Under the flashlight: reading like a child

I am extremely grateful that I’ve had more free time than usual lately, because it gave me the chance of reading a lot, which, as you know, is so much harder when you have your work, house and family to think about all day.

I had a bit of a nostalgic moment in which I remembered how reading was light when I was a child. I really loved it – well, I obviously still do – and I literally spent hours past my bedtime reading under the covers with my flashlight on.

I’m pretty sure my parents knew about it, I probably wasn’t that subtle at all, and I usually spent half of the next day yawning, but they never stopped me. There was something truly magical in staying up late to see how the current book ended.

I have felt the need to recreate that feeling, lately. You know, I could just keep the lights on and read comfortably at two a.m., but where’s the fun in that? I was doing what I love best, book shopping, and I found something in my local bookshop that made my eyes light with joy.

And that’s how I ended up with a reading headlight that is now sitting on my bedside table. It’s actually pretty awesome, and quite a long way from the weak flashlight I used when I was nine years old. First of all, it’s LED-driven, which means that it’s virtually infinite and much brighter than a normal one. What’s even better, you have your hands free and turning pages is much easier.

At the bookshop there were even some reading glasses with a flashlight incorporated – but they didn’t appeal that much to me, to be honest.

Still, now I am spending most nights in my bed, under the covers, feeling like a child again, and it’s very nice.

Since I was thinking about my childhood and being all nostalgic (and I had spent most of my book-dedicated budget for the month already), I went through my library and chose some of my favourite books from when I was little.

I started reading some of them again and I found amazing how you can read the same pages in a completely different way if you are a few years older. For example, I found philosophic and religious references, unexpected quotes, hidden meanings. I believe these types of books are the best – the ones built on many levels, that are as enjoyable at nine years old as they are at thirty, because you find different meanings in them.

Would you like to know some titles? I reread “Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates” by Mary Maped Dodge, “Little Women” by Louise May Alcott, and “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S.Lewis.

Now I’m starting “The Prince and the Pauper” by Mark Twain all over again… let me tell you: this is something everyone should do every once in a while. Take the dust off those old volumes and read them again. You’ll find out that the story may be the same, but the meaning behind it will be so much greater than you remember.

You might also find some of those boring books your high-school teacher forced you to read when you were a teenager beautiful!

How Hobby Blogs are Replacing Hobby Books – My Kayaking Example

We live in a different time, a digital era. Many of us book lovers have had to adjust to this era in a very different way. We love to read books, and the feel of paper, the sensation of turning the physical page, remain unique and very special to us. But that doesn’t mean we don’t see the advantages of blogs that can replace some non-fiction books, specifically hobby and craft books. In fact, a few months ago, if I wanted to find any information about kayaking, and which equipment is the best one for me, I would have had to go to Barnes & Noble and pick up a book or magazine about kayaking.

But these days, it is much easier, and sometimes more precise, to simply go to a kayaking review website, like The Kayak Critic, and read detailed reviews about the types of kayaks that interest me. I happened to be interested in fishing and I heard there are many advantages to kayak fishing as opposed to fishing from a motor boat. So it goes without saying that I would be interested in the best kayak for fishing out there. This will save me a lot of time and money as I can just read the fishing kayak reviews without wasting time on all the other types of kayaks. This is a huge time saver as I won’t have to go through a whole book about kayaking and read page after page on recreational kayaking, or sea kayaking, or even where is the best place to kayak. Useful information to be sure, but not what i want to read on at that particular moment.

There is only so much an author can fit in a book without it being overwhelming for the reader. Besides, many hobby enthusiasts would like to see videos and have up to date information on the latest products from their hobby brand manufacturers, something that is not possible in a book. Take for example the kayaking book I mentioned above. By the time the physical book is published many of its contents and recommendations would be obsolete and probably not be applicable anymore to a reader that is already part of the kayaking scene. What that reader would want to know about is the latest news and the latest products in the market today, so he can either decide on upgrading now or waiting until the next model comes out.

Blogging on products is now the more common and more effective way to review and share one’s opinion on a product. The format of reviewing products still remains the same yet there is the additional benefit of an interactive element to it since you can comment on the reviews and counter comment. Another advantage to a hobby review blog is the fact that the author of the site is an enthusiast himself, which adds experience and expertise to the reviews from someone that actually uses the product versus just reads about them.

In case you are wondering, I did eventually find and buy my fishing kayak. After reading the kayak reviews on the Kayak Critic web site and educating myself on the types of kayaks in general, I learned so much on what it takes to be a successful kayak angler, including what equipment I needed and what I didn’t.