When you were a kid, did you ever fall asleep reading a book? Ever tuck a good book under your pillow to sneak out and read after your parents out you to bed? I did, and that’s what today’s Book Blogger Hop is all about.
When I was a little girl, my family lived in a small house in a rural community. We were poor, I’ll just come right out and say it. My parents did their best, but there were certainly times that we struggled to make ends meet. I was the princess of hand-me-down clothes, fed through the kindness of soup kitchens, for a few of those years. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Times were hard, and like I said, my parents did their best.
Up until high school, I shared a room with my little brother. As such, the lights-out policy was pretty strict. Even if I was older, I couldn’t keep the lights on and bother my brother, who was little and needed to sleep. So, when I went to bed, there wasn’t much to do but stare at the ceiling (top bunk ftw!) and use my imagination. And that got boring fast.
By the time I hit middle school, something needed to change. First of all, my strict bedtime was way earlier than all my friends, and like all children’s opinions of curfews – it was completely unfair. Add to that the fact that my parents liked to send me to bed early as a punishment, I spent a lot of time in my room. Also, anti-perks of the top bunk? You can’t exactly stow something under the bed and pull it out later. My brother was under my bed, and he was a tattle-tale.
The answer came in the form of a birthday party favor: a pen light.
I knew this was useful the moment I saw it. A flashlight that fit in my pocket. Awesome.
The idea of stowing it in my pillowcase came later. I was rereading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and doing things that upset my parents, such as: not practicing my clarinet, not going outside to play, and definitely not dusting the house. After spending the evening being perfectly defiant (it’s a gift) I was shooed off to bed. When my parents sent us to bed as a punishment, they checked to make sure you are IN BED and LIGHTS OUT. Yes, I was eleven, but you must remember that this was almost 20 years ago and parents were scary back then. So I was in bed, BORED, and adequately annoyed.
Then, I remembered the pen light. And that HARRY AND THE GANG ARE IN THE SHRIEKING SHACK AND THINGS ARE GETTING GOOD OMG.
I dared it.
I climbed down off my bunk bed (eliciting minimal squeaks… that thing was NOISY) and fetched the two items from my desk drawer and bookshelf, respectively. I stowed my treasures in my pillowcase, and in the little space between my mattress and the bed frame.
Prisoner of Azkaban lived in that bed for the next three years. I read it over and over and over again, never tiring of it and never braving another book in its place when this one fit so perfectly. When the pen light died, I started using those illuminating pens… the ones that lit up when you pushed down on the tip? Those were pretty cool for a while. I have the pen marks in my copy of Prisoner to prove it happened.
For years I thought I was clever. When my family finally moved to a bigger house, the charade was no longer necessary. Prisoner of Azkaban returned to its cozy place on my bookshelf, and I felt quite pleased I’d avoided detection for so long.
Naturally, a few years ago at Thanksgiving when I proclaimed my childish defiance, I was told the bitter truth: they had known all along.
The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly get-together hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. Weekly prompts encourage discussion in the bookish community.
What books did you fall asleep reading as a child? Were there many different ones? Let me know in the comments!