Guilty Secrets: What I Found On My Friend’s Bedside Table

Guilty Secrets: What I Found On My Friend’s Bedside Table

Apart from threatening to topple over, that towering pile of books on your bedside table can be very revealing. Are there any guilty secrets lurking on yours?

A few months ago, I was in a friend’s bedroom helping her choose an outfit for a big night and noticed something on her bedside table that shocked me. While I had other friends who… er… embraced this sort of thing, I would never have expected it from this particular friend.

There on her bedside table… was a Nora Roberts novel.

Now I personally have nothing against the Queen of Romance. She’s a publishing superstar and has my respect. But my friend is the type of woman who’s lounge room bookshelves are filled with classics. Her favourite book is Ulysses by James Joyce. She reads it every couple of years… for fun. But apparently, she has a soft spot for Nora Roberts too, and has read all the books in the Outlander series. She responded to my surprise with a wink. ‘You should see what’s inside the drawer.’

It got me thinking about the books on my bedside table. Are they different to those on my shelves? Not really, although I do have a YA romance there. My bedside table books can be separated into three areas, despite being in one pile. There are a couple of books that live there, collecting dust, just because I love them so much. One is my favourite translation of The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon. The other is a weighty hardback called The Travellers’ Dictionary of Quotation.

Next, there are about three books I’ve been meaning to read but have been sitting there for a few months. I think one is called Finding Time to Meditate. I’ll eventually find time to read it.

Then there are the books I’m currently reading or am lucky enough to read for work. Those novels come and go from the bedside table quite quickly.

Finally, and this reveals way more about myself than I probably should… if I’m reading a book that disturbs me, I put it outside my bedroom before I turn the light off at night. Isabelle Allende said, “The library is inhabited by spirits that come out of the pages at night.” I agree and my bedside table is no place for nightmares.

How about you? What books are on your bedside table?

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