deal.
The iPad requires no bedside light, doesn’t need to be wrangled into a held-open position and will obediently turn its own pages with the tap of a single finger darting out from under the cover of the warm duvet. When that finger hasn’t dropped by in a while, the iPad obligingly turns itself off. While it’s still on, while I’m suspended with it in the darkness in that tiny pool of light, this feels sublimely intimate and snug. For these reasons, I find myself less and less willing to read anything but ebooks in bed.
I also can’t read anything for work at the end of the day, as my brain starts to switch its circuits to dreaming mode. Sometimes I’ll dream that I’m still reading the book, the narrative getting stranger and stranger, the dialogue repeating itself and yet satisfying in some odd way that the conversations in books seldom are.