The Clone (or what I brought home from MIBF Day Two)

As my longtime readers would probably know, I’ve been looking for new lighting gadgets for my bedtime reading, as my Harry Potter Lumos Lightwedge is hopelessly out of commission (battery leaked and stuck to the very narrow terminal and won’t budge!) and I managed to disembowel my Really Tiny Book Light after just a couple of months (the flimsy light is now in two broken pieces; what a rip-off).

I didn’t get to spend much time at the Book Fair today (mostly busy working at the co-located events and running after people to interview), so I only got a couple of books (will tell you about them in another post) but I managed to spot a  “Light Panel” (read: Lightwedge clone) in one of the booths.  I was pretty desperate because I have been living without a reading light for some months now and it’s been driving me crazy, and the thing was only P100 so I decided to get it.

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The Really Tiny Book Light

Reading in the dark has not been the same for me since my trusty Harry Potter Lumos Lightwedge went out of commission — two of the batteries have leaked shut down both of the narrow terminals and I still haven’t found a way to take them out without destroying the device. I’ve contacted the Lightwedge people and they said it’s outside the warranty and they don’t even make the Lumos anymore.

In my search for a substitute, I came across “The Really Tiny Book Light” at National Book Store and decided to get the Tiny Pink so I could get some nighttime reading done once again, especially since the past two months have been crammed full with out of town business trips.

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Reading in the 21st century


Reading never goes out of style, even in the age of technology.

In the August 1894 issue of Scribner’s magazine, an article by Octave Uzanne, predicted “The End of Books,” proposing that in the 20th century, the printed page will be replaced by “storyographs,” patented cylinders containing recordings of books, and writers replaced by “Narrators”  that read stories aloud for the recordings. Uzanne imagines today’s libraries transformed into “phonographotecks” or “phonostereoteks,” repositories for the “storyographs.” He also imagined portable players that he called “pocket phono-opera-graphs.”

While Uzanne’s predictions almost accurately cover audiobooks, ebooks, mp3 players, and personal ebook readers, he was wrong on one count: the introduction of these technologies did not herald the end of books, but rather gives the 21st century person new ways to enjoy the printed page, enhancing the reading experience for the page-turner.

mibfThe Manila International Book Fair lists the top reading technologies, proving just how relevant reading still is in the 21st century.

As the Manila International Book Fair, the paramount event of the Philippine book industry, marks its 30th anniversary this year on Sept 16-20 at the SMX Convention Center, it once again welcomes book lovers to celebrate it celebrates the written word in all its forms.

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Making the mark

I’ve always wanted a way to establish my identity on my books. I usually scrawl my name and the date inside, but I’ve longed for a more “official” mark for a long time now,  and I’ve grown tired of running out of book plates and stickers to label my books.

I thought of a rubber stamp, but I didn’t really want to mess with ink, and I was still not sold on the self-inking kind. And then one day,  I mooched a book that had a dry seal on it, and I got the idea of having my own dry seal made for my library.

Luckily there was a dry seal maker next to the post office and I was finally able to get mine made yesterday.

The results? Here you go:


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Lovin’ my Thumbthing!

I wandered into Powerbooks while waiting to be seated at Saisaki for lunch last Sunday and discovered a nifty new gadget that’ll help me reach my target of over 234 books this year: the Thumbthing.
As soon as I saw it on the counter, I just knew I had to have it — it’s perfect for people like me, who attempt to read at practically any given opportunity, regardless of logistics (hehehe, MRT, bathtub, the loo, in bed, jeep, trike, while cooking, while watching tv, while eating, etc…). My sister was like, what, P150, for that little thing?!? But I ignored her, because I considered it a good investment.

The dynamics are hard to explain, so I’m borrowing a diagram from the ThumbThing website to explain:

And here it is in action:

It’s been four days and I’m thoroughly enjoying this little thingamajig, which makes juggling a book so much easier for me, especially when I’m multi-tasking. The ergonomic design allows you to hold a book open with one hand, freeing your other hand to attend to other things. It doesn’t break the spine of the book (yay!), and it doesn’t obscure the text either, because the wings fit neatly in between the lines.

You can also use it as a bookmark, although strictly for leaving books on flat surfaces — it’ll probably get dislodged when you stow it inside a bag.

I’ve tried it on different books, and it works perfectly on everything from mass market paperbacks to standard hardcover novels. Doesn’t work on magazines and coffeetable books, but I think that’s asking for too much. Also doesn’t turn the pages for you, but then again, a page-turning device is also asking for too much.

It comes in a variety of sizes (mine’s a small and it fits perfectly) and colors (I wanted a pink or blue but they didn’t have it in my size so I had to get purple) too. My tiny complaint — I wish they had thought of adding a little hole to thread a handstrap or an id strap through for people like me who tend to lose (knock on wood) or misplace little things like this. Oh, and I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m foreseeing a juggling act reading in the dark with my Lumos booklight on.

Hmm, maybe I should stock up — I could try reading two books at a time, one in each hand!

(Clarification: not a sponsored post, despite my rave review :D)

Rating: 5/5 stars!