I never would have dreamed that I would be one of those people tethered to technology, but that is just what I’ve become. This has been especially true since I left my job a year ago to spend more time with my spouse in Alaska. There are a lot of hours in the day to fill when you aren’t working, only have a small black dog to attend to, and spend a considerably amount of time alone. But you see I’m not truly alone because I have my books, my Kindle, my iPod and my iPad to keep me company. I seem to always have one of these things either in my hand, close at hand, or in my handbag. See, tethered!
I’ve noticed some physical repercussions from my obsession. Eye strain is a big one, then there’s a bit of numbness in my hands if I’ve played a bit too much Angry Birds the day before, but the biggest thing I’ve noticed is insomnia. At first I didn’t correlate the use of my iPad with my night time alertness, because I thought it was just something us middle-aged people acquired, kind of like wrinkles and aches and pains, but then someone mentioned the fact that the light from an iPad causes sleeplessness. At first I was doubtful, but I decided to do a little experiment to see if it was true. I simply stopped using my iPad right before I went to bed. I should say it wasn’t simple in the least because I had gotten in the bad habit of shutting off my bedside lamp and either reading or playing games on my iPad before deciding to shut my eyes. But after a few nights with a good old-fashioned book instead of the iPad, I found myself drifting off to sleep effortless. It truly was amazing to find such a quick fix for my wakefulness! The hard part is not picking up that darn iPad right before bed!
You’ve probably already heard that 200 years ago today Charles Dickens was born. Dickens was one of the first authors I read as a teenager so that might be why he holds a special place in my heart. Like most kids I was most familiar with A Christmas Carol in its various forms. I still think the Scrooge McDuck version is my favorite, what sacrilege!
Nicholas Nickelby took me an entire summer to read while I was in high school, Little Dorrit is still my favorite, and I’ve yet to crack open My Mutual Friend. Hey I’ve got to save something for a rainy day! But the whole Victorian atmosphere is what makes me love Dickens. It’s what I think of most when I’ve traveled to London. Even though I love other time periods of English history, it’s Dickens’ London that I think of when I wander through the streets of London. It’s probably his descriptive prose and those spectacular PBS mini-series’ that have seared that time period in my brain.
The 200th anniversary is being celebrated in a variety of ways all across the globe in 2012. I have a done a little celebrating myself with a couple of fun purchases. I was very excited about the iPad app I found, Dickens Dark Museum, from the Museum of London. It’s a series of interactive, graphic novels that takes you through the darker side of Dickens’ London. Actor, Mark Strong, narrates these journeys as Charles Dickens and gives a great description of Victorian London. Very cool app!