Recently I have been reacquainting myself with reading in low light. I spend an inordinate amount of time getting the illumination exactly right for my nightly reading forays. During my experiments, I have found that the best light is that which is almost too dark, but just bright enough to make out the words with a bit of concentration.
My reasoning is simple, to truly connect with the book, quite literally in hand, there needs to be complete immersion. With less light, the world beyond the page in my peripheral vision becomes just a black abyss, and visual distractions are extinguished, except for what my imagination conjures in that murk. Add to this the near silence (Amelia permitting) and complete escapism is fully achieved.
I spent most of my 20’s engaged in doing this as I didn’t go out clubbing or whatever else was ‘hip’ back then. The plethora of books I first enjoyed in this way varied, and of the calibre which was thus: The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, The Woman in Black, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Rendezvous With Rama, Phaedo, The Wind in the Willows, The Stand, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Complete Hercule Poirot short stories, The Midwich Cuckoos, The castle of Crossed Destinies, The Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas the Greek, The Island of the Day Before, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Peter Pan, and Endymion Spring.
Good memories and wonderful books, most of which are due a reread and a review at some point soon, as these original readings were in the days before I started this humble blog, a decade or so ago. The books could, arguably have been enhanced by my initial state of night reading and may well be less impressive second time around as a result, but those oroginal experiences will always be with me and spur me on with books.
It’s been a pleasure reading all bundled up in bed again, and after living in a tropical country for a decent amount time, I can now appreciate the seasons more fully, and confirm that they are very underrated, especially where books and a reader’s experiences are concerned.