It is dark outside. Your kids are in bed, the dishes are done and you finally have some time for yourself. So you go to the kitchen and brew an aromatic pot of herbal tea to calm the nerves. While the tea is steeping, you take a quick shower to freshen up after the long day. Once you are done, you get your tea and cosy up in bed. You pick up the latest number one bestseller, page to where you left off last night and as you start to read the lights go off… Eskom is at it again! Loadshedding. You grind your teeth and give up on reading in bed.
But what if we told you that, even though your power is out around bedtime, you can still do some reading in bed? That’s right, there are many gadgets out there that can help you to finish that last gripping chapter before you turn in for the night! If you are like me, a bookworm, this post is definitely for you. So keep on reading to find out how you can enhance your nocturnal reading habits.
Light up your room when reading in bed
Instead of giving up and letting Eskom win, get an alternative light source for when you want to read in bed. The best way to light up your room at night is with a good ol’ fashioned candle. Or if you want to read without placing too much strain on your eyes, light up a couple of candles. Not only will burning candles allow you to read, even when the electricity is out. It is also better for you. Electrical lights give off blue light, which makes our brains alert. Whereas candles do not give off blue light. So when we get ready for bed, it is better to do so by candle light.
Get a blue light filter
Whether you read on an e-reader or an actual paperback book, candle light is the way to go. If, on the other hand, you do your reading in bed on a tablet, you should install a blue light filter on your device! Even if you view your tablet by the soft light of a candle, the blue light from the screen will signal your brain to stay alert.
Nowadays most new devices come with a built-in blue light filter, but if yours does not have such a filter, try f.lux. That is what I use on my computer and tablet, and it works wonders! You can even customise it to tell you when to go to sleep! So if you are getting lost in your story, as one often does, f.lux will remind you that it’s time to get some shut-eye. When you first start using a blue light filter things might look weird on the screen. The general tone of the colours will be tinted red and yellow. However, it is really worth it, so just force yourself to get used to it.
Use a booklight
If candles are too old school for you, but you prefer to read on a paperwhite e-reader or a book… Well, then a book light may be the gadget to help along your reading in bed habit. A booklight is a rather simple looking gadget. It has a light on one end and an attachable clip on the other. In between is a bendable neck piece that you can adjust so that it can light up your story perfectly. Another added bonus is that you can charge most of these lights, or they come with disposable batteries. So if the power goes out, you can still get through the chapter before you go to Dreamland.
Ps. Booklights make for really good gifts for your friends that always seem to have their nose stuck in a book. And if you want to splurge on a loved one that is a Star Wars fan, you can get them the Santoki Lego Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper USB Booklight (phew, that’s a mouth full). It is such a cool gift! If anyone of you really like my posts, you can send me one of those to say thank you. Click on the link above and check it out.
When reading in bed one can easily get a stiff neck or a sore back. Think about it, when you settle in you sit up nice and straight against the beds backboard. But once you get into the book, you slowly start sliding down until you end up on your seventh vertebrae (like my gran always used to say). Moreover, when you are enthralled by the story, you don’t even realise that you are lying in such a bad way! And then you wonder why you are sore the next morning?
Introducing the Wedge Pillow
Instead of lying around and getting sore while you are reading in bed, get yourself a bed wedge pillow! These pillows provide solid support for your back and neck. Wedge pillows are normally large enough so that your entire back can recline against the pillow. What’s more, you can recline at a lazy 30 degree angle, or you can sit upright at 60 degrees. Either way, your back and neck won’t get sore because they are both well supported. And if you don’t want to import your wedge pillows from overseas, visit Limbsoft in Pretoria to get a quote for a back support pillow.
Check out the Book Seat
Well, how lazy can you get!? First, you get an extra comfortable wedge pillow to support your reading in bed habits! And now this? A book seat? That’s right folks, you can get a little chair for your book or e-reader, so that they can sit snuggled up in your lap while you use your hands for something else. My wife would love one of these. If she has a book seat, she can do two of her favourite activities at once – reading and knitting. Hmm, even though Valentine’s day is over, maybe I should get her one…
But what is this Book Seat that I am talking about? Couldn’t you figure it out? It’s a seat for books, duh! Okay, it’s not that simple. Do you remember beanbags or poofs, as some people called it? Those big shapeless bags filled with beans or polystyrene balls that people used to sit on back in the 80s. The Book Seat is a mini version of that. The base is filled with polystyrene beads so that it can mould to your lap. And then there is an area where you can safely put your book or tablet where it will stay still as you read. Sounds cool to me!
The Thumb Thing Book Page Holder
It gets worse. If we keep this up people will soon start to think that bookworms are the laziest of the lazy. No wonder my spirit animal is a sloth (jokes)! But seriously, this Thumb Thing is a must have if you like reading your book with wide open pages. Personally, I prefer to use two hands and have one page at a 90 degree angle to the page I am reading. This protects the book’s spine and makes it stay younger for longer. But hey, that’s just me! If you like reading with one hand, the Thumb Thing Book Page Holder is definitely for you.
As the name suggests, you put this gadget on your thumb. Almost like a ring. The difference between the Thumb Thing and a ring is that the Thumb Thing has wings. On either side of the ring part, there extends a wing-like appendage to the side. If you put this gadget on your thumb, open the book and place your thumb in the middle between the two pages, the gadget will keep your book open. So you can read with one hand and still use a stress ball with the other hand. Always helpful to keep your hands in good shape so that you actually have enough strength to read holding up the book with one hand for extended periods of time.
Prism glasses look like normal glasses, bar for the weirdly shaped triangular mirrors where the lenses should be. These glasses were designed so that you can lie flat on your back and read a book that is resting on your torso or stomach. It functions like a periscope, so if you wear them you see what is at a 90-degree angle to what you normally would see. For the ultimate lazy readers, I suggest you get a set of prism glasses! Or if you have serious neck or back injuries and you must lie on your back all day, you can also use these to enhance the reading in bed experience.
There are all sorts of tiny miscellaneous gadgets that one can use to make reading easier. Some of them are so simple that I dare not even call them gadgets! Like a bookmark, for instance. Surely that can’t be specified as a gadget? Regardless of whether it is a gadget or not, it is a must have! If you read a lot, bookmarks can help you to keep track of where you are in the story.
Bookmarks especially come in handy when you read more than one book at the same time. If you use bookmarks in situations like that, you won’t have to strain your brain by trying to remember all the different page numbers in all the different books.
Any gadgets that I missed?
These are all of the handy gadgets to make reading in bed easier for you. If you have other cool gadgets to help you read in bed, please let me know in the comments below! I would love to see how you make your reading life easier.