The Cure For Book-Page-Face?

Photograph by Rebecca Miller

You guys.  I don’t want to cause a nerd-riot or anything, but I may have discovered the long-sought-after cure for Crease-Cheek, AKA, Book-Page-Face, AKA, the Curse of Every Tired Literature-Lover: Falling Asleep While Reading.

Someone recently asked me what I do in the evenings, and I realized I had no answer for her. “I have absolutely no idea,” I told her, and it was true. I don’t usually watch television, and it seems like that should mean I’m doing something more worthwhile, but I don’t think that’s actually true. I think I wander around the apartment, thinking I’m cleaning, or else wander around the Internet, thinking I’m doing work, and then all of the sudden it’s 10:00pm and my body starts to shut down. So this summer I decided that since I apparently wasn’t doing anything more useful I ought to be sure to make time to read, since I feel very unlike myself when I’m not in the middle of a book and yet I haven’t always been in the middle of a book lately, because my reading time always comes post kiddo bedtime at 8:00 or sometimes, horribly, LATER, and so inevitably, I cozy up to a delicious novel and read a sentence and wake up with weird book-and-glasses imprints all over my face.

Now, I don’t have an e-reader, and I’ve honestly never considered one (except for a dark moment last winter, in the midst of packing up books to move, when I threatened to just throw them all out the window and buy a Kindle, clearly, a petulant bookworm cry for help). But I’m reading a novel by my very own dad right now, which he wrote for NaNoMo. Um, last year. It’s taken me a while, I admit. Anyway, I’m reading it on Harper’s I mean our family iPad. And guess what! The screen! It lights up! IT MAKES YOU STAY AWAKE! In that weird buzzy way that computer-staring makes your brain zoom around even if your body’s disintegrating with exhaustion, reading on a glowy screen makes falling asleep while reading seem old-fashioned, quaint, like donning a nightcap.

The novel, Dad, is a lot of fun to read (and PS how cool and daring is NaNoMo? I could never do it — the very idea terrifies me). And while, to be honest, I’m not sure I  could ever make the switch to e-readers, despite their wonderfully non-sleep-inducing qualities,  it’s nice to know that the option is there, for evenings when I don’t feel like counting as my only leisure time of the day the moment after both kids were strapped in the stroller and before I wheeled them out into the hallway. A good moment, that, but not quite as refreshing as a luxurious half-hour of reading actual words.

PS: Because I am conditioned by my day job, I just started thinking about what “Read More” related links to put down here, and then breathed a sigh of relief to remember that this is my own blog and I can be as irresponsible with my SEO as I want. Party times!

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