Book Gadgetry

When I was in New York at the end of May for the BEA convention, I picked up a couple of items that I use for reading. It made me think of things that come in to play when I read, things that make the experience of reading even more enjoyable than it already is.

Many readers have their own way of reading: they take the dust jackets off hardcovers, they have a favourite chair to sit in, they only read before bedtime, etc. Well mine are reflected by my book gadgets. Here are a few of my favourites - and some I thought I would like but don't so much:

In the above photo there is a 'book peeramid', a book light, a bookmark, two different types of book covers, an ipod, earphones and a tote.

I got the tote when I bought a Taschen book at my local indie bookstore. I was asked if I wanted a bag for the book, said yes and they gave me this nice tote. I was expecting the usual plastic so that was really nice. I have a lot of book totes - a couple I picked up at BEA, another I bought at The Strand, and the rest I got closer to home.

I got the book peeramid while on a visit last year to Niagara Falls. I saw it in a tourist shop and couldn't resist it - even though I thought at the time it would be one of those things I would never use. But that turned out not to be the case - happily I do use it a lot. It's much more comfortable if you're sitting back on a sofa and using it to prop up a book.

I bought the book light at The Strand bookstore in NYC. This is something that I thought would come in handy but it really doesn't. It's awkward and I have to be sitting at a desk to read to use it. Not a great choice for a gadget but it was less than $4 so it was not a big investment.

The bookmark, called xmarkit, is really fun. I got that at the BEA convention. I was given a demo on how to use it but really didn't need one, it's so easy. You just place the 'X' with the circle pointing at the spot where you just left off reading and when you pick up your book again the book naturally falls to the page where the mark is and you know where you left off.

The last two items are the book covers. One type is for hardcovers and the other is for paperbacks. I'm a bit particular about my books - I prefer that they stay in good condition if possible so I cover them. Not all of them, but many of my hardcovers are covered with Brodart jacket covers which are usually seen in libraries and the homes of wanna-be librarians such as myself. The photos show a dust jacket being covered.

The paperback covers are re-usable. They have a sticky part which can be un-peeled and re-stuck if I decide I no longer want to protect a particular book. All you have to do is fit the book's front cover into one side of the clear plastic protector, separate the plastic along the seam, fit the back cover into the separated section and press the sticky part down onto your book. The book itself isn't touched by glue or tape. It's great!

I use the iPod and earphones for talking books. The iPod was a gift from my husband and I picked up the bright orange earphones at a booth at BEA. I have downloaded a couple of novels to my iPod and have listened to them at work (I can do that with my job).

There are plenty of gadgets missing in my list (the most obvious perhaps is an e-reader?) but these are just some of the book gadgets that I use. Right now I can't think of anything I'd like to have and don't own. What kind of book gadgets do you use?


Michael on July 24, 2009 at 12:24 PM said...

I'd like to find a book light for bedtime reading that is bright and doesn't blow through batteries insanely fast. I have a light now that I really like - but it goes through 3 AA batteries at a time, and doesn't last as long as I'd like.

Tina on July 24, 2009 at 2:24 PM said...

What cool items - now I know you are a real book freak -

Cindy on July 24, 2009 at 4:06 PM said...

What a great post Donna.

I am with Michael on trying to find a great book light. It seems like the one I have now sucks the batteries nightly for me.

I am going to look for a book buddy when I am in the states in August. Hoping to find out that will be graet for reading in bed.

BTW figured out how to do the plastic cover on my trade. LOL Your instructions were perfect.

The only other gadget I use is that leather cover for my paper backs that I showed you today.

Diane on July 24, 2009 at 4:59 PM said...

My husband calls me "gadget girl". I have an array of journals, sticky notes, page markers, pens pencils markers, bog bags, lights etc....can't help it, it makes "me, me".

Andrea on July 25, 2009 at 1:46 PM said...

I had a peeramid once, but it had a tassel on the top of it and every time I used it my kitten would go wild playing with it. Not convenient when I'm trying to read! I finally gave up and it became a cat toy and was finally shredded so badly that I had to throw it away. :-( I need to get a new one (without a tassel) now that my cat is older and won't think it's a toy!

Lenore on July 26, 2009 at 2:59 PM said...

Oooh! I like those protectors!

avisannschild on August 2, 2009 at 11:15 AM said...

I'd also really like to find a book light for reading that works properly! The first one I got ate my batteries way too fast and the second one damaged my books when I clipped it onto them (the clip tended to mangle the pages). However, they were both cheapie ones, so maybe that was the problem.

I've never seen a book peeramid before, but it seems like a great gadget! I regret not agreeing to review the Book Buddy!


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