Blinded By the (Reading) Light

Recently, my husband was flipping through a catalog and came across a clever gadget for the bookworm in the family: a “Book Torch”.  The torch, a reading light that clips onto a book cover, was touted as a lamp that provides ample wattage for nighttime reading without disturbing anyone in the vicinity.  All this for the bargain price of $29.98, plus shipping and handling.


Based on the image that accompanied the copy, I thought the book light could, in a pinch, double as a beacon for ships trying to pilot into a foggy harbor from rough waters.

If only Captain Smith would have had this handy book light on the Titanic’s maiden voyage, disaster could have been averted and countless lives saved.  To my untrained eye, the book torch looks like it’s part of the position lights on a taxiing 747. 

Can these book lights really be so effective?  I thought the whole point of them is to allow your bed partner to slumber on without interruption while you do your nighttime reading.  If I fired this sucker up after crawling into bed, I’d not only singe my husband’s retinas, but most probably blind any and all neighbors in a 2-mile radius.

15 responses to “Blinded By the (Reading) Light

  1. Hey Nat! I got a book light, like the one you have pictured, a few years ago and it really doesn’t disturb Hubby too badly. It’s bright as the sun but the light beam tends to stay on a specific angle/route. It doesn’t really light up the rest of the room and does do the trick if you can’t stop reading before he goes to sleep.

  2. Whilst my book light doesn’t look like that. I have had a much happier husband since I started using mine. Sometimes I like to read all hours and he hasn’t complained since I started using one. The light is LED and more focused and is much easier on the eyes. Your picture is misleading I think, it does look like a beacon LOL.

  3. I bought a light based on Jenner’s rec here:

    Works pretty good but I’m still comfortable reading while hub tries to sleep. and it was only $10.

    nat says: but…can it land a PLANE? lol.

  4. I have a few book lights that I never use but I think they are a pretty awesome idea, especially for people who live in the same room with someone else (thankfully, not me, haha).

  5. I have a book light too and it makes it a lot easier for hubby to sleep. I no longer disturbe him and can read all night.

  6. That’s why I put my book away right before he comes to bed! That way he has to turn out the light. 😉

  7. I have a $5 LED booklight that I got at the Wal- Marts a few months ago. It actually works great and keeps the light mostly on my pages, although any light is going to project some glow around the room. Occasionally, hubs complains that he can “see the closet across the room” to which I say, “Close your eyes!” and usually, despite all the complaints, he’s asleep not too long after. That book torch looks quite a bit brighter than my light so I don’t think that that would fly in my house!

  8. i don’t yet have a booklight, but I think that’s because my hubby goes to bed after I do and so I can sit in bed for as long as I like and read without disturbing him.

  9. Wow – that one really does light up your life, doesn’t it.

    I had an “itty bitty booklight” a bazillion years ago, that my dad bought me because I always insisted on reading in the loungeroom, but didn’t like the chair under the lamp.

    I can’t read in bed anymore. I fall asleep too easily.

  10. That light does look awfully bright! I’ve been wanting to get a book light but haven’t figured out what works and what doesn’t.

  11. I have the worst luck with book lights. I’ve killed absolutely every one that I’ve ever had. I gave up on the entire concept when the last one died on me after only two weeks. Some folks kill plants; me, reading aids.

  12. I have an LED booklight my sister’s boyfriend got me for Christmas — and it’s awesome! It’s actually bendy… I have no idea what type of material it is, honestly, but I do know it’s flexible. It’s not super bright, but bright enough for me to read in the car (with just a smidge of eye strain) without bothering anyone else.

    And I’m such a nerd, I carry it around in my purse.

    I just realized something last night… I think Brits call flashlights “torches.” I say this based on a novel I’m reading in which people constantly make mention of how they “should have brought a torch” to help them while looking through the woods for a lost kid… and I’m guessing they’re not planning on joining an angry mob to look for the Beast or storm a castle or anything! I think?

  13. my husband JUST pointed these out to me yesterday. I dont know… how about just turning on a light? Call me old fashioned.

  14. That booktorch does look really bright.

    I bought a flashlight because I fall asleep while reading and often the light stays on all night. The switch is really far from the bed in this new apt. So I read by flashlight until I feel sleepy, then I just turn it off.

  15. That does look good, but, well, my husband works nights so I pretty much never have to worry about disturbing anyone while in bed –accidentally.

    On purpose? With cold feet?

    Yep, that would be me. [cue evil laughter]

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