Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Thursday Thirteen: How I Get My Read On

    First, a big thank you to Jason Runnels of the fabulous blog The Puzzling Mind of Jason Runnels for introducing me to the Thursday Thirteen. (This is a nifty little description of the Thursday Thirteen meme, FYI.)

    Now, let's get on with it.

    Thursday Thirteen for 12/8:

    How I Get My Read On:
    My Thirteen Favorite Reading Accoutrements

    Of course, of course, I read for the sheer pleasure of reading. But like any good hobbyist, I've amassed an impressive collection of completely unnecessary but totally fun little indulgences to accompany my reading habit. Here they are.

    1. My Leather Levenger Book Weight

    Oh, Levenger, how I love thee, with your divine little items that nobody really needs, but they're so deliciously well-made I can't resist them. My book weight is absolutely necessary on lazy Saturday mornings when I attempt to read and eat at the same time. I can't very well be expected to hold down pages while also guiding a fork piled high with scrambled eggs to my mouth, can I?

    (If you are not yet acquainted with Levenger, please, stop reading this and go visit the site now. Their tagline is "Tools for Serious Readers"--need I say more?)

     

    2.  My Handmade Ceramic Mug Collection

    Okay, so these should technically count as multiple items, but they are ALL mugs, so just go with it. For my sake. 

    I love curling up with a book and a mug of something steamy to drink. In the colder months, I usually go for hot chocolate. In the warmer months, it's coffee or tea. And in the fall, it's PUMPKIN COFFEE! The best coffee in the world, hands down, no question. Whatever the month, the fact that I'm holding a big, warm, textured ceramic mug while reading is one detail that makes all the difference. (Don't tell the other vessels, but the two mugs on the left side of the fourth shelf from the bottom are my very favorites. The one on the right was made by an extremely talented student at my college. How about that? I'm reading AND I'm supporting budding artists.)


    3. My Snuggies

    I'm not joking, people, the oft-mocked Snuggie has solved one of the most irksome problems of my reading life: how to keep my forearms warm while reading in bed. You see, the problem was always that I had to stick my arms out of the covers in order to see the book, but in doing so I left my poor forearms exposed to the chilly night air. Coupled with the fact that my mother kept my childhood home at 58 degrees at night, year-round, this was an enormous conundrum for me as a wee reader.

    Why not just wear long sleeves? Well, because I don't want to wear long sleeves to bed, thankyouverymuch. I like to have my arms bare and kept warm by a cozy blanket. And that's my prerogative, because they're MY arms, okay?

    So, I first heard of the Snuggie from a very tuned-in friend of mine, and the instant I heard the description--a blanket with sleeves--soothing music piped in from all around me, and I knew it was the solution I had been waiting for all along.

    And now I own two, a pink and a blue. I keep one next to my reading chair, and one by the bedside. I have no Snuggie-induced shame. I think it is a godsend to all readers, everywhere, who just want to read in bed with toasty warm forearms.


    4. My 0.38 mm Pilot G-2 Pen

    I write all over everything I read. If you ever dare to loan me a book, consider yourself warned. 
    The 0.38 mm Pilot G-2 pen is my weapon, I mean writing instrument, of choice. And by the way--I've learned that this pen is almost universally coveted by Illinois high school and college students, as well. I have to guard them very closely in my classroom, else they disappear into some low-slung over-sized jeans pocket and walk away on me.


    5. My Big, Squashy Reading Sofa

    When we bought our house I knew exactly which piece of furniture I wanted to buy first: a big, squasy, one-and-a-half chair that I could claim for my reading zone. And that is exactly what I got


    6. My Dogs

    The Pit Bull Bailee and the Shih Tzu Willie are often gracious enough to allow me to wedge myself onto the reading sofa when I'm so inclined. Coupled with my Snuggie, the dogs keep me nice and cozy while reading.

    7. My Cats

    At least one of our three cats (Vince, Manny, and Geddy) will typically join me on my reading sofa, as well. Not only do the kitties add extra warmth, their soft purring has become my favorite background music for reading. 

    8. The Book Review

    I'm not ashamed to admit it: I get home delivery of the New York Times Sunday paper just for The Book Review. It's true. I even paid full price for it for about a year until I was able to snag another half-off special in August. And you know what? It is the best part of my Sunday morning.


    9. Wool Socks

    Okay, so there's clearly a pattern here. I like to be warm and cozy while reading. I've definitely invested a lot of money in wool socks that will never be worn outside of my own home. But I read every day, so it's okay, right?

    Socks and picture by footfetishsocks on etsy.com. Aren't they delicious?

    10. My Gorgeous Kindle Cover

    When I was interviewing for my current position I made a deal with myself: If I got the job, I'd buy a Kindle. I am a reading instructor, after all, shouldn't I be up to date with all the latest reading technology? So, I got the job, bought the Kindle, and when it arrived I immediately regretted my decision. (This was back when Kindles cost $279, and they didn't have fancy color or touch screens, by the way, so this was a big purchase for me.)

    It was just so cold, and so lightweight, and I didn't know where to put my hands. 

    And then, I bought a Kindle cover. But not just any cover, I bought a handmade fabric cover from Elizabeth David Designs on etsy.com, and wouldn't you know it? My kindle became this wonderful little magical device filled with the potential to bring me more books than I could ever read. And I loved it.

    Kindle cover by Elizabeth David Design on etsy.com. Photo by me.

    11. Cheez-its.

    Oh, Cheez-its, how I love you. You are bite-sized and crunchy, with a hint of salt on top of that tangy cheese flavor. I cannot get enough of you, especially when I'm on a reading binge.


    12. My 3M Lens Cleaning Cloth

    You know how every night some people set out their clothes for the next day? Yeah, I don't do that. Every morning, I set out my pajamas so I can change into them the moment I get home, and if I don't wear them all day, I set out my glasses right on top of the PJs. For my money, there is nothing better than popping your contacts out after a long day of tweeting, I mean, teaching. 

    But I have one major problem with glasses. I can't stand smudges on glass, so for years I suffered under the burden of wearing my contacts all.day.long and right into bed to read because of this smudgephobia. 

    And then, my friends, I found the 3M Lens Cleaning Cloth. This thing is amazing. It erases every last smudge, there are no streaks, and now I can read to my heart's content in my glasses without a care in the world about smudges or fingerprints or streaks. I wear my glasses a lot now, and I carry one of these suckers in my purse so I can whip it out as needed. 


    And my favorite reading accoutrement is . . .

    13. My Silver Engagement Bookmarks

    My husband proposed with the perfect thing for a booknerd like me: a set of silver book marks. The first has "Will you marry . . . " engraved on it, and the second, of course, says "me?" It was very clever, actually. He set a big stack of magazines in a recliner, and when I came over to visit he said "I'm about to recycle all of those, why don't you look through them and make sure you don't want any of them." So I did, and there at the bottom were four fat wedding magazines. I grabbed them, and that was when I saw the first bookmark. By that point, he had emerged from the other room with another stack of magazines with the second bookmark curled around one of them, and THAT was the bookmark that had a diamond ring dangling from it. Really, he had me at bookmark, I must admit.

    I love my silver bookmarks, and I use them when I borrow books from the library or a friend. My instinct is to dogear the hell out of anything I read, so the silver glint of the bookmark helps me remember to keep others' books nice and pristine.


    So, there you have it. What do you need to get your read on? Or are you a purist, and you turn your nose up at such things? Do tell.

    4 comments:

    Jason Runnels said...

    I had no idea #1 even existed! To think, before I got a Kindle, I wouldn't dare to read while I ate. Book weight. Who knew? You apparently ;-)

    Lori Oster said...

    Oh, Jason, I think you just added another gift to your wish list this Christmas. :) I love my book weight, couldn't eat and read without it! (And of course, if that were the case, you know which one I'd have to give up. Nothing interferes with my reading.)

    Janiera said...

    OMG I think I love you! lol My family laughs at my snuggie and socks but I can't read without them. I love to be warm and can't do that without those too. I also have a thing about bookmarks. As much as I collect books I collect bookmarks.I have got to get a book weight though, never heard of that and would love to read more than I eat.

    Lori Oster said...

    Janiera--Yes, get a book weight! I love mine. You won't regret it. It makes eating and reading so much easier. :)

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