The bookish never bend. The society might deny them their fundamental right of having light at night, but they are unstoppable. Their desire to read is more powerful than the society’s nighttime anti-illumination laws. Here are some tools to help you resist those lazy and unimaginative people who don’t read but sleep by night.
‘It’s forty minutes past twelve and you need to go to school tomorrow. Will you stop reading and sleep or shall I throw that Harry Potter out from balcony?’ said my dad furiously when I was 14 years old
‘Please, another twenty minutes and I will sleep’ I begged
‘If I don’t find the lights off after twenty minutes, I will burn that book and won’t buy you another’ my father shouted and left.
Twenty minutes passed. I switched off the lights. Yet my reading continued.
Book Light #1
Size: Medium, neither too small nor too big
Flexibility: Very flexible, can be hidden in pockets and bags by folding
Price Range: Rupees 200-250
Found generally in: Local gift stores in a city
Advantage: Not much of illumination, hence they won’t disturb sleeping people
Disadvantage: Less illumination, pain for the eyes
One night during the holidays before my +1, I was in a bus traveling from Chennai to Hyderabad. I neither remembered nor cared how far I was from my destination. I just knew that I was 60 pages away from completing Alchemist. It was not even 7 P.M., and the conductor coldly switched off the lights. Yet my reading continued.
Book Light #2
Size: Small, very portable
Flexibility: Rigid, can be bent to form an L-shape, beyond that it breaks
Price Range: Rupees 400-500
Found generally in: Bookstore chains like Crossword, Landmark, etc
Advantage: Small size and very good illumination. It comes in different colors
Disadvantage: Not easy to clip it to a book, delicate and rigid
Traveling by train in sleeper class in summer is itself very tiring. And that I was accompanied by my aunts and uncles who spoke utter nonsense and asked pointless questions about me, the only time I had for reading Ayn Rand in peace was when they slept. But when those annoying mouths rested, the lights in train too did the same. Yet my reading continued.
Book Light #3
Size: Comparatively bigger
Flexibility: Reasonably flexible, not very rigid
Price Range: Rupees 500-900 depending on the quality
Found generally in: Chinese import electronic stores, Online shopping sites.
Advantage: Two lights, hence better illumination
Disadvantage: Cost ineffectiveness
‘I can’t go to sleep with lights on’ said one of my roommates. Though his words were irritating I had little sympathy for him.
From behind another idiot raised his voice, ‘If you are reading for some exam then it’s alright, but please don’t keep lights on for those novels you read'.
Hearing this I felt like punching him in his face and locking him up in the bathroom. Unable to do that, I poured over him all the profanity that was in my mind. Since then, every night the lights went out by 11 P.M. Yet my reading continued.
Book Light #4
Size: Big, Constant (yet can be used for almost all novels)
Flexibility: Extremely rigid, can’t be bent
Price Range: Rupees 800-1500 depending on the quality
Found generally in: Major bookstores and gift stores, online portals
Advantage: Lights the whole page uniformly, visual clarity, less irritation for eyes
Disadvantage: Expensive and delicate
Many other kinds of book lights (also called reading lights) are also available in the market. The reader is requested to search for them online. These and all other such lights can be ordered online as well, but one has to browse through various sites as the prices vary rather too much.