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The Lois Level’s Reader’s Shop

Please find a selection of things to enhance your reading experience.

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Books To Own

You just can’t have enough books about books, in my opinion.

Mustich’s book is grouped by authors, while the 1,001 series is grouped by decade. The 1,001 series is more international in scope, which I like, but also indiscriminately includes books written in English and translations, which I don’t like.

I don’t mind reading books in translation, but it’s important to understand that a lot always gets lost in translation, especially relative to the author’s style, so I do read translations with caution.

Either way, I own and love all three of these.

The first half of this book is about the importance of reading aloud and advice for how to do it. It’s mainly aimed at parents, but it’s a useful read for teachers too.

The second half is an awesome treasure of titles to choose from for reading aloud for every age and genre.

Use caution when ordering this book used. The 8th edition is the current one. If you use an older edition, you might have trouble finding some of the books in the treasury…that’s the main thing that gets updated.

A Jury of Her Peers is a great narrative covering the history of women’s literature in the U.S., and you will also have a great reading list when you are done!

When I was a teenager, I had no idea that there were thousands or millions of nerdy kids just like me going to Waldenbooks every week. And the YA section was small in those days, so we all read the same books.

Not to mention that they were awesome!

Well-Read Black Girl is a more highbrow version of Shelf Discovery that, obviously, focuses on African American female writing.

There are plenty of great reading ideas whether you are a Black female or not.

I’ve been carrying this around for years, and I will read it some day. If only it were available in Kindle…or at least it wasn’t the last time I checked.

You only need this if you are super nerdy, but I used it often when I was an English teacher for quick, clear definitions of various techniques. This book, that is the size of a large dictionary, also has a lot of author summaries.

I love to read nonfiction, but until I read this book, I didn’t feel as confident about it because I hadn’t studied it much in my formal education. In the 80’s, the professors didn’t talk about anything real because they had all been educated during the “Red Scare” in the 1950’s.

This book, while admittedly a bit biased to the left in and of itself, helps a lot.

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Reading Supplies

The basic Paperwhite Kindle is the best. The fancier ones aren’t worth the extra cost, and also they are heavier.

All Kindles are now waterproof, which used to be the most important reason to get a more expensive one.

You don’t need to pay for extra memory because Kindle will store your books on the Amazon cloud for free…just note that it is now possible to delete books from your library so don’t do that.

If you do, you can do an online chat with Amazon customer support to get it back, but it’s annoying.

I like this cover because it is inexpensive, light, and flat. The stand works well and doesn’t fall over, and it also has a strap that comes in handy when reading while lying down or for long periods of time.

If you’re reading a book in the dark, this light is low maintenance and easy to position. Book lights that attach to the book don’t really work, and you’re constantly having to reposition them.

Listening While Reading

I prefer Amazon Music over other services because they have great reading playlists. I’m partial to movie scores, but they have them in all musical genres, plus lists geared to certain types of books, such as romance or science fiction.

I got a pair of these for Christmas, and I’m a fan. My daughter insisted on Bose rather than Earbuds because she says the Bose fit in the ear a lot better. I definitely agree that they are comfortable, and the sound quality is great. I search “reading music” in my Amazon music account, and I’m off!

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More Book Stuff

Use these candles to simulate the feeling of reading a book when you are reading your Kindle…or also to make your house smell like a library or bookstore.

Start with the sample set to find your favorite. Mine is “New Books”, somewhat to my surprise.

(My apologies for the use of the word “bookish”. Ugh.)

To Keep Track of the Days & Other Stuff while Reading

Because the 1,000 books in the book aren’t enough.

I got this as a surprise Christmas present, and I’m surprised by how much I like it, even though we can’t travel right now.

I like a daily calendar that gives me a page for each day, and the Moleskin version has a strap, a bookmark, and good quality paper that isn’t too thin.

I generally by my notebooks from Dollar General because I’m cheap and also left handed (spirals are easier), but for a nice notebook you can’t beat Moleskin. I like them because they are compact and your writing doesn’t bleed through.

Coordinating Drinking and Reading

Red wine is my adult beverage of choice, and I prefer the Brümate tumble for those outdoor situations because the finish is nicer. I have a Corkicle that I damaged the first time I used it because the cool looking finish is just a vinyl decal. Tacky.

I mean as long as you aren’t judging me for using one of these rather than a proper wine glass to begin with.

I know the rest of the United States loves their Yetis, but in Japan Zojirushi is the thing. It’s narrower and lighter so you can easily carry it in your bag or in your car. The biggest I problem I have with mine is that it keeps my coffee too hot if I don’t take the top off for a bit.

It pops open for drinking with one finger, and the part your mouth touches pops out for easy washing.

The version for tea has a strainer for loose tea leaves built right in (or you can stick a tea bag in there).

You just can’t beat the Japanese when it comes to design.

I drive a Subaru so these are obvious accessories.

Keeping Your Place in Your Book

Random nice book marks although I actually use the little magnetic ones that clip to the top of your page the most. You can often find cool ones in museum gift shops, and they won’t fall out of your book.