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Night Lights

November 15, 2014

nightlightLately, I’ve been in the mood to read at night. The sun sets early now, and lounging on the back porch sipping gin and tonics or mai tai cocktails has lost its appeal. It’s hot toddy season – perfect for curling up in a comfy chair, dressed in flannel pj’s, reading a cozy mystery.

Two problems have arisen, however, and I must solve them before I can sink into a toddy-induced fantasy of nighttime reading: first, I need a book with a good story, and, second,  I need a lamp with good lighting. Finding the book should not be too difficult, but a good reading lamp is proving hard to come by.

Said lamp must be tall enough to cast light over the book in my lap. It must cast a soothing, warm glow without shadow or heat. I dislike roasting while reading. It must blend in with the decor – that is, my husband must not notice its addition to the furnishings (he is picky about lamps, which means he usually sits in the dark). Finding a lamp that blends in with the decor and avoids spousal detection is more difficult than it sounds. Lamps fashioned in the Arts and Crafts style of our living room furniture tend to feature stained-glass or hammered copper shades – they are decorative, but cast only small pools of light on tabletop or floor. They are much too weak to  brighten a room, let alone illumine something as small as a book. In short, an Arts and Crafts lamp is not much use for reading, unless one is a bat.

If a proper reading lamp cannot be found soon, I may have to resort to using a miner’s lamp. Surely I am not the only reader who has yielded to the peculiar-looking but serviceable hardhat with lantern fastened to its front. Its only drawback is that my husband just might notice it.

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