Before the advent of backlit reading devices, I had to read at night with <gasp> a light on.
From my childhood on, this light took many forms. In middle school, I slept on the top bunk of my bed and angled my book to catch the glow from the yard light. I’m sure this in no way caused any deterioration in my eyesight. Plus, my mom never had to get after me to turn off the light.
I’m not so old that I had to walk to school uphill both ways with nothing but newspapers between my feet and the freezing ground, but I did have to hike a half-a-mile to the bus-stop in the dark. And that bus ride was dark too. How better to pass the time than to read a book? In the dark. Never fear, my seat partner and I brought flashlights. Or she did. I being more retro, or probably just weird, brought a battery operated fake candle. I still have it lurking in one of the boxes in my closet. It’s a beautiful dusty rose and casts a somewhat flickery glow.
For the first years of my marriage, my husband had to learn to sleep with the lamp on. How else do you go to dreamland without reading yourself to sleep? (He has since learned the wisdom of this and listens to audiobooks. Now I have to learn to fall asleep while reading a book and listening to Harry Potter.) I tried various book lights and had difficulty getting the light to shine in the proper place. Once I fell asleep, the light didn’t go off. It stayed on until the battery died and I seemed to find the models with the rarest and most expensive batteries. And the book closed when I fell asleep whether I slipped my bookmark in there or not. When I went back to the book, I had to flip through pages searching for something familiar as my last read page.
But now, I have my wonderfully backlit and sleep timed Kindle. No complaining about bright lights, it shuts itself off, and it saves my page.