On the bedside table

The books we take to bed

I decided not to straighten up before taking the snap of my bed table. Included in this mess are books for children and adults, drawing pads, magazines, a thumb drive, pens, pencils, and sticky notes, a dictionary, a book of humorous verse, headphones, and a business card for a chiropractor. Naturally, I plan to clean and organize this in the new year. –Kate Feiffer
Chris, who is an engineer, keeps his be table organized with never more than three books, reading glasses, an alarm clock and a lamp. – Kate Feiffer

We’re ending the year with a new Friday feature about books. We’re calling it Bedside Table. We’d like to hear about what you’re reading and we invite you to send us a photo of your bedside table. Are you the type, as am I, who has the books you’re planning to read and reread piled perilously high and held together with a mortar made of magazines, newspapers, and sample-size toothpaste? Or are you more like my husband, Chris, who keeps his bed table simple and neat with the book he’s currently reading and one in the queue?

I snuggled up during yesterday’s cold snap with a book I gave Chris for Christmas and then swiped off his bedside table. “A Horse Walks into a Bar” was written by Israeli author David Grossman. It is a short, fascinating, and unusual book which unfolds over the course of a night during a middle-aged comic’s stand-up routine. While the book won the Man Booker International Prize, I bought it for Chris because the title reminded me of a joke he has told one too many times — A horse walks into a bar and the bartender asks, “Why the long face?”

Chris is currently tackling “The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman” by Laurence Sterne. He’s currently on page 282 — not quite halfway through — and Shandy is still a mere tot of two days. Chris did take a break last week from Shandy’s long-winded birth, which lasted over 200 pages, to read Frank Bergon’s terrific novel “Shoshone Mike.” The book is a historical fiction account of the events which unfolded after an itinerant band of Shoshone Indians were accused of killing a cattleman and three Basque sheepmen. “You get a feeling for what the attitudes of the whites were toward the last of the non-reservation Indians,” Chris said. Frank is a novelist and retired college professor who lives in Oak Bluffs. Click here for a not-to-miss article Frank wrote titled Henry Louis Gates Jr.: An Autobiography Through Books, published in last summer’s MV Arts & Ideas Magazine.

Want to share what you’re reading? Send a snap of your bedside table with the date that you took the photo and a few sentences about what’s on it, what you’re reading, and why you like or don’t like it. While we hope you will show us your bed table as is, please note this is a family publication so before snapping your photo, we encourage you to remove anything . . . erotic . . . other than, perhaps, those lines found in the books you may be reading. Email photo and descriptions to newsletters@mvtimes.com.