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  • July 2012
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Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: Books & Late-Night Reading

Hello, my name is Wei. (Before we go further, it’s important for you to know that it’s pronounced like “WAY.” I mean, how awkward would it be if you came up to me & called me “WEE”?) I’m a senior, a vegetarian, I read ALL THE TIME, I can lick my elbow, and I believe I am searching for a “Great Perhaps.”

My favourite time to read is late at night…

when it’s pitch black…

when everyone is asleep…

when it’s just a book and a 6o-watt bulb to keep me company.

I like reading well into the wee hours of the morning because it’s my winding down time. I think–versus all the other times of day–late-night is the best because all the day’s events are done and gone, so the happenings in my current book seem more relevant. They have greater depth to them. It’s like more things click between the pages and my brain.

There is, or course, the “Just one more chapter” problem that always happens and it seems more noticeable past midnight. You keep telling yourself, one more chapter, just a few more pages.

But it’s never just one more chapter. The thing is, books never want to let you go. Even if it’s the worst book you’ve ever read, there’s something–some urge or itch to just continue, not in the hopes of the storyline getting better, but just to simply finish it. That “one more chapter” mentality just isn’t strong enough to hold up to the book’s need to be read, regardless of how good or bad it may be.

So what do you do? Keep reading. Keep reading until one, two, three in the morning. Until that book is good and finished. But even though you feel that sweet accomplishment of a job well done, you run head-on into more problems. First, the most obvious one, is that the book is finished. You get this nagging feeling of wanting more. Did she live? What happened to the baby? And the one I most often encounter, Why the -insert explicative- did it end like that?!

This takes you seamlessly on into another problem: not being able to sleep because you’re thinking too much about the book. It’s probably four in the morning by now and, with the luck that you have, there’s most likely some important meeting to attend or test to be taken tomorrow (which is technically today).

All that being said, with all the problems and zombie-like side effects that lack of sleep inevitably causes, I still love reading well past my bedtime. It’s calmer, less hectic, and if your book is a tearjerker, no one’s awake to see you cry. But, really, my favourite thing is just taking a deep breath, closing the book for what may be the final time, and saying to myself, “Mission accomplished.” It’s just so thrilling.

Here are some of the books that have recently made me a zombie the next day. And I can’t say that I regret it.

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

The Book Thief.

The Fault in Our Stars


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