Thursday, 8 November 2012

Booking Through and Thankful Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is weekly meme with questions about books and reading, hosted by Deb. Last week there was no BTT post, and it turns out ‘Sandy’  and a 5-day (!) power outage is to blame for that.

I’m glad to see Deb and BTT back in the bloggosphere again this week. Her inspiration for the questions of the week is not too hard to guess at:

1. How do storms affect your reading? Do you go for comfort reading?

2. How do you deal with power outages? Do you read by candlelight? Flashlights? Use a self-lit e-reader or tablet? Skip reading altogether for the duration and instead play games with the family?


This reminds me of how very fortunate I am in this respect. I don’t think I’ve had to suffer a 5-day power outage in my whole life. In my childhood we did sometimes have power outages in connection with stormy weather, especially in winter, but I doubt we were ever without electricity for more than 24 hours in a row, if even that long.


Since I left home at the age of 20 (back in 1975!) I’ve been living in town(s) and I can’t recall having had to be without electricity for more than a few hours. In the countryside people have to be prepared for longer power outages in the winter, but in an inland town like where I live, if there is a powercut it’s usually back on before one has time to get seriously worried. 

So I really can’t remember the last time I had to deal with the question of reading in a power outage.

I do have a couple of flashlights (and I know where they are), and spare batteries and candles and matches, and (just checked) also a small radio that works on AA-batteries (which I try to always keep a supply of). I even still have one or two old cassette tape players/recorders that run on batteries too, and a few old cassette books sitting on a shelf… so if not enough light to read, and if not wanting to use up the battery in my smartphone or computer, I might give those a go.


I really am thankful, though, to be living in a country and place where I very rarely have to think about serious emergency strategies. Even in the worst winter storms, so far I’ve always been quite safe just staying in. (And for that I do try to keep prepared.)


As for the first question… Yes the weather does affect my mood, and thus also what I feel like reading or watching. It’s not quite predictable though – I can either choose something to take my mind off what’s going on outside, OR it can be the other way round, i.e. I choose something that is worse than what is going on where I am. I’ve noticed, for example, in my choice of films… that I’m more drawn towards watching snowstorms in the winter, and hot climate films in the summer, than the other way round. Maybe to remind myself that “it could be worse” ?

(The photos in this post are all from my own archives.)


  1. i like these candle photos, i have never seen candles melt like that. i think mine are dripless, most of them, but i do have a few that drip, but only a little. are these your candles?
    the longest i was without power was 2 days, twice in my life. i have always lived in the city limits and the power comes back on faster, my neighbor across the street was without for one week, i was on the side that had all the traffic signals and grocery stores, and they put those back faster. i did read by oil lamp a couple of times. it was no fun at all.

    1. The photo of the extremely dribbling candles is from a restaurant. That candlestick was standing in the foyer and I guess it was rather draughty there ;) The various glass candle holders in the next photo are mine.

  2. The candles are a fascinating sight.

  3. It's good that you've never been without power for that long :)

  4. No power outtages here, either - I can't remember ever having experienced one that lasted longer than a few minutes...
    But when I was a kid, I spent many a weekend with my Dad in the woods, in a small hunting lodge that belonged to a friend. There was no electricity, just gas lamps and a wood stove to cook on and for keeping warm. We always spent the evenings reading by candle light until we were tired enough to go to sleep. It was cosy and nice, but I don't think I'd want that now - without a shower and a proper toilet...

  5. During my youth / early twenties we had scheduled power outages as part of a three day woprking week during a financial crisis. They were OK to cope with but I can't recall whetehr I read ort not.
    When I had a caravan in N Wales we often lost power for anything up to a day as a result of storms (trees bringing down power lines) and in the absence of access to the computer I used to read by candlelight. Fortunately we have a lot of candles and often use them for mood lighting.
    Here in town I'm really fortunate that we haven't had a power outage that I can recall. I'd get really worked up after five days!

  6. Thankfully we don't have power interruption last week but our internet was out for three days. ^_^ I remember back in my native country Philippines we had schedule power outages too. That was in late 70's early 80's but what I like those days family gather together where the candle or lamp is located and we share stories mostly from my father and we kids listen intently ^_^ Then if it is full moon neighbor kids and parents go out in the street. Kids play in the street and the adults talk to each other. By 9 pm everybody is inside the house and ready to go night night. What a simple life then but I do love that time. ^_^


  7. In the early days of living on Lewis power outages were common but are much rarer nowadays. We had so many alternative forms of lighting that if we'd have wanted to read it wouldn't have made any significant difference.


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