Right Night Light

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.

27 Replies to “Right Night Light”

  1. Although I can’t stand to be cold, I completely agree with the change of seasons. I enjoyed reading this, Ste J. Tell Crissy I’ll be anxious for the next video. 🙂

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    1. Crissy says there will be a video out tomorrow, as we did two today, just need to be edited in.

      I think the change is more interesting than the actual season. I like the cold but usually when I’m warm.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “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.” Very well written my dear. I love the seasons too but constant sunshine is underrated as well where you can ‘plan’ your days right. Amelia won’t be this tiny and clingy, so enjoy the sleepless nights for now, it’s all worth it. Soon, you’ll be reading to her and bond over literature.

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    1. I already have many books for her and ones that I wish her to read. It will be an epic adventure for her.

      I like the sunshine but I do like a bit of variety, if nothing else ot goves me something to discuss in awkward situations.

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  3. Yes, I don’t think you fully appreciate the warmer seasons unless you have to live through the cold. But then, in the Philippines, you have the contrast of the rainy season with the dry season. I guess it works out okay that way too; we live by contrasts.

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    1. It is good to have a mixture, something to look forward too, weatherwise. I read Russian authors, and horror books when the colder weather hits. That’s my reqlason for the lack of Russian literature of late, honest.

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    1. Amelia is happy, choosing to be wide awake in the middle of the night so that is a bit of a challenge but other than that, a happy girl who wears her trousers on her head… When I put them there.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hmm, I appreciate your setting the ambiance for your reading, but I prefer not to have to struggle to read. I find that if the book is engaging, it doesn’t really matter what’s going on around me. I can immerse myself in the world. That said, I do enjoy sitting by the fire while the fog is blowing by outside on chilly evenings. But I must have a good reading light…..

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    1. If I am reading a book set in space, or a horror book set in an isolated location I do like to try and mirror the silence just as added immersion but other than that I agree that a book can allow us to lose ourselves from all outside disruptions. One thing that is underappreciated abut books is the actual paper and the fonts used in boos, by havinga light that is a little darker than usual is that the details come out more and as odd as it may sound, the crease of page interests me.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Reading in the dark has been my specialty for as long as I can remember. But sometimes if a book is good enough, I’m so deeply immersed and mentally transmitted that my sense will completely tune out my surroundings.

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    1. I am with you on your points, mostly. I do find certain books I like to read at different times, like The Stand, for example. As 99% of America has been wiped out, I like the silence to be reflected in real life so I only used to read it between 10pm until 12 when hardly a car or person could be heard. Having said that, I did read The Stand back in 2000 so maybe I’m just showing my age and things would be different now.

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      1. My sister finished reading the stand recently and told me a lot about it, but I think I’ll have too many nightmares from reading that one. Something I usually do is play an instrumental song on a loop while I read a single book, and it helps me concentrate and gives the books a nice tone. I find it stirs my imagination as well a bit more. For example, when I was reading “The Hazards of Time Travel” by Joyce Carol Oates- I listened to “Gladiator Rhapsody” by Hans Zimmer (a wonderful composer) from the Gladiator movie. I don’t know if you’d tried doing this before, but it works great for me!

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        1. I did once, I can’t remembr the book but it was slow going so I put on the Dinkirk soundtrack to speed me along. Its a good idea actually, I need to experiment with this, especially with the books that take real concentration like the philosophy books that keep judging me for having not read them yet. My bookshelf of shame is ever growing it seems.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. My husband recently reread The Wind in the Willows after many, many years! He loved it and discovered all sorts of nuances he missed when he was young. I have to have fairly good light when I read as I am getting old now. I have lost a bit of my peripheral vision anyway and am not distracted on the left side. If anyone is interested in attacking me, do it from my left and you’ll take me by surprise! 😀
    The pleasure of reading in bed! Until recently I hadn’t indulged for many years, as too tired at night and too busy in the morning. I don’t remember reading through the night with my youngest daughter as she was too demanding but I read a lot at night with my eldest girl.

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    1. I read The Wind in the Willows before I came back to England and still ahven’t reviewed it, that’s how far behind I am in book reviews. I promise not to attack you, but if I’m doing a pub quiz and that question about you comes up, I’ll be scoring full points. Reading in bed is underrated, I miss it, and also having the dogs come and surround me whilst I dosed off, that was always pleasant.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m with Andrea in needing good light to read, but still it has to be cosy and not too bright. I’m taken with your study about lighting for a full immersive experience read and it’s amazing when one truly enters the pages of a book! Happy Reading, Ste J! 😀

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    1. Some books just demand the right atmsphere, I find that the more I experiment with things outside the book, the better my reading experience becomes. Having said that I don’t take too much time away from the reading as that would defeat the purpose.

      Liked by 1 person

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