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Titles: What the Books on Our Nightstands Say about Who We Are (Part 1)

Recently, I came across a writing prompt from Writers Write based on one word–Titles. There had been another prompt a few days before that I will address on Friday. But, the idea caused me to consider what the books on our nightstands say about who we are.

Reading before bed has been a lifelong habit for me. My parents read to me most nights until I could read on my own. I read to my sons at night, especially during our home education years. There were seasons when reading for pleasure was a challenge–during college, when I was an editor, when my children were in preschool–but the desire to read remained. What I read–then and now–might be influenced by a book club or my children’s curriculum or a Bible study or a life challenge. But, if I think about what someone might see on my nightstand, I wonder what he or she would that say about my reading habits?

Nothing.

If someone walked into my room and glanced at my nightstand, he or she would see the following: a box of tissues, a broken mantle clock, a lamp, glasses cleaner, microfiber cloths, foot lotion, and a turtle made of quartz. There is one book, but it is kiddywampus on the nightstand and out of reach from the bed. That’s because it is not my book. It’s my husband’s book. We used it to keep the door propped open so that the cat could come in and out of the room at night. It is on my nightstand because we had the doors replaced last year. I have not read this particular book. I might. But, it’s hard not to think of it as a doorstop (which may be another topic–what books make good doorstops?)

I think I might move the book over to my husband’s side of the bed after writing this post. His nightstand has several genres represented ranging from biblical, spiritual, political, economic, and his chosen sport (which would be ice fishing at the moment). While I have my own copies of The Three Forms of Unity, R.C. Sproul’s Truths We Confess, and my own ESV Bible, they are not on my nightstand. Nor is my complete set of the ESV Illuminated Scripture Journals in the Old and New Testaments (which would not fit well on a nightstand anyway). Come to think of it, the book my husband has been reading at night is not on his nightstand. I suppose the same reason his current-read is not on his nightstand is the same reason my current-reads are not on mine. Like me, he carries his book around the house.

Every morning, I pick up my Kindle from my nightstand and carry it down to my office. I pocket my phone and listen to an Audible book as I clean the house . The books I am using for research are stacked on my desk. My ESV study materials are on my desk and a designated shelf within easy reach during my quiet time. These are the titles that reflect me as a writer and as a person. (By the way, if you are interested, my Books of the Month blog is an up-to-date list of what I am reading, and I post that the first Saturday of each month.)

I am quite sure that if I had a stack of my current-reads on my nightstand, there would also be a stack beside my nightside, inside my nightstand, and maybe under the bed. It would be quite a collection. And I could not carry it all over the house.

Unless you consider most of them are on my Kindle or my phone. And the rest fill an entire book shelf. Some contain words that meander through my mind throughout the day. Which also says quite a lot about me as a person.

I have stored up your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you.

Psalm 119:11 ESV

Your word is a lamp to my feet

and a light to my path.

Psalm 119:105 ESV

Categories: In Addition

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