Saturday, March 25, 2006

Just One More Chapter.

I think I have a reading problem. It seems that I'll do anything to keep reading. I will battle discomfort, fight sleep, and suffer vision maladies to keep my nose in my book for just "one more chapter."
Some people say that watching TV at night keeps them awake, but for me a book keeps me awake. It's very easy to let myself tune out the TV and drift off to sleep, but a book? A book has my full attention and then some. Here's what happens when I read before bed:
It starts out normally enough. I lay on my back and read with both hands on the book. Everytime I reach the end of a chapter, I think, "oh, just one more chapter won't take that long" and I keep going. Soon, my arms begin to feel weary. While going to bed might be one solution to this problem, I prefer to let my arms take turns: one flops on the bed for a page while the other supports the book, then switch. This works for a bit until sleepiness begins to set in. Clearly, a position shift is in order, so I turn over on my side.
Reading on your side has another set of skills involved. You have to rotate the book every page so that the page you are reading will turn to face you. This isn't bad if you're in the middle of the book. If you're at the beginning or end, you must lay on the side that allows the fat, heavy part of the book to rest on the bed while you are reading the opposite page to avoid having to support the heavy part yourself.
Now, I have spent approximately 26 years developing these techniques and I thought that sharing them on this public forum might help some people become more avid nighttime readers. If you are, say, a younger reader with parents who make you go to bed before you are finished reading, I also have some experience there. Flashlight under the covers? Nah. Kinda cheesy and doesn't really work. If you paid attention earlier, you would have realized that you really need both hands to support your book. Bring in a flashlight and you have to involve your chin, and that really takes away from the reading of the book which, let's face it, is why we're all here. I personally recommend a nightlight positioned somewhat near your bed. Now clearly, you will have to let your eyes adjust and you may read slower, but it really does the trick.**
So, let's sum up. Arm workouts, rotate your position, and always read just one more chapter. You, too, will be a happier person.

**Pigs does not take responsibility for deterioration of eyesight. Glasses are quite fetching these days, contacts are readily available, and lasik eye procedures are a dime a dozen. Isn't it worth a good book? Please disregard the fact that Pigs' vision is currently 20/1100. This is most likely irrelevant.

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