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Do Bibliophiles Dream of Nothing Books?

December 12, 2021

It’s kind of dumb to dream about reading. There are a bunch of better things to dream about. I like flying in my dreams. I’ve gotten pretty good at that. I don’t hit buildings or tree branches anymore, and I’ve stuck the landing a few times without breaking any bones. I like dreams where I fly because I can’t fly in real life.

I haven’t had any intense nightmares for a few years. In the past I’ve been stabbed, chased and mauled by wild dogs, fallen from mountainous heights, and I’ve drowned a few times. Drowning was the worst because it was difficult to come out of those dreams. When I got stabbed or mauled, I’d wake up before any damage was done, but with drowning, I already couldn’t breathe, and there were some moments where I knew I was dreaming but still felt like I couldn’t get any air.

I could see myself actually dying because I drowned in a nightmare. Everybody would say I passed away peacefully while sleeping, but I’d know better. I’d be kind of disheartened if my obituary said I’d passed away peacefully in my sleep when I’d really died because I drowned in a nightmare, but I guess there’d be no way to tell anybody. Maybe there is, but it’s probably not worth the price. I wouldn’t want to walk the earth for eternity, bugging everyone that I knew that I’d died because of an intense nightmare. I’d just have to let the false record stand.

The good news is that I’ve been avoiding nightmares recently. I’ve seen the wild dogs in the distance and have avoided them. I’ve shot the guy with the knife a couple times (and he stayed down). I’ve become a better swimmer, and I’ve gotten really good at flying.

But now I can’t read in my dreams. As much as I enjoy reading, I don’t care that much if I can’t read in my dreams. As long as I can read while I’m awake, I’m okay. But still, it’s kind of weird that it keeps happening.

Sometimes the letters in the books are jumbled or unrecognizable. Maybe I’m holding the books upside down. When my grandfather was first being diagnosed for Alzheimers decades ago, the doctor initially thought my grandfather was fine because he was intently reading a book. My grandma had to point out that my grandfather was holding the book upside down. Maybe the doctor should have been tested too.

These reading dreams might be warning me of possible cognitive decline. That would make sense because I fear the cognitive decline more than I fear wild dogs or knives or falling. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t want to get bitten or stabbed or fall off a mountain, but I can make good decisions to avoid those situations. Cognitive decline? Besides learning a new language every three months and taking a bunch of experimental drugs, there’s not a lot I can do to avoid that.

Now whenever I read, I double check and make sure I’m holding the book correctly. That’s especially true when I get tested at the doctor’s office. If I’m going to cheat on my cognitive tests, the first step is holding the book I’m reading the correct way. I don’t know why I’d want to cheat on the cognitive decline test, though. If my cognitive abilities are declining, I probably should want to know. But maybe successfully cheating on the cognitive decline test means that my cognitive abilities are fine.

Sometimes the books in my dreams are blank. That doesn’t bother me as much because it means that somebody gave me a copy of The Nothing Book. Back in the 1970s, The Nothing Book was a popular scam book. It was like a nice hardbound journal but without lines and margins. I don’t know anybody who ever filled out a Nothing Book. I’m left-handed, so I’d smudge the pages and give up. The Nothing Book was stupid, but I admit that it was a great publishing scam. The Nothing Book was almost as good of a scam as the Pet Rock or the Turd Bird.

If you claim to have filled out an entire copy of The Nothing Book just to be one of those people who likes to prove me wrong, I won’t believe you. I’ll demand proof. And we’ll have to agree ahead of time what successfully completing The Nothing Book actually means. A book of one-word so-called “poems” doesn’t count. Making a flip book movie out of stick figures doesn’t count either. If you complete your copy of The Nothing Book out of spite after you’ve read this blog post, there’s something wrong with you. I’m fine.

Even though I’m making a big deal about this topic now, the dreams where I can’t read don’t bother me that much. I don’t have a desire to read when I’m dreaming. I don’t go to bed every night proclaiming, “I can’t wait to read a bunch of books in my dreams!” I go to bed when I’m too tired to read or write or concentrate on anything else that day. I just think it’s interesting that I can’t read in my dreams, and that’s all. I’m not losing any sleep over it.

  1. Nah. I’ve never read in my dreams either, but I’ve been stabbed a whole hell of a lot.

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