Currently in my early twenties I still like a bedtime story. Not read to me like at age 5, but I prefer to read myself to sleep. The story or texts I've been reading usually feed my dreams and the thoughts I have just before slipping off to sleep. Good reads really are the stuff of dreams, they supply me with the kind of utopian dreams that keep me going in real life.
This poses a significant problem: what to read?
Because they last a couple of days, I like to read novels. But the problem is how to hold them, while lying down on a pillow. Magazines are good, but good magazines are hard to come by. Mags are often opinionated or just plain wrong, an especially heinous occurrence when you're as opinionated as I am. Apart from that is the cost and availability, my local student science fiction library does supply a decent amount of science fiction going back up to four decades ago, but magazines are too fragile and age too quickly to be stocked.
Well that leaves books, preferably novels. A good bedtime novel doesn't require too much concentration and involves only mild emotional connection. No horror whatsoever, I could only read "The Lord of the Rings" by daylight, so Stephen King is definitely out of the question. Bedtime reading shouldn't be too absorbing either; before you know it, it's become morningtime reading.
So the perfect novel is entertaining yet not too much. It should be well written, yet uncomplicated, be easily available and still look good to any guests who happen to look upon your nightstand.
Lately I've been getting quite good results with Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. They're funny, without making you laugh out loud and disturbing any fellow residents. Quite engaging, but usually it's quite possible to put it down after a half-hour's reading. Another point in favour is that the series comprises of almost forty novels, leaving me with a supply for another couple of months. There is a downside though; Pratchett, "who has occasionally been accused of literature", does not write in chapters. Therefore reading just one chapter is out of the question, so when to stop?...