Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Nook (Case) of One's Own

Only a few months ago, annoyed by all of the Interweb chatter that made it sound like everyone on the planet either had an e-reader or wanted one, I wrote an article about how I did not desire an e-reader. I waxed rhapsodic about all of the reasons they were inferior to books (no book smell, expensive, easy to damage, no tactile experience...you've heard it all before, from embittered, old-school English teachers like me). Then, over the summer, I downloaded the Kindle and the Nook apps for my iPod out of curiosity, to see what all of the fuss was about.

Lucky for me, my procrastinator tendencies worked in my favor this time, since I never did shop the article around for publication. I say "lucky" because, of course, as soon as I tried an e-reader, I knew I wanted one. Had that article been published, I would have had to eat crow. Or maybe even an entire vulture, since I really liked the apps.

After reading most of The Hunger Games during a screening of Rio with my kids, I was hooked (how can you not love something that helps you avoid watching yet another animated piece of kid-centric nonsense at the theater?). I played with both apps for a couple of months, researching which was "better" (a hard question to answer, since both devices have passionate supporters and equally passionate haters), and I decided in August that the Nook was probably the way to go for me. My husband bought me one for my birthday.

Nook, where have you been all my life?

I love that the Nook has a touch screen and not a separate keyboard. I love that Barnes and Noble still has physical, brick-and-mortar stores that can provide customer support if need be (bonus: you can read books for free in-store on your Nook, as well as be alerted to bookstore and coffee specials. Starbucks, how I have loved thee, too). I love that it's light. I love that I can borrow e-books from the library and read them on my Nook (which is true of the Kindle now, too, but only as of a few days ago). I love that there are lots of FREE books on it, and every Friday they have a Free Friday feature so I can download tons of free books by others I might not otherwise discover. I love everything about it.

But it didn't come with a case.

I was unwilling to spend $30+ on the poorly-made, cheap covers I saw in the stores. I knew, however, that I needed a case, since my Nook goes with me everywhere and is bound to get beat up in my bag. I also knew I had a hankering to go to Goodwill, since I hadn't been in a while. A woman knows what a woman knows. And I was not disappointed. No, I didn't find a Nook case. But what I found was better.

I found a mint-condition Mary Kay mirror case, complete with like-new mirror inside.

I knew K would love the makeup mirror, and the case itself looked to be exactly the right size for my Nook. I gave the mirror to an ever-grateful K and measured the case against my Nook.

Perfect! And it even has these little markings on the inside, which I didn't need to build my case, but make it look even more like it was meant to be my Nook cover.

The process itself was so simple - and, frankly, so satisfying, and I JUST WANTED MY NOOK CASE TO BE DONE - that I didn't take pictures. I just:

1. Added some cardboard, which I measured to fit the back panel.

2. Covered that cardboard with some spray adhesive and some non-slip rubberized shelf liner and added some elastic (about 3" pieces) to the corners with hot glue, to hold the Book in place (see photos). I glued that piece to the case with hot glue.

2. Had K cut out some shapes from felt, using the Sizzix machine, so the case would be all prettied up. I glued them on (later, I did go back and decoupage them, so they'd be sturdier on the case).

3. Added a simple pocket to the inside so I can jot down notes or book suggestions when I'm not in WiFi range. The pocket is made from a vintage sheet and an upcycled curtain and glued to the inside.

All done!

Chances are you won't find this exact same Mary Kay mirror case in your Goodwill, but the possibilities for what you can find are endless. There are cases and pouches of all kinds there that, with just a little tweaking, would make perfect cases for e-readers, tablets, phones, laptops...I feel like making cases for gadgets I don't even have, just because there's so much out there.

So who needs the overpriced, commercially-sold cases? I love this one. It's durable, it has a pocket I need (which none of the retail ones I saw had), it's upcycled, and it's all me.