At the funeral of a family member last year, the rabbi spoke of his long relationship with Martin, the deceased. He spoke of Martin's great curiosity and desire for understanding. The rabbi illustrated Martin's curiosity by naming the books that were next to his bed in the hospital:
Plastic: The Making of a Synthetic Century
The Biography of Madelaine Albright
How Can They Do that? Wonders of the Modern World Explained.
The Darwin Awards: Honoring those who improve the species...by accidentally removing themselves from it!
Blow Softly in Jericho (humourous stories by Israeli author Ephraim Kishon)
The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul
From then on, I became conscious of the books that I leave by my bedside. There is quite a stack. Most of them are books that I was briefly interested in, then abandoned -- but even so.
So my question is this: What reading material is next to your bed? If I was writing your obituary, what is one conclusion I might draw about you from these items? If you bring an e-reader to bed with you I would be speechless.