Monday, July 14, 2008

Reading in the water part two (REVISED)

Two years ago I wrote a blog entry entitled "Reading in the water." I would link to that entry, but it either no longer exists or the web page is having problems right now. Anyway I explained in the previous post that, when I go to relax at some body of water, I prefer to spend time actually in the water, weather permitting. I also enjoy reading and, several years ago I developed a process through which I read while floating in a lake. This week, while enjoying a few days at White Lake, NC, I enjoyed a new, improved method of reading in the water.

My old method involved carefully positioned foam "swim noodles" that allowed all of my body except my head and shoulders to be beneath the surface of the water as I read. It did not look very distinguished, I suppose, but it beat those floats that would perch my body above the water rather than in the water. Floating on "swim noodles" was also better than placing a beach chair in the water which takes away the weightlessness of floating.

Last year I discovered a webbing of sorts designed to convert those "swim noodles" into a floating chair (see bottom photo above). This works great. In the top photo above you can see me using the seat to read in the water. You may notice that I add one extra "swim noodle" to rest my arms and the book upon. My new floating seat allows me to read in the water without my previous complicated positioning of noodles.
The "swim noodles" were purchased years ago when my children were small, so I don't remember exactly what I paid for them, but they were inexpensive. The webbing that converts the noodles into a floating chair I picked up at a CVS Pharmacy near Myrtle Beach, SC, as I recall, $5.99. So the equipment needed for this method of reading in the water is pretty cheap.

As I explained previously, reading in the water is not recommended for expensive books that you prefer not to receive a few drops of water from nearby splashing kids. Furthermore there is the possibility that one could drop the book into the lake (something that I have not yet done in many hours of water reading). While at White Lake I read a novel recommended by my brother that I managed to find in a thrift store for a quarter. If I had dropped it, oh well. I noticed that the thrift store had a second copy.
I never have understood the attraction of sitting on the beach in hot weather when there is a refreshing body of water only a few feet away. If I wanted to sit in the sun I could do that at home. Sure, I wouldn't have the lake view at home. But as long as I am at the lake I can get a fine view of the lake from in the lake, so why bake in the sun when the water is right there? By the way, I am a stickler for coating myself with heavy doses of the strongest sunblock before going into the water and I re-apply regularly.

I spent a large portion of the early part of this week sitting in White Lake and reading. It was wonderful.

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