As a kid, one of my guilty pleasures involved going to bed, grabbing my book, and reading well into the morning. I finished several novels this way, and the tiredness I felt afterward was, in my opinion, worth it.
I still enjoy reading in bed, and I don’t know how many book lights I’ve burned through trying to read without disturbing others, and I’ve since concluded that I am, indeed, a Librocubicularist.
Librocubicularist (lib-ro-kyoo-bi-kyoo-la-rist) is an obscure word that comes from the Latin words liber (book) and cubiculum (bedroom). It translates to “A person who reads in bed.”
It first appeared in a 1919 novel called The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley.
As far as I can tell, he’s the one we have to thank for it. The passage reads:
“All right,” said the bookseller amiably. “Miss Chapman, you take the book up with you and read it in bed if you want to. Are you a Librocubicularist?”
Titania looked a little scandalized.
“It’s all right, my dear,” said Helen. “He only means are you fond of reading in bed. I’ve been waiting to hear him work that word into the conversation. He made it up, and he’s immensely proud of it.”
“Reading in bed?” said Titania. “What a quaint idea! Does anyone do it? It never occurred to me. I’m sure when I go to bed, I’m far too sleepy to think of such a thing.”
Yes, Titania- many people read in bed, and science is beginning to see why.
According to an article on SleepAdvisor.org, reading in bed (or, more specifically, before sleep) can help:
- Reduce stress by taking your mind off the events of the day
- Boost brainpower by feeding you new information- especially if you enjoy self-help or technical books
- Improve creativity by opening your mind
- Enhance sleep by reducing exposure to blue light (from phones and tablets) and relaxing your mind
- Promote concentration by making you pay attention to your book
- Increase empathy by introducing you to new points of view
- and Invite some peace and quiet into your nightly routine
I don’t know about you, but all of these points sound amazing, and they make me want to embrace my love of being a Librocubicularist!
Reading in bed is a common phenomenon, and I’d bet money that you’ve done something similar. The bed is comfortable and warm, making it easy to relax and immerse yourself in the story. And, if you happen to fall asleep, your bed is the perfect location for impromptu naps!
Then, you can be a Librocubicularist- like me!