If you give a girl a book . . .
When I was a little girl, I LOVED to read! My mother frequently tells the story of how I didn’t want to go to kindergarten because I already knew how to read the newspaper, so what would they even have to teach me?!? I give full credit for this passion to her, whom I fondly remember spending nights with, cuddling in bed with my sister and me, until she fell asleep reading (I totally get why that happened, now, and can say I’ve been there, too!) First it was The Berenstain Bears, then Little House on the Prairie and The Boxcar Children. Eventually I moved on to reading myself - The Babysitters Club and Nancy Drew mysteries. I can remember hiding away in my bedroom after I was supposed to be asleep, and reading by flashlight in hopes that I wouldn’t get caught. Thinking back, that image of the little girl hiding under her covers with a halo of light surrounding her is the perfect image of what reading symbolizes to me – the opening of new and exciting worlds, the enlightenment of minds and imaginations where anything is possible.
Over the years I continued to be an avid reader, even through middle school and high school when advanced reading became more of a chore as part of my school curriculum. I generally enjoyed and looked forward to those assignments and still made it a point to read as much as I could on the side as well. Fast forward 10 years, a college degree, 8 years of marriage and two kids later, and reading wasn’t so much a priority for me anymore. It was for my husband, though. He has, also, always been a huge believer in the power of a book, and is usually in the middle of one Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel or another.. When we first got married, we even made it a point that there would always be room in the budget for books.
Well, this past Christmas – mostly for his benefit, since I didn’t do much reading at the time - we decided to get a Kindle for ourselves as a shared Christmas gift. Hello, change of pace. We put a few titles on we thought we’d both like, but since DH was still in the middle of an actual physical book – the novelty! – I got dibs on the e-books. Since then, especially thanks to a new baby in March who makes reading while feeding something I look forward to, I’ve managed to get through 20 books this year. I know this is a low number compared to some – my FIL reads something along the lines of 2-4 books a week! – but it’s definitely more than the 8-10 books I’d read (total) in the 5 years prior.
I would love for you to join me on this reading quest! I’ve been using Goodreads to track my progress, set up lists for what I want to read, what I have read and what I thought about each book. I even set a goal of reading 25 book this year, and so far am 3 books ahead of schedule! One of my favorites has been Water for Elephants, an enchanting story inspired by the original train-based traveling circuses. I became so wrapped up in the atmosphere and the world the author created, I just couldn’t put it down, and when I finished it I found myself sneaking back there in my mind because it was so magical. Another must-read is Unbroken, the incredible true story of a WWII airman who is captured behind enemy lines in Japan. Certainly not an easy read, but definitely worth the time. My to-read list covers all genres – I do tend to lean more toward the historical fiction vein, though. What are your favorites? Is there something I just HAVE to add to my list? A while back ScrapMatters started doing a monthly book club that has kind of petered out since then. Is this something you’d like to see brought back? Leave a comment letting me know, and perhaps we can get back to reading and sharing together..
So – remember how I became the owner of a Kindle fairly recently? Well, imagine my surprise when I was contacted by Steven of luckyskins.com asking if I would review one of their vinyl skins! It’s a fairly new website, but they have such an awesome selection of designs for almost 70 different devices – we’re talking phones, tablets, eReaders, laptops, mp3 players – they’ve even got something for Apple TV! One of their designer teams, Tim and Beck, actually use scrapbooking items in their designs – how cool is that? I decided to go with the Handmade design, but Steven knew I also loved the simplicity of Different is Good by Stephen Bramwell, so he sent me that as well.
My package arrived just 2 short days after we made all the arrangements, and I was so excited to give my trusty Kindle a new look! I’ve got to tell you, though, I was a bit nervous about the whole application process – I’m one of those people that ALWAYS has air bubbles in her screen protectors on my phone, but the vinyl of these skins is so heavy-duty and with enough bite that it wasn’t an issue at all. I especially loved that they included simple step-by-step instructions. (I know it’s not rocket science, but I’m one of those rule followers, so having a few tips along the way was much appreciated.)
I did the back first, because I knew it would be easier without all those little buttons to worry about lining up. The main piece went on so easily – no air bubbles here – and fit just perfectly. A quick application of the top and bottom tabs and I was ready to go! (I’ll admit, I did wonder why it even mattered putting those little extra pieces on, but it just looks so much more complete and polished with them – go team!)
Next up was the front – still a bit nervous, but the ease of the back boosted my confidence. I ended up starting with the skin upside down and applying the bottom part first to make sure all those cutouts lined up correctly. The vinyl is quite sticky, so I didn’t want the rest of the skin to go rogue on me and get stuck somewhere random – knowing me it would be a huge crumpled mess with vinyl all over the place, in my hair and who knows where else..
The rest of it went on super easily – the only small, teeny tiny complaint I have is that even though the bottom of the screen was perfectly lined up with the skin, the top has a tiny bit – we’re talking millimeters, people – of extra space between the screen and the skin. But isn’t she so pretty? I feel all Fancy Nancy now!
One thing I did notice as I was using it later is that I must have had the back piece misaligned just a tiny bit, because the page turner buttons on the right side were a bit hard to press. Luckily, Step 4 in the instructions said I could remove it and reapply. (I told you it was good to have those!) The adhesive was noticeably less sticky the second time – I’m pretty sure the intention is that you’d reapply before pressing it all the way down – but I haven’t had any problems with it peeling off since. I wouldn’t go for a third time, though..
All in all, I totally love it. The quality is great, I love that it’s something unique to me – imagine how handy it would be if we had 2 Kindles in the house – and I like that it’s not permanent, either. I kept the sheet the skin came on, but I’m pretty sure once I took it off it wouldn’t go back on again.. I don’t know, maybe though. So to Steven and all your designers – great work! I just may be back to get something for my phone, and once you start making skins for Dell laptops I’m definitely all over it (hint hint)..
Until next time…