The Dangers of Reading in Bed May 29, 2017 – Posted in: Blog, Thoughts – Tags:

I was reading an article published in The Altantic.com . It talked of the dangers of reading in bed in 18th and 19th centuries. Of fires and burns that regularly occurred from reading at night to candlelight and falling asleep. This was astonishing to me. I found it so unfathomable that death can occur from reading in bed, a favourable and most enjoyable part of my day. To think it could be as dangerous as possibility driving a car or dying from a disease seems unthinkable. Tucked into my bed at night, safely locked behind doors, wrapped up in my blankets, what could possibility be a safer place to be and more comfortable place to be. To think of the dangers this scenario could present are truly unimaginable.

The article goes on to explain that reading in bed was considered a most insolent behaviour and spoken of very unkindly in many literature pieces. But then it becomes clear that fires in bed where not of the numbers that literature made them seem so common and instead have been over dramatised to give the impression that everyone who read in bed will be subjecting themselves to fire. I was amazed to read that it was the actual behaviour of silent reading that was considered unbecoming that caused the over dramatising of sleeping in bed to be so common. The article continues on with the practices of the social bedtimes of that era and further discussion about reading by the elite only, well worthy your time if your interested.

I would like to consider the issue of when reading in bed became more fashionable. Was it the advent of electricity or the change in reading behaviours that made it more acceptable. I can always remember my father lying in bed at all hours of the night reading as he was never a great sleeper.  But it seems to me there is more to just a desire to read in bed that has made it so common and even I dare to suggest part of most of our sleeping routines. For today I have no answers to these questions but would be happy to here other’s point of view and I will continue researching this fascinating subject of reading in bed and why we are so addicted to it. I personally cannot sleep if I haven’t read before bed, even after a few drinks, I need atleast a page to put me to slumber. But why?