Hopefully when I post this, I’ll be asleep. Oh the wonders of scheduled posting. As you may have gathered from previous posts and from my Twitter account, I’m on nightshifts at work at the moment. And so I thought that this would be a good moment to write about what I read when I’m on nights.
The Boy says there are three rules about dealing with me when I’m on nights or have just finished nights:
1. She will be irrational
2. She will burst into tears
3. She is incapable of making decisions
And to be honest, that’s pretty fair. I’m quite good at sleeping in the day (although I never feel that I get the benefit from it that I get from the same amount of hours at night) but I never feel quite on top form. This means that I tend to avoid anything too weighty or requiring too much brain power for my commute during nights. I also don’t read as fast – I’ve been reading Judith Krantz’ Scruples – and after 4 train journeys (5ish hours – although I have been checking twitter at various points during the journey) I hadn’t got to page 300 and normally I’d have finished it in that time.
In my previous job, there used to be some points in the shift were there wasn’t much to do – and it was during those lean hours in the early hours of the morning that I discovered some great series like Elizabeth Peters’ Vicky Bliss and Amelia Peabody novels, Carola Dunn’s Daisy Dalrymple books and Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher mysteries – which I’m currently re-reading to try and get the TV series out of my head. I also managed to finally get around to reading Wolf Hall on a nightshift – after taking it with me because it was one book that I definitely wasn’t going to finish before I got to the journey home!
The current job doesn’t really have any down time – so the only reading I get done on these days now is in my dinner break and that’s usually something from the Kindle because it’s easier to read and eat (very bad habit) with a kindle than a book. On the commute I usually read a paperback as I continue to try and get the to-read pile down. I tend to avoid non-fiction (too much brain power needed) and anything scary, depressing or that I think might make me cry. So it tends to be a diet of chick lit, historical romance and cozy crime – I’ve got through a lot of books from M C Beaton’s various pseudonyms during nightshift commutes!
The other consequence of nightshifts is impulse book buying. In the early hours, when I’m feeling tired and miserable, I’ll end up buying myself a few books to cheer myself up – as a treat/reward for surviving nights. In my first three nights this week I bought five books – three of which turned up during the day when I was trying to sleep which is distinctly suboptimal. Mind you book buying is somewhat cheaper than the beauty product spending spree I went on last time I was on nights. Or the ASOS one the time before…