Inform 7 Separating Reading from Looking

Hi. I’m trying to write a game involving reading, but before I’m really even started I’ve been having trouble having “read” and “look at/x” work as different commands. This is what I have right now, but it’s giving me this error:

[code]P31 - Attempt to use a property of nothing
Most problems are detected when Inform translates the source text, but this is one of the exceptions, a “run-time problem” which emerges only during play.

The special value nothing is used to mean no object at all, and sometimes appears where an object might be expected if it was impossible to find a genuine object, or no genuine object was specified.

Nothing is not an object in its own right, and so it makes no sense to look at its properties.[/code]
Here’s my code. Help? Thanks!

[code]“Old Journals” by “Rose C. Edelson”

A thing has some text called contents. The contents of a thing is usually “blank”.
Understand the command “read” as something new. Understand “read [something]” as reading. Reading is an action applying to one thing.
Check reading:
if the contents of the noun is “blank”:
say “To read something it kind of has to have words on it.”;
say “[contents]”.

When play begins, say “It’s not fair. Other people’s parents leave their kids’ rooms untouched for years after they leave for college, but no. Your parents are making you clean yours out now. But you’re finally almost done; you’ve just got to go through this one box of old journals. [paragraph break] How long can it take?”
Instead of examining the player, say “A little disheveled and covered in dust bunnies from all the cleaning, but otherwise as good-looking as ever.”
Your Room is a room. “Depressingly bare, except for all the boxes sitting in the middle of the room.[first time]. A couple are going off to college with you, but most of them are being thrown out or going in the attic, to be forgotten forever, probably. Sigh.[only]”.
The boxes are scenery in Your Room. “Closed cardboard boxes, containing your childhood. Except actually, they’re just containing a bunch of stuff you don’t need anymore. You’ve got to stop being so dramatic about this.” The contents of the boxes is “All the boxes have things like TO COLLEGE or BOARD GAMES or GIVEAWAY CLOTHES written across the tops.”
The bin is in Your Room. The description of the bin is “A clear plastic bin.” The bin is a open container.[/code]

That all looks right, except the line

		say "[contents]".

should be

		say "[contents of the noun]".

You may also have to throw a [line break] in there to make the spacing come out.

It works if you say “otherwise” rather than “instead.”

Oh. Heh. I missed that. :slight_smile:

Also, you probably want to have reading be “an action applying to one thing and requiring light”.

Works! Thanks, guys!