Grace Notes

a blog about life’s everyday magic

February 22, 2017

The Magic of Reading in Bed

The Magic of Reading in Bed

Words: Nancy L. Agneberg
Photo credit: Lia Leslie


Slightly sinful, like eating a piece of fine chocolate before taking my vitamins.


Or checking something off my long “To Do” list before I have actually accomplished the task. Or going grocery shopping and deciding to treat myself to a leisurely lunch before going home. Only slightly sinful. Or should I call it “luxurious”? An act of self-care, for after all, the days have been busy, far too busy, and I deserve this.


What am I describing, you ask?


Reading in bed first thing in the morning.


Yes, the alarm went off, as it always does, and my usual routine followed by a list of tasks to tackle awaits. But it is cold beyond my quilt, or rainy on the other side of the darkness, and you know, I think I may be getting a cold. How bad would it be to stay in bed a bit longer? And a good book just happens to be waiting on my bedside table.


Morning reading in bed is bonus reading time for me. I never go anywhere without a book or some other reading material, just in case I need to wait some place. I carve out times during the day to read – lunchtime at my own dining room table, a brief break after a string of chores, and at the end of the day in bed before turning out the light. No matter how tired I am, I must read before closing my eyes and pulling up the covers. But morning reading in bed is a treat I give myself only occasionally.


When I was in the last years of elementary school, my family vacationed for a week or two at a resort in northern Minnesota; the kind of resort that no longer seems to exist. Small, simple cabins with bark cloth curtains on the windows, mismatched dishes, and linoleum on the kitchenette floor and the teeny-tiny bathroom. Our cabin had one bedroom where my younger brother and sister slept and a double bed in the living area for my parents. My bed was on the screen porch. At night we pulled down the skinny wooden blinds, and I turned on the pin-up lamp right above my lumpy bed with its wool blanket, for even summer nights in Minnesota are cool.


I read until my mother called out, “Nancy, it’s time to turn off the light.” I was always reluctant to listen, but I knew I could start my day reading in bed before anyone else stirred. Breakfast time at the lake was casual, and I could read and read until the smell of toast tempted me.


Right now I am reading Susan Branch’s “Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams,” a memoir, which is like finding someone’s scrapbook in your attic. Colorful drawings, recipes, photographs, as well as her personal story in her own handwriting. This is perfect morning reading; reading that separates me from whatever stress or questions or deadlines or needs await me beyond the bedroom’s threshold.


Morning reading in bed extends the dream time.


Morning reading in bed stretches the day … a paradox, I know.


Morning reading both grounds and energizes me.


Morning reading is both a piece of fine chocolate and my daily vitamins.



Nancy L. Agneberg is a “woman of a certain age” (late 60’s), a wife, mother, grandmother … who is discovering the delights and the challenges of this stage of life. She is a trained spiritual director and a writer, currently working on a spiritual memoir. Visit Nancy at her blog, Clearing the Space, One Woman’s Spirituality,


What are you currently reading? Share with us in the comments.

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Comments ( 18 )

  1. Shirley Kramer

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    So love this, Nancy

  2. Tracie

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    I live in Minnesota and can perfectly envision your family tucked in a little cabin. As a young girl, reading as much as I wanted during the summer was a favorite indulgence.

    Now, instead of reading in bed, each morning I wake knowing that my recliner, book basket, and coffee are waiting for me. It’s the happy start to my day, and I’m currently reading “Count It All Joy: Discover a Happiness That Circumstances Cannot Change.” And I always have a few magazines tucked in my reading basket for when I’m too tired to hold thoughts together.

  3. debbie schaefer

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Love the images your words painted for me… I can almost smell the toast and see the book – wide open on buffalo check sheets. Can’t wait for your book to launch, Nancy!

  4. Nancy

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Thanks, Shirley. So glad you enjoyed this post.

  5. Nancy

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Oh, yes, magazines, too. A wonderful and nurturing indulgence. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. Nancy

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    How nice of you. Knowing I have potential readers helps keep me motivated.

  7. Pauline

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Well, I read your article while in bed! It’s a cool rainy morning here in Australia after an unprecedented heatwave so I’ve “treated” myself to this intentional lazy morning, unlike those where I procrastinate by checking emails, etc, etc.
    From here I hopped over to your blog and from there to The Modern Mrs Darcy … but now I must begin my day!
    Good luck with your book!

  8. Mary

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    What a wonderful, refreshing article about life’s simple pleasures. Never thought of reading in bed in the morning!

    The correct URL for the blog is

  9. Tisa Hosford

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Ah, so sweet to find another ‘kindred spirit’ and ‘girlfriend’ (as Susan Branch calls her Blog Girls)! Have got her trilogy on my bookshelf too. She & I both lived in San Luis Obispo CA at the same time (I used to deliver her mail!) so I really enjoy going back to our same old haunts in her book. I actually do a lot of re-reading favorites–like the Mrs Pargeter books by Simon Brett and just finished Alexander McCall Smith’s “44 Scotland Street” so am following up with another of his, “Morality for Beauty Girls” from his #1 Ladies Detective Agency series. So FUN!

  10. Suzanne

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Nancy, that little girl
    reading, reading, reading
    was (is!) also ME. One
    of my favorite fantasies
    is waking up on a rainy
    day, making a big cup of
    tea and climbing back under
    the fluffy down comforter
    with a book : ) Your post
    reminded me that I must
    make that a reality!

    xo Suzanne

  11. Kate

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    I know what I’m doing Saturday morning! Hope it’s a cool, gray day . . .

  12. Nancy

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Thanks for correcting the address for my blog. A slip of someone’s fingers, I am sure. Thanks for noticing, and I hope you will visit my blog.

  13. Nancy

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    I love The Modern Mrs Darcy blog, too. Enjoy your luxurious reading in bed time.

  14. Nancy

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    I think I may need to reread Susan Branch’s book about traveling in the UK again–at least page through it. Ah, another book for my bedside table.

  15. Nancy

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Enjoy, enjoy! You deserve it. If there are any complaints, blame it on “Nancy.”

  16. Nancy

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    You can always pretend!

  17. Bella Grace Magazine

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    The broken link has been updated in your bio as well. Apologies for the error!

    Katie Anderson
    The Grace Notes Team

  18. Debbie

    April 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    Reading in bed, sigh, yes so wonderful, so decadent. Cozy slippers, maybe a candle burning on the nightstand. Some chocolate bits and life is perfect.

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