Why I Haven’t Read That Book Yet, Part 3: I Keep Falling Asleep
There are a number of wonderful books which, though highly recommended, I have not finished because I fall asleep every time I try to read them. Even when I’m not reading in bed, I fall asleep: I curl up in my chair, I melt into the couch, I lie on the floor like a cat. This probably indicates that I don’t get enough rest at night, but perhaps it also indicates something about my reading material.
Some might think falling asleep indicates the book is dull. I think it mostly reflects the reader’s (lack of) wakefulness, blood circulation, and attention span; it’s not necessarily the book’s fault. Thalia and I discussed the fact that though Pieper’s Leisure: The Basis of Culture is beautiful, lucid, and interesting, we conk out after a few pages. My theory is that the ideas are heavy. It’s like trying to balance a number of well-cut rocks. You can follow where the reasoning goes, but you also have to carry where you’ve been with you, as though you were trying to pick up a road as you walk on it. That’s the heavy bit, keeping all those premises in mind, and it exhausts my brain.
Presumably this is also why I fall asleep reading Orthodoxy and, to my shame, Studies in Words. Possibly I made my attempts at both books in a severely compromised state, since by all rights I ought to have read and loved them by now. It’s why I never finished my Intercollegiate Studies Institute Reading (work by Kirk and Burke, oh my) or Frankenstein (which still waits on my bedside table for me to return to it).
What books have you fallen asleep reading?