September 24, 2009

My Nightstand

About a year ago, I discussed the literary contents of my nightstand. Now, I will readily admit that I have a book problem. Like, I score books with the same frequency that Charlie Sheen scores hookers. So it's not really a surprise that the on-deck pile of books finally outgrew my night stand. (I would like to note, here, that this is not the only pile of to-read books I have. There are three bookcases of unread books in our basement. It's a sickness. But again, not hookers so it could be worse.) The books, much to Beth's dismay, have now become a permanent fixture on our dresser.

They were, previously, all piled up, willy-nilly but I hit Target and a craft store and went Design Star on their asses, fashioning two very cool (if I do say so myself) bookends. Anyway, here's what's on my nightstand dresser.

  • The Intruders (Michael Marshall)
  • Promise Me (Harlan Coben)
  • Rant (Chuck Palahniuk)
  • The Lie (Chad Kultgen)
  • Kill Your Friends (John Niven)
  • The Power Of The Dog (Don Winslow)
  • Requiem, Mass. (John Dufresne)
  • The Crime Writer (Greg Hurwitz)
  • The Hunger Games (Susan Collins)
  • Pain Killers (Jerry Stahl)
  • Tsar (Ted Bell)
  • No Survivors (Tom Cain)
  • Revenge Of The Spellmans (Lisa Lutz)
  • Transition (Iain Banks)
  • The Last Child (John Hart)
  • The Increment (David Ignatius)
  • Waiting For Columbus (Thomas Trofimuk)
  • The Angel's Game Carlos Ruiz Zafon)
  • Await Your Reply (Dan Chaon)
  • The Dirt (Motley Crue)
  • Franklin Flyer (Nicholas Christopher)
  • Zeitout (Dave Eggers)
  • Art In America (Ron McLarty)
  • Downtown Owel (Chuck Klosterman)
  • Stuart: A Life Backwards (Alexander Masters)
  • Manhattan Nocturne (Colin Harrison)
  • The Tourist (Jeff Hobbs)
  • The Tipping Point (Malcolm Gladwell)
  • In This Rain (SJ Rozan)
  • The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Steig Larsson)
  • The Laments (George Hagen)
  • Phantom Prey (John Sandford)
  • Invisible Prey (John Sandford)
  • The Salaryman's Wife (Sujata Massey)
  • Chasing The Dead (Joe Schreiber)
  • Saturn's Children (Charles Stross)
  • The Last Colony (John Scalzi)
  • Zoe's Tale (John Scalzi)
  • The Stolen (Jason Pinter)
  • The Quick Red Fox (John D. MacDonald)
What's on or in your nightstand? Posted by Chris at September 24, 2009 6:41 AM

A candle, a book, a camera, another book, a camera battery charger, a lighter, an iPod, pictures, a whiteboard, a sock, headphones, a bracelet, mints, another bracelet, a form i need to fill out, a picture not in a frame, cards, a light to stick on a book

Posted by: alektra at September 24, 2009 6:49 AM

Hah! Your book collection reminds me of my husband's and mine before we had kids. We were the biggest Barnes & Noble addicts around. I still buy books because I read slowly, but hubby visits the library because he is a speed reader and goes through close to a book a day and we can't support his habit anymore :). My book pile is now in the corner of my room and is about waist high, but it's been a year in the making.

My nightstand is pretty boring: a lamp, alarm clock, a few books, a candle and lighter and hair elastics.

Posted by: Elizabeth at September 24, 2009 7:07 AM

A lamp, Kleenex, remote controls for TV and air conditioner, and "My Life In France" by Julia Child.

Posted by: Maribeth at September 24, 2009 7:58 AM

A couple of months ago I had an evil nightmare and insisted my husband trade sides of the bed, so now my nightstand is a bookcase. It's three shelves are full of two distinct types of books - business management, and tragic disasters (Titanic, holocaust, Rwanda - you get the picture) - it's a little intense for sleep time, but this is what you get for marrying a trauma therapist who went to the London School of Economics.
Stacked in a little corner are a box of tissues, a box of allergy meds and the third Harry Potter book, which I'm re-reading because I'm a tragic dork :)

Posted by: Jo MacD at September 24, 2009 8:22 AM

Books, but if I look too closely I might disturb the edifice and cause a literary avalanche, so I won't specify further!

Posted by: Loth at September 24, 2009 8:55 AM

Toe nail clippings..

Posted by: William at September 24, 2009 9:03 AM

I currently have a hamper in place of a nightstand, it contains one book, Outrage by Dick Morris, a portable alarm clock, a basal temperature chart, a basal thermometer, lip balm, natural nasal spray, pen, my cell phone and a book light at any given time in the night, one of these items will fall off because my hamper is wicker so it's wobbly and not flat. HA!

Posted by: Dee at September 24, 2009 9:17 AM

a book (Dragon's Keep by uhm...someone), glasses case, charger for batteries. that's about it.

Posted by: Kris at September 24, 2009 9:19 AM

My medications, my iPod, and Rick Sammon's Exploring the light. Oh and the latest issue of Rangefinder.

Posted by: Jeff A at September 24, 2009 9:39 AM

I commend your design star spirit, but hope you won't be posting pictures of sombrero girl and roses.

Posted by: Pat Moody at September 24, 2009 9:48 AM

A lone alarm clock which is pushed as far to the side as possible. Why? My cat, Skor, has chosen my night stand as his personal bed and won't tolerate anything on it. Now, the floor in front of the night stand is a totally different story!

Posted by: Trisha at September 24, 2009 9:55 AM

Hahha! I was just thinking about posting pictures of all my book piles yesterday, but the batteries were dead on my camera. Maybe tomorrow. I don't put them on the nightstand anymore, they're just piled on the floor. On both sides of the bed. And both sides of my chair. Oh! And on the kitchen table. And, and, and.

Sadly, I'm on a book buying freeze. I hate being poor.

Posted by: k8 at September 24, 2009 9:59 AM

A lamp and an alarm clock. But I could make room for those books and help alleviate your book-hog illness. ;)

Posted by: Theresa at September 24, 2009 10:11 AM

I have a tiny nightstand so my books are in a pile next to the bed and my husband hates it. My pile is the books I have already read though. These days I get most of my books from the library, on queue, The Girl WIth the Dragon Tattoo, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, about Michael Oher of the Baltimore Ravens, me & hubby will both read, and The Pact by Jodi Picoult. I can't believe you haven't read The Dirt. I bought it for my husband years ago, and ended up reading it before him. It was pretty entertaining.

Posted by: Tracy H at September 24, 2009 10:25 AM

I have a tiny nightstand so my books are in a pile next to the bed and my husband hates it. My pile is the books I have already read though. These days I get most of my books from the library, on queue, The Girl WIth the Dragon Tattoo, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, about Michael Oher of the Baltimore Ravens, me & hubby will both read, and The Pact by Jodi Picoult. I can't believe you haven't read The Dirt. I bought it for my husband years ago, and ended up reading it before him. It was pretty entertaining.

Posted by: Tracy H at September 24, 2009 10:26 AM

Okay, come on now. You know you're going to have to get all craft-blog one day and show us the bookends so we can either a) fully agree with Beth's dismay or b) tell her she's got some cool looking new accessories in her bedroom which should help with the dismay a *bit*.

Posted by: Dianna at September 24, 2009 10:29 AM

a framed wedding photo, the old-fashioned metal desk fan that saves me from hearing any type of breathing or neighborhood noises, the video baby monitor, my blackberry, and my glasses. i have multiple books that i've started in the drawer and on the lower shelf, but nothing like your crazy list ;)

Posted by: kati at September 24, 2009 10:32 AM

I try to only keep the current reads by my bed (there's a full bookcase of upcoming reads elsewhere. I'm not quite at your level - yet!). So, there's the phone, lamp, one of the speakers for the tv, remotes, ipod/alarm clock contraption, current magazine issues (I'm a magazine freak),
*"A Big Little Life" by Dean Koontz which is a huge departure from his regular genre. It's all about his dog and a great read for any dog lover
*"Sugar Blues" by William Dufty
*"The Real Food Daily Cookbook"
& my gratitude journal. I have an app for my iphone for that but I prefer putting pen to paper for this :)

Posted by: LaineyDid at September 24, 2009 10:36 AM

Not to slam you, but what if, what if instead of reading fiction, you read something on one subject, like marketing or computer programming? Just think how much knowledge you would have gained. I catch myself saying internally, "If I watched just as much on computer science as you do iCarly and Hannah Montana,dude, you would rule the world."

Posted by: Knot at September 24, 2009 11:14 AM

I have a bed with 2 large compartments in the headboard, as well as one huge drawer and 2 smaller drawers under the bed. The nightstand has three drawers. (My bed was totally made for people who love books!)

Both headboard compartments are filled with books. 2 out of 3 nightstand drawers are filled wtih books. The huge drawer under the bed is filled with books.

Next to the bed is a large plastic bin filled with books. I have more books in storage, all my bookshelves are crammed with books and I need at least 2 more large ones for the rest that don't fit anywhere.

So, I completely understand your little book addiction. It could be a lot worse. :)

Posted by: jessica at September 24, 2009 11:29 AM

books, books and more books: Can't Buy Me Love (Jonathan Gould), In Justice (David Iglesias), Tin House Tenth Anniversary Issue, LIghts on the Lake and The Lightening Time (Gregory Maguire), The Rabbit Factory (Karp -- at your suggestion), The Winter Queen (Boris Akunin), 5 (!) back issues of Surfers Journal, a pocket dictionary, The Otori Trilogy (Lian Hearn).... and that's all I can remember at the moment.

My stack to be read (one of several) outgrew the bedside table, and now we have a 4 unit shelf at the foot of the bed, with books stacked every which way on it.

Posted by: pvz at September 24, 2009 11:46 AM

D U S T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Wendy at September 24, 2009 12:20 PM

I had to move most of my nightstand books to another location as they were too numerous to keep on the nightstand without running the risk of falling over and killing me in the middle of the night.

Currently on my nightstand: A damned alarm clock, glass of water, jewelry bowl with jewelry in it, a candle, lotion and the following books:
American Gods, Neil Gaiman
The Hour I First Believed, Wally Lamb
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
The Book of Art and Shadows, Michael Gruber
John Lennon: The Life, Philip Norman

The rest of the 14 or so books I need to read are now in my office taking up room.

Don't even get me started with what is inside my nightstand!

Posted by: cyndy at September 24, 2009 12:26 PM

Let's see:
Breaking Dawn - Stephenie Meyer

Lost Symbol - Dan Brown

Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert

Darkest Evening of the Year - Dean Koontz

A bar of Original Fine Soap - Fresh Cotton scent (so fragrant!!!)

A statue of an angel that reminds me of my grandma

A photo book of the favorite of my son's senior pictures

Various art projects from my two girls

A dog chewie

My lamp.

Pretty boring.

Posted by: zanie at September 24, 2009 12:46 PM

The nightstands aren't up yet (damn this moving hell) but we bought media towers because a) always need more book space and b) always end up with a ton of books on or near the bed. And media shelves tend to be perfect paperback storage.

Posted by: rai at September 24, 2009 12:49 PM

Hey Chris,
Why don't you get yourself a library card? You would save a ton of money, get to read all the books you want, and have more room. Just an idea.

Posted by: Chris at September 24, 2009 1:33 PM

Hey Chris,
Why don't you get yourself a library card? You would save a ton of money, get to read all the books you want, and have more room. Just an idea.

Posted by: Chris at September 24, 2009 1:33 PM

I think there might still be a nightstand under all this stuff....
The Ice Limit by Douglas Preton & Lincoln Child, 2 bottles of water, cordless phone and charger, box of Raspberry newtons, 75% eaten bottle of chocolate covered sunflower seeds, note pad, coaster, clock, cell phone charger, Nintendo DS & charger, OttLite, regular small lamp, Parmesan Goldfish, a pint glass with candy canes & a dog toy in it, my external hard drive, a stack of bills, a pile of DVDs that need to go into cases, my checkbooks, sleep mask... (and that's just the top) there is a shelf at the bottom with a stack of books and magazines and a box of Triscuits. My books are in a pile by the closet, in a DVD rack in front of the closet, in boxes in my guest room, in a bookcase in my sunroom, on every bottom shelf of my coffee and end tables, in boxes in closets.... I'm a mess.... Once my office is finished, they will hopefully get organized in there in a proper bookcase. What's been read that isn't going to be re-read for any reason will probably end up on paperback swap. Love that site!

Posted by: Rose Winters at September 24, 2009 1:44 PM

Reading glasses, sunglasses, a handful of rocks, the clock radio, a reading lamp, a notebook, three pens, a bunch of random buttons, a beading book, and a book about creativity. Oh and an empty bottle of G2 Gatorade, blue of course.

Posted by: Amy at September 24, 2009 2:04 PM

OK - what I find hilarious is the way you've arranged those books in a perfect arc - shortest to tallest and back to shortest again. How very OCD of you.

Posted by: NG at September 24, 2009 2:47 PM

Await your reply for me. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for Isabel, who gets her nightly reading there. An alarm clock and a Belle figurine that is waiting for me to reapply her lost head. So glad I read you today, did not know there was a new Spellman out, on my library list as of now. And I request a review of The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo. I have heard mixed reviews and have been back and forth on whether to give it a try. We seem to have similar reading taste, so if you don't mind...

Posted by: stacie at September 24, 2009 2:53 PM

Ohhhh, my nightstand:

A lamp
A clock
A guitar pick
Several magazines
The book my counselor recommended but I'm muddling through it BECAUSE IT SUCKS (and it's very religious, for some reason)
Olive Oil Body Butter from the body shop
Three different kinds of lip balm

My "to-read" pile is on the desk in my office. And it's pretty huge and I just tweeted today that I needed more bookshelves. Someone replied that I needed "fewer books" (pshaw, AS IF. I dont' get rid of books unless they really suck and I'll never look at them again).

Posted by: Sarah at September 24, 2009 8:33 PM

I don't have human kids, so bed is the one place I don't read. :)

I read on the subway train and on the couch. Lately it's been Karin Slaughter, Lisa Unger, Gillian Flynn, some cook/chef bios, a textbook to prepare for the Apple Certified Support Professional exam, and a few random other books whose authors I don't know yet.

Which do you recommend?

Posted by: Poppy at September 24, 2009 9:01 PM

well..I haven't read in bed since I've been married...hubby goes to bed way too early for me...I have a fan...alarm clock...and some umm...cough products....since brat has moved out....oooeee....don't have to hide the stuff in the tickle trunk.....dam....that's just TMI...I do read....about 9 books a week from the library....had to resort to that...can't afford to buy them anymore....

Posted by: Roberta at September 24, 2009 9:11 PM

On? Alarm clock, kleenex, framed picture of the BF.
In? Riding crop, collar, leash, handcuffs, assorted 'toys', You asked!

Posted by: jaycie at September 24, 2009 11:52 PM

i'm sending the husband your way STAT. when he first moved in with me i'm pretty sure he was hit head on with the reality of my book addiction. where we are living now i can not have all my books out to the point where i can sit back and just revel in their book-y glory. it absolutely send the back of my neck to the moon (nerves wise) knowing my books are ALPHABETIZED! and sorted by binding type in boxes. in STORAGE. i have one bookshelf my father built me when i was maybe 3 (because it started EARLIER than that) and yah... i will post a pic on my own blog sooner than later. as for my night stand? i'm a consultant for pure romance. look it up.

Posted by: Supahmama at September 25, 2009 12:38 AM

Right now I've got the new Dan Brown book, "The Lost Symbol" ready to start.

Posted by: cassie-b at September 25, 2009 3:07 PM

I've never really understood the whole "ton of books on the nightstand" thing because I just bring whatever book I'm currently reading to bed and then leave it on the nightstand after I do my 5 to 30 minutes of reading before bed and then bring it back downstairs with me when I get up.
So, on my nightstand is the current book (Gloria by Keith Maillard), my clock radio, my book light because my husband's already been in bed for about 2 hours and a bottle of lavender hand lotion.

Posted by: NancyJ at September 26, 2009 5:53 AM

Chris, how on earth do you ever find the time to read so voraciously? You start work too early, come home and wrangle your kids, write your blog, and on weekends, do superhuman things like hard core yard work and place tons of mulch around your kids' playground. How many hours of sleep do you get every night and how many cups of coffee do you drink every day?

I need some tips on how to stay awake after 10pm (my kids sleep at 8.45pm and 10pm) because as much as I'd love to read the scores of unread books lining my bookshelves, I get stupid after the kids go to sleep and surf the internet which is a total waste of time but requires less brainpower. Do I need to suck down more than 2 cups of coffee in a day?

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