Friday, November 2, 2012

Reading by flashlight

Do you have a lot of fond memories of sneaking a book and flashlight under your covers and reading?
What about taking a book and flashlight camping with you and reading in the wilderness (or your backyard)?

How do you people have fond memories of this? Or the better question is, how do you hold a stupid flashlight AND comfortably hold a book without having to reposition yourself 4,000 times before you give up and just stare at nothing because at least that doesn't require coordination.

As I mentioned before, Hurricane Sandy knocked out our power. Which is, at the time of writing, still out. When the power first went out on Monday I figured I'd at least have lots of uninterrupted reading time. How great will that be? And then there was the realization of "I need light to read" and "boy it sure gets dark during a hurricane". I tried to use this lantern thing, which says it provides "room filling light". It is a liar. If I had been able to build a contraption to suspend it right above where I was reading, maybe it would have worked. I tried to use a flashlight but couldn't figure out how to position it. For a while I held the book in one hand and the flashlight in another. But eventually both my flashlight arm and my book thumb were getting sore. Then I tried holding it under my chin but trying to get it to stay where you need so it's neither blindingly bright nor too shadowy to read proved a challenge.

There has to be a trick to this. Cos I was starting to think that those miner helmets with the lights on them aren't such a bad idea.

I did get some reading done. But it was mostly uncomfortable and distracted.

I wish I hadn't started my book right before the storm. I was all set to reread Pet Semetary, which I have as a dead-tree book. Had I not started it, I would have been fine reading a book on my Kindle. Before the storm I saw a few tweets from people who were very clear that they were stocking up on non-e-books. Which makes sense because ebooks must be read on a reader that must be charged by electricity, and the threats were there would be none. However, I can't help but think the people who made these proclamations (as opposed to those who just said they were stocking up books) don't actually own an ereader.

I can't speak for all of the options out there, but I have a Kindle. My Kindle has like a month's worth of battery on a single charge. So I made sure it was charged before the storm, which means I'm not really in danger here of running out of reading material. I also have a case with a built in light, which means I don't have to juggle the flashlight or sit dangerously close to candles in order to see.

Now, I only read a little of the book on my, but that's because I'm stubborn and had just started Pet Semetary and didn't want to change. I'm not saying an ereader is better in this situation or normal books. I'm just saying, could you quit being tools about ereader vs normal books. They both have advantages and disadvantages so can't we just enjoy all of them?
Didn't really mean for this to turn into a rant. This is what happens when you take away someone's heat for long periods of time and make them throw out all of the food in their fridge, even though some of those condiments were BARELY USED and it's going to cost a fortune to restock.