Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Reading by flashlight: fact or fiction

Shameful admission: I didn't read The Giver until I was 23. How I escaped being assigned it in school, I'm not sure, but it wasn't until I was assigned it in grad school that I finally picked it up. I fell in love with it, of course, but it's frustrating to know that I could've read it as a kid, because I know it's just the book child-me would've loved, too.

If you don't read Lois Lowry's blog, you should. I found it after seeing her give the May Hill Arbuthnot honor lecture in St. Louis (& what a wonderful job she did - you can watch it here). Her blog has made me laugh, cry, & admire her even more as an author. She is wonderfully perceptive with just the right amount of cynicism; I'd wager most great authors strike that balance.

Her latest entry supposes that reading under the covers with a flashlight is just an old wives' tale used by bookworms to prove their bookworminess. I wholeheartedly agree! Partly because, like Lowry, my parents never made me turn off the light, put down the book, & go to bed. If I stayed up too late reading, then my sleepy self dealt with the consequences the next day. Did I ever regret it? Of course not.

The flashlight myth just doesn't hold up. Have you ever tried to read while wielding a flashlight? One-handed reading isn't particularly easy. Not to mention, most flashlights are heavy & children's hands are small. & you'd need a pretty heavy comforter to muffle flashlight light.

How about you? Did you read under the covers with a flashlight? Do you tell people you did, but really didn't? Or did you read shamelessly, out in the open, with the lamp on?

Next review up: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.

1 comment:

  1. I can't even read with one of those clip-on book lights. I don't think I ever did the flashlight thing or even bothered trying. I shared a room with my sister, and she was already annoyed at the fact. It does seem very bookwormy though! I didn't read The Giver till I was grown up either. I had a difficult time with it. Would love to read a review of it by you!