To paraphrase. I'm loving this passage from The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. Though I've long replaced those hours with 'writing' rather than 'reading'. Virginia Woolf's A Room of Her Own is also as celebratory, yet pragmatic (well, Woolf's piece is many things, and essential reading for the creative woman). Anyway, here's this:
"By three minutes to eight I was in my nightdress and slippers waiting for the kettle to boil. Quickly, quickly. A minute to eight. My hot water bottle was ready, and I filled a glass with water from the tap. Time was of the essence. For at eight o’clock the world came to an end. It was reading time.
The hours between eight in the evening and one or two in the morning have always been my magic hours. Against the blue candlewick bedspread the white pages of my open book, illuminated by a circle of lamplight, were the gateway to another world."
The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield