Some habits die hard, I guess. Some return. This will be a post about one of them: how I found reading before sleep appealing now in my late twenties and some retrospective on that matter, including my reading habits and some inspiration.
I guess that many people had their parents read them books before sleep. There’s a reason this technique worked for generations. I was no different. Well, some things happened and I spent quite some time in hospitals as a pre-school kid. Alone, I had to read them myself – or so I am told by my family and even by the surgeon. I remember nothing that happened before the surgery and for the next few months after.
Fast forward from mid-90’s to now. This summer was extremely hot here in Europe. So hot that my hiking was pretty much put on hold for much of it. In past years, I’d probably game it away, most likely in World of Warcraft. This year, I found myself reaching for my Kindle in the evenings which was somehow more tempting than the black box at my desk. Something I’d not expect to happen.
There were many steps between it. When I was in elementary school, I had a few favorite books that I knew so well that I usually just reached for one, opened it at a random spot and read random numbers of chapters. That was how I was reading back then.
Then, I grew up and had to face the harsh reality of reading books that had some historical value yet often lacked fun factor or interest for someone my age. Heck, I don’t remember most of them, the exceptions being ‘Picture of Dorian Gray’ and one collection of Sci-Fi short stories. And Merle’s ‘Death is my trade’.
It’s strange to now look back at those years realizing that they were pretty much my beginning when it comes to writing. Years when I hated classics just because I had to read them and so I was making up weird stories in my head when I went to sleep and had no reason to think about something specific. Some of those eventually became pieces of something more, which eventually turned into early concepts of the fantasy I am now working on since 2015.
So, how it went down? After being freed of school reading in 2010, I started reading by choice, something that was probably expected: Warcraft books. Since translations were often delayed here by months or even years, I eventually thought about getting my hands on originals in English – something that eventually led me to e-books.
Yet, there were stages between that. My teen’s daydreaming (that was sometimes bordering with adult content) receded somewhen around my 18th birthday. Strangely, I did not even miss it. I only brought it back in late 2012 or early 2013 by my best guess. Reason? I needed to get one very specific thought from my head since 2010. Yes, a girl that was in the same class with me for 8 years and I was unable to forget her. Quickest solution, apart from drugs and alcohol I would never touch? Find some thoughts that would replace her.
And so I went back to bedtime stories again. This time, in a very different way: I was looking at the pieces I thought about – what little I remembered. I started actually trying to make a story out of it. I replayed a few scenes that were in my head – some tens of times. Since then, it’s quite common for me to put myself asleep thinking about the story in a way I could not imagine even just a few years ago.
In the meantime, I bought a Kindle in early spring 2016 (around the release of World of Warcraft: War Crimes). I was usually reading two books per month. In summer, my reading was often done in train/bus when going for a hike and finished in the following days at home.
I’m, again, taking a guess here. I believe I got back to reading at home more – and specifically before going to sleep – most likely around late 2017. In fact, I guess it became more prominent when my World of Warcraft guild finished raiding Antorus in early 2016 and I found myself with three evenings that were suddenly without a planned use. Book it was, then.
Now, half a year later, the next den of vile things is opening in World of Warcraft. I am coming back to organized raiding after half a year with feelings I did not expect to have: books threatening my interest in organized gaming. Sure, I’d keep playing and keep in contact with some of those people – many were encouraging me to give writing a try when I admitted I was making up stories in my head.
I guess I’ll see how it goes. Maybe Uldir will be the last place I’ll delve into as a part of an organized group on at least some level of competitiveness. Maybe the return will renew my interest in gaming. Yet, in retrospect, it’s quite obvious to me that I pay more attention to the story as time passes.
Anyway, I’m blubbering about this for quite a while already so I’ll wrap it up here. See you next time, fellow dreamers. Feel free to comment.