Reading in Bed: Personal Essays on the Glories of Reading

Reading in Bed: Personal Essays on the Glories of Reading

Reading in Bed: Personal Essays on the Glories of Reading

Reading in Bed: Personal Essays on the Glories of Reading


Essays on the glories of reading by Calvino, Proust & twenty others.


The essays in this collection are not so much about books as about reading – the act itself, its glories, its sensuousness, its hazards. Most of the pieces speak of the writers’ personal experiences as readers: portraits of the authors as young readers, what to read in bed, the delights of rereading. Some are more pontifical, instructing the reader on what and how to read. What they all have in common, I hope, is that they are themselves good reading. They are presented chronologically, but may be read in any order.

This book is intended for you, the “common reader.” You who read for pleasure, rather than (economic) profit. It was not assembled for those who must read: students, English teachers, literary critics, and book reviewers. I envision the reader of this book to be someone like myself, one who chooses to read in this post-Gutenberg galaxy of ours. One who is made up in part of all he or she has read, who can be moved by good writing. We may be an endangered species in this age of non-books and aliteracy, but we endure.

In my beginning was the word. Early on, I took to books and have remained faithful ever since. My experiences were like many of those writers whose recollections were gathered in my earlier anthology, The Open Door: When Writers First Learned to Read. Over the years I have dallied with television and movies, of course, but, to me, there is a rapture in delivering oneself into the hands of a good writer that other media simply cannot duplicate. a pleasure to be found only between the covers.

I wish to thank Dean Stewart and Stephen Weiner for steering me to unsuspected sources and for their support.

This book is dedicated to all of you who take pleasure in your reading and especially to Inge, my beautiful reader, with whom I have shared my heart and my books.

— steven gilbar

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