Reading by Nightlight: The Nightstand Book Shelf

 

A lot of people may not know this, but I am a lifelong insomniac. Hell, I live a nocturnal lifestyle, and burned out my share of nightlights reading in the dark.

 

True story: growing up, I read by the glow of a streetlight across the street from my bedroom window.

 

Anyway, being the voracious reader I am, I found reading novels in bed prevented me, more often than not, from getting any sleep at all, if the book was interesting enough, I would fight the call of slumber tooth and nail to finish reading it. This was not a good thing. I'm not the poster boy for mental stability with a solid night's rest at the best of times. And those 72 hour runs awake were taking their toll.

 

The answer was, at least for me, short stories. I have been a lifelong fan of short fiction, the form being my introduction not only to reading in general, but to the horror genre in particular. These little literary tidbits satisfied my need to read when sleep eluded me, and their length guaranteed I would be able to catch some when it beckoned. That's why I keep a few anthologies and collections on my nightstand, rotating them as my whims change, but there is always at least one book of ghost stories, and usually more, within easy reach. There is nothing like a good ghost story read by nightlight, if candlelight is unavailable.

 

At the moment, this is what is on my nightstand book shelf:

 

The Complete Short Stories by Ambrose Bierce

Best Ghost Stories of Algernon Blackwood
Casting the Runes and Other Ghost Stories by M.R. James

Rear Window - Story Collection by Cornell Woolrich

Nocturnes by John Connolly

Milestone: The Collected Stories by Kealan Patrick Burke

Ghosts of Yesterday by Jack Cady

 

What's on your nightstand?