Tried and True Ways to Stop Reading and Get Some Damn Sleep

We’ve all been there. Huddled beneath a comforter in bed at three in the morning, your arm hurts from holding up a book or e-reader, your eyes are burning in a way that hurts so good you actually think you’re kind of a badass being up so late despite the pain. Unfortunately, all that bad-assery comes at a price the next day when even industrial strength concealer and rocket fuel don’t measure up to the dark under-eye circles and the insane need to take a nap underneath your desk.

When a book is good, or let’s face it even if it’s just okay, it can be impossible to put down. Never fear, there are tricks to step away from the book and return to your regularly scheduled life.

  1.      Pretend like you already know the ending. This is clearly a mental game. Of course, you don’t actually know the ending, but if you’ve read enough books and understand enough tropes, you can more or less predict how something is going to end. So fast forward in your mind to the ending you most want, essentially ruin the book for yourself, and call it a day.
  2.      Take a ten-minute nap. Again, obvious trickery. Set a ten-minute timer on your phone, and tell yourself you’re just going to take a quick nap and continue reading. Chances are, once you’re asleep and the alarm sounds, you’ll revel in the fact that you can turn it off and actually go back to sleep instead of waking up for work.
  3.      Take a shot. Don’t go crazy and get drunk in the middle of the night, but put a shot of liquor into a cup of tea or cocoa and hope that it’ll help you doze off against your will.
  4.      Destroy the book. Stay with me, but if the next day is an emergency and you have to go to sleep, dunk your book in water so you cannot physically read it. To safely dry the book, blot the water with a towel, place some paper towels in the middle of the pages, and put it near a fan or a vent afterwards until it dries out. It goes without saying, but just in case it doesn’t, please do not put your tablet or e-reader in water unless you are also trying to electrocute a bug in the most elaborate way possible.
  5.      Research author information. Admittedly, this doesn’t work every time, but something about knowing personal information about an author makes me less interested in the book itself. Diving into authors’ lives can end up creating too many parallels with characters, thus making it less engaging. Other times you might learn that the author is a jerk and you won’t want to finish the book. 
  6.    Keep reading. Yeah, just say screw it and enjoy yourself. Maybe you’ll get lucky and you’ll wake up in the morning with the book on your head. It’ll probably be worth it.

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