By Kristin van Ogtrop
Updated January 22, 2015

There’s a new, exciting pattern that has taken hold in my bedroom. (Sorry, not that kind of exciting.) Here’s how it goes. My husband walks into our bedroom at 10:45 to find me reading The Help. Still. He looks at me disapprovingly. “You’ve got to stop reading and go to sleep,” he says.

“I know, I know,” I answer. “I’ll just finish this chapter.” And then I read maybe two more chapters, and suddenly it’s 11:45.

You see, I’m being held hostage by The Help, because it does not make me sleepy. This is a problem for a person who reads at night instead of taking a sleeping pill. Nine out of 10 books put me under in 30 minutes or less. It works like magic, and if you’ve never drifted off to sleep thinking about the plot of a book instead of your own stupid, insignificant problems, I recommend you try it immediately. Your stress level may just be cut in half, overnight.

But every once in a while a book comes along that does not have this effect. The Help is the latest. And so I keep reading, and every morning I complain to my husband about how tired I am. “Turn out the light earlier!” he admonishes, yet again. I know, I know. But I can’t! Does anybody else have this problem?!?