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Best Stephen King Books: Prolific Authors Series

Alright so, welcome everyone to the very first article of our Prolific Authors series! This is where I'm going to be giving my breakdown of a particular author's best books, a brief description of each, and an outlet to get these great reads. And like the title says, we're going to be looking at the best Stephen King books today.

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It shouldn't come as a surprise that we're choosing Stephen King as our first author. He is one of the most prolific authors of our time--if not all time. He is known as one of the true masters of the Horror genre and for good reason. But he's also extremely versatile with other works including dramas, non-fiction, supernatural, fantasy, and more. And so many of those writings have been converted into award-winning TV series or movies.

After selling over 350 million copies worldwide--as of writing this--and more to come, Stephen King has become a household name and worthy to kick off the inaugural article of this series.

Alright folks...here's where I gotta do my thing and give you this disclaimer. I will be using affiliate links within this article. But trust me, the links do not change my opinion on these books whatsoever--maybe you can in the comments though. They just help keep my teapots full of good brew so I can keep bringing you the content you deserve.

Mind you, this list is entirely subjective. But these are some serious page turners that I love to re-read over and over. Now with that out of the way, curl up into your favorite reading chair and here are the nine best Stephen King books ranked:

The 9 Best Stephen King Books Ranked from Best to Worst

  1. The Shining
  2. It
  3. Misery
  4. The Stand
  5. The Dark Tower Series
  6. The Green Mile
  7. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
  8. Salem's Lot
  9. Carrie

The Shining (1977)

Ok. So if there's ever a top contender for this spot, it has to be The Shining. This book gives me the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it. Mind you, this was one of King's earliest works in his decades long career. And it's still terrifying people to this day. Let's break this down for those of you unaware.

Plot Summary and Extra Info

Jack Torrence is a writer--just like us-- who's got a serious case of writer's block. Not to mention an alcoholic trying to get his life back on track. In order to break the dry spell and mend relations with his family, he takes a job as winter caretaker at The Overlook Hotel and moves out with his family. The hotel is this sprawling manor of a building out in the Colorado Rockies isolated from pretty much everything. As far horror stories go...this is being setup to be a doozy.

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Unbeknownst to Jack and his wife, his son Danny possesses special telepathic gifts known as "the shining". This allows him to look in to the hotel's past. And let's just say... there's nothing nice to see. The hotel is like stupid haunted. And trying to take over Danny. Thankfully for Danny, he's too powerful a psychic to be influenced by the evil there. But as for Jack, the struggles with writer's block, alcoholism, and isolationism makes him vulnerable to possession. And the Overlook Hotel gets him.

And what happens next is a veritable hell storm of evil. Just thinking about it now sends chills down my spine. And here's the thing.... In true Stephen King fashion, this book was actually based off of real events in his life. The book is inspired by King's own personal battle with alcoholism and the feeling of being isolated while doing so. And the hotel... Don't think that doesn't have an inspiration too. King based The Overlook off a hotel that his wife--Tabitha--and he had stayed at back in 1974. The Stanley Hotel. Which apparently has taken on some ghostly visitors after the writing of this novel.

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It (1986)

What do you get when you mix killer clown demons and a ragtag group of kids? Enough nightmare fuel to affect entire generations. After the release of It, coulrophobia (or fear of clowns) saw a visible increase and then even more so when the movie adaptation was released. So, what's It all about?

Plot Summary and Extra Info

The story takes place in Derry, Maine (a hotspot for King's writing) on a rainy 1957 day. Little Georgie Denbrough is out sailing his paper boat when it heads down a storm drain. Being the inquisitive little fellow he is, Georgie follows the boat and is greeted by Pennywise the Clown from storm drain opening. (Everything floats down there ensues. We all know the scene.) Either way, eventually Georgie's body ends up back in the arms of his grieving family. Then... fast forward one year. Georgie's older brother (builder of the aforementioned paper boat and blessed with a stutter) Bill forms an alliance with other socially rejected kids and aptly name themselves The Losers.

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But the story doesn't end there. Throughout that summer, Pennywise appears to each of the Losers terrifying and tormenting them. It's later revealed that Pennywise is actually a shape-shifting ancient alien creature that hibernates for 27 years only coming out to feed. The group bands together and eventually defeats the monster. Now, this would be the part where everyone rejoices and goes home right? Not according to Mr. King. You see this is only the first part of the story. The second half begins 27 years later and the Losers returning to face the demon once more.

When the book was first released, it received many mixed reviews. Some likened the real horror to that of adolesence and growing older. Many were revolted by overt sexuality that was portrayed by the children in the book. And some didn't care too much for it because it was too stinkin' long. But after it was edited and turned into a motion picture... it was universally accepted that It and Pennywise were truly evil and fun entertainment. Here's a fun fact. Tim Curry (he's a freaking genius BTW and the actor who played Pennywise) is petrified of clowns. Let's just say costume and makeup weren't super fun for him.

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Misery (1987)

This was another book that really got to me. Not because of any ghosts or ancient aliens. But because something like this could actually happen in real life. The villain of Misery is as human as you, me, or Mark Zuckerberg. Ah, who are we kidding? He's as reptilian as they come.

Plot Summary and Extra Info

Yet again, Stephen King has introduced another troubled writer as the protagonist to his story. Paul Sheldon is a celebrated author of a series of Victorian Era romance novels based on a sultry young woman named Misery Chastain. But... Paul's ready to move on. And in his last and final installment of the series, Paul kills off Misery. But that doesn't mean a writer's life is over. Paul had already completed his first manuscript for his new crime novel. But while driving through remote Colorado, he finds himself in a terrible snowstorm and totals his car.

Thankfully, former nurse Annie Wilkes lived nearby and was able to arrive to the rescue. She takes him back to her home where he can properly care for him. Or so you think... Anywho, upon learning Paul's identity, she quickly reveals herself to be Paul's number one fan of the Misery series. And this is where things get weird. Annie now refuses to take Paul to the hospital because she insists on treating Paul's mangled body herself. However, when Annie learns of Misery's death in the book, things take a turn for the demented. She abandons Paul at her home without food, water, or medicine for two days. And when she returns she's able to take advantage of a weakened Paul. Mutilating and cackling the whole way.

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This book was received exceptionally well and received the first Bram Stoker Award for Novel in 1987. And was nominated for the 1988 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel. Not only that...but King got another one of his many, many screen adaptations in which Kathy Bates took home the Oscar for Best Actress.

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The Stand (1978)

This book is by and far one of the best Stephen King books. And you can easily find this post-apocalyptic thriller topping other lists of this nature. The Stand is based on the premise that a genetically engineered influenza super-bug has been accidentally released and kills off 99% of the world population. Gnarly.

Plot Summary and Extra Info

Now this book is huge. It's literally the longest book King ever wrote. He designed this to be an epic adventure akin to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings but post-apocalyptic. The actual text is divided into three main parts. In the first part, King develops the backstory as to how this virus was created an subsequently released. Next, two major rival groups have formed. One who follow the spiritual guidance of a "Mother Abigail" and those who follow a one Randall Flagg, a terrible being possessing supernatural powers. And while Mother Abigail's group wants to peacefully resettle, Flagg has other plans. The book's epic conclusion is actually called The Stand. And it's come down to that inevitable final confrontation between the two.

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If you're thinking that this sounds like it would be awesome on the silver screen (or elsewhere), you're not alone. As a matter of fact, The Stand has been in and out of Hollywood circles for decades. However, not too much has come from it. A single miniseries was made in the early 90s, but... it just didn't do it justice. Movie talks have been floating around along with finished screenplays, but due to production rights issues, nothing ever took off. But there is good news. CBS has acquired the rights free and clear with a new miniseries arriving in late 2020.

Other than just film and TV issues, the book itself had problems when King first took it to publishers. Not due to content though, but because of length and publishing costs. This forced King to have to cut about 400 pages (150000 words) from the book. He has since then released a limited edition full and unabridged version. Oh! And here's a neat factoid. Metallica actually named their iconic album "Ride the Lightning" based off a quote inside the book. Rock on, Mr. King. Rock on.

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The Dark Tower Series (1982-2012)

The Dark Tower series is an 8-book collection that is often considered to be the glue to Stephen King's multiverse. It follows Roland Deschain, the last of a group known simply as the gunslingers and of his family line Arthur Eld--that being Roland's world's equivalent to King Arthur. Roland is searching for The Dark Tower, a tower which is the nexus for many different worlds and universes.

As mentioned before, The Dark Tower serves as a focal point for the Stephen King multiverse. The series has direct multiverse ties to the following Stephen King books:

  • It
  • The Stand
  • 'Salem's Lot
  • Insomnia
  • Hearts in Atlantis
  • The Eyes of the Dragon
  • The Shining
  • Cell

So if you're looking for a Stephen King reading list, this series provides the basis for many others including some on this list.

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The Green Mile (1996)

The Green Mile is the first on this list that isn't exactly a horror or dystopian novel. This book was originally put together as a small series of 6 short books to tell the incredible story of John Coffey. This book is a first person narrative which differs from most of King's previous work.

Plot Summary and Extra Info

The story takes place during two different time periods. In 1996, Paul Edgecombe is spending his remaining days in the Georgia Pines nursing home and is writing down the events that happened while he was a death row bring guard back in 1932. At that time, Paul was assigned to the Cold Mountain Penitentary. He was the block supervisor for the death row inmates there. The block was nicknamed "the green mile" due to the sickly colored linoleum that covered the floor. Things on the mile were pretty much standard operations until the arrival of John Coffey.

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John Coffey was a giant of a man. Standing 6' 8", he was lumbering hulk of a black man convicted of raping and murdering two small white girls. And while the initial shock of this new inmate intimidated the Mile's guard staff, they found John to be the most mild-mannered and polite of all individuals. Over the course of the book, Paul realizes that there is more to John than meets the eye--that he's got a gift of extraordinary power. One that does hurt, but heals. The novel covers the full stint of Coffey's death row stay from sadistic prison guards to other maniacal inmates.

Honestly, I have no clue how to put into words how emotional I got after reading this novel. It's such a roller coaster that has you rooting for murderous criminals and ugly sobbing after their executions. This book was made into a film adaptation starring Tom Hanks and the late Michael Clarke Duncan. And it still remains one of my absolute favorites to this day.

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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (2000)

You knew this would be on here. There's no way I'm going to let this escape my list of best Stephen King books. There's not a single writer I know that hasn't read (or owned) this book. It's an autobiographical nonfiction take from King where he uniquely addresses several stages of his life and how that affected him and his writing.

He also goes through writing mechanics, word choice, and other essential skills that any writer would need. But he does it in such a way that's fun and entertaining. It's just as gripping as any of his other works on this list. On Writing is an absolute must-read. And you can take that to the bank.

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'Salem's Lot (1975)

Back before the Twilight series, vampires were actually scary. And King's Barlow (the baddie) is no exception. The inspiration for this novel came when King was teaching a high school fantasy and sci-fi class at Hampden Academy. The curriculum had Dracula on it causing him to wonder... What would happen if Dracula came back in 20th Century America?

Plot Summary and Extra Info

'Salem's Lot was King's second published novel. And if he had built this list himself back in the 80s, this would be reigning supreme. In an interview, he claimed that this book was his absolute favorite he had written. The plot focuses on yet another writer, one who returns to his boyhood home to find that its residents are slowly turning into vampires.

Ben Mears had been away from Jerusalem's Lot, Maine for 25 years before he decided to return. He came back to write a new book about the old Marsten house. It was a place that had traumatized him as a child. Previously owned by a Depression-era hitman, the house now belonged to an Austrian immigrant named Kurt Barlow--an antiques dealer. But soon after Ben's arrival, sinister things start to happen strting with the disappearance of a young boy and death of the boy's brother. However, instead of true death...that brother actually became the town's first vampire. The rampant spread of vampirism ravished the small town with the root cause stemming from the Marsten house.

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This book is an absolute classic when it comes to vampires. Nominated in 1987 for the Locus Award for All-time Best Fantasy Novel, 'Salem's Lot fully embodies what it means to be a fantasy horror. It was also here in this book where King started to create his overreaching extended Multiverse seen throughout his novels. This book is very closely tied in with his Dark Tower series.

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Carrie (1974)

And this is the one. The OG of the best Stephen King books. His first published novel. For you Stephen King enthusiasts, Carrie wasn't actually his first novel written. It was his fourth, yet his first published. And it never would have happened without his wonderful wife Tabitha. You see, Carrie was originally supposed to be just a short story for Cavalier Magazine. But after three pages, King couldn't see himself being able to write the story from the female perspective and tossed it in the trash. Thankfully, Tabitha fished the pages out, told him she would help with the female perspective, turned the book into a novel, and kickstarted the Stephen King brand we know today. Mrs. King... Thank you.

Plot Summary and Extra Info

This is the quintessential coming of age story... if you're into murderous rampage, supernatural powers, and humiliation.

Carrie White wasn't just your typical teenage girl. Raised by her mother Margaret--a deeply disturbed and evil woman in her own right--Carrie exhibited very peculiar behavior leading to incessant bullying. One day after gym class, Carrie blossoms into womanhood and receives her first menstruation. Due to her strange upbringing, Carrie has no clue what's happening and starts to panic. Noticed by her fellow students, she promptly ridiculed with sanitary napkins and tampons thrown at her. And while the gym coach tries her best to explain what's happening, it doesn't do much good.

While menstruation is a perfectly normal process, what came along with it was not. Carrie started to develop psychokinetic powers--aka she could control thing with her mind. Meanwhile, the supportive gym coach then punishes Carrie's tormentors with a week of detention and the consequence of missing prom if skipped. And of course... one of the girls defiantly marches right out the door sealing her fate for prom. Unable to attend prom, she devises a revenge plot against Carrie. And let's just say... it doesn't end well for anybody.

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This story has been told so many times since its release in so many different medium. It's been a film adaptation, slated for a miniseries release, and was even a musical hit on Broadway!

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Will these stay the Best Stephen King Books?

Here's the thing... I love these books. I've read them all and will probably re-read all again. However, I can't say beyond a shadow of a doubt that these books will remain my favorites. And that's because King is still writing books! Good ones at that.

So yes...this list can be subject to change. But this is just one girl's opinion. What are you favorite Stephen King books? Do you agree with my choices? If not, share your take down below. I'd love to hear from you.

Cheers,


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The 7 Best Reading Chairs You Can Sink Your Tuchus In

Ugh. Finding the best reading chairs can be a huge pain in the butt.

Literally.

The whole situation reminds me of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. One's too hard. Another too soft. Where's my Just Right?

And here's the thing.... While this might seem like a trivial problem, you'll understand exactly what I'm saying when you start looking for one. If you're a voracious reader like I am, you're going to spend a large amount of time with your bohonkus planted inside it. And that means, you need comfort.

However, in order to help out, I've compiled a list of top notch reading chairs that you can nestle your booty down into and curl up with your next read.

Now, just a heads-up... Ya girl is going to be putting some affiliate links into this article. If you decide that one of the selections is right for you, feel free to use my links. They won't cost you a single penny more. They just help keep my new socks on my feet and my idiot cat's food bowl filled. Thanks!

The Best Reading Chairs Ranked For Your Maximum Comfort

  • Mid Century Lounge Chair with Ottoman
  • Christopher Knight Home Filmore Armchair
  • Irene House Power Recliner
  • Rattan Wicker Swiveling Papasan Rocker
  • Chill Sack Bean Bag Chair
  • Komorebi Hammock Chair
  • American Eagle Furniture Baltimore Collection Leather Armchair

1. Mid Century Lounge Chair with Ottoman (Best Overall Reading Chair)

If you're looking for a top-of-the-line reading chair, then this is it. Seriously, it's so nice. It has a leather covered seating surface filled with high quality furniture sponge for maximum comfort. And while it doesn't fully recline, it has a natural 15 degree tilt and over-sized armrests that more than make up for a lack of reclining. To be honest, I find myself reading better and more comfortably in an actually chair vice a recliner. If my clumsy self reclines or reads in bed, I'll actually count the number of times I drop my book on my face. Plus, non-reclining chairs are so much easier to clean. This chair can support up to 330 pounds as well fitting most everybody's needs. Not too mention...It looks super nice and would make a great addition to any home.

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2. Christopher Knight Home Filmore Armchair  (Best Accent Piece)

Next up on our list of best reading chairs is the Christopher Knight Home Filmore. Like the previous reading chair, this one does not recline so if you're looking for a recliner... head to our next selection. Either way, this armchair just screams elegance--or politely infers it. It adds a touch of class to any room and definitely will be a talking piece. But it doesn't just look pretty, it's comfy as well. It's built upon a sturdy natural wood base with a breathable polyester blend covering. There is a bit of assembly involved, but there haven't any complaints doing so.

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3. Irene House Power Recliner (Best for Special Needs)

Now we come to my favorite recliner--and only one on our list of best reading chairs--the Irene House Power Recliner. And truth be told, this list doesn't need another recliner (in my opinion) because this thing does it all. As far as reclining capabilities go, the Irene House can laid back to a fully horizontal position. So if after all that reading you need a nap...done. Just make sure to set your book inside one the chairs handy side pockets that way it doesn't slip through the cracks. But what really makes this comfy leather recliner special is its power motor. It actually leans forward to help those with special needs in and out of the chair accomodating up to 300 pounds. This makes it great for the elderly or those with injuries.

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4. Rattan Wicker Swiveling Papasan Rocker (Best Papasan)

Ok. I'm going to go on record to say this. Everyone loves a big ole Papasan chair--even if you think you don't or never sat in one, you do. With that out of the way, let's just talk about how awesome this particular chair is. This Rattan Wicker chair is made up of extra sturdy rattan weaving. So while this chair is super lightweight (comparatively), it's also very strong. And...this thing swivels and rocks as well. The biggest gripe I have about this chair is that it's pretty pricey as far as Papasans go. But it is 100% worth the cost. A dear friend of mine has one at her house, but she knows when I'm there...it's mine. Thank you Connie.

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5. Chill Sack Bean Bag Chair (Best for College Students)

Growing up in the late 80s and early 90s, I essentially lived my life in bean bag chairs. Not one like this though. Where I had some of those Styrofoam bead-filled ones from Wally World, this unit is pure luxury compared. These are actually filled with shredded memory foam! Like really? That's amazing because whenever I used to get up from my bean bag chairs, you'd see my marvelous butt outline molded in tie-dye glory. And then you had to shake it around to get the shape back...But with the Chill Sack, no need for that. And unlike other beanbags that have that scratchy outer liner, the Chill Sack comes with a machine washable micro-suede fiber case. Not only that but they come in many different sizes and twice as many colors. Gift one of these to yourself or the college student in your life.

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6. Komorebi Hammock Chair (Best for Outdoor Reading)

One of the joys I currently don't have is being able to read outdoors in like a garden or something. The best I can do is close the green curtains of my apartment windows and pretend. But I do get to experience this pleasure when I go out of town to visit my grandmother. She lives out in the middle of nowhere with an old school hammock set up. And I just love it! But there's no way I can get any reading done because I'm fully laid back. I just drift off to sleep. However, this Komorebi Hammock Chair solves that problem. You get the joy of swinging in a comfortable hammock and the support you need to get your read on.

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7. American Eagle Furniture Baltimore Collection Leather Armchair (Best Ultra Modern Look)

But what if a bean bag chair or hammock just isn't your style? If you're into the ultra modern looks, this American Eagle Furniture armchair may be the chair you're looking for. And this isn't just super trendy-looking, it's comfortable. It's got these awesome over-sized armrests and an adjustable headrest so it can meet everyone's needs. It's sturdily built and comes in a selection of two color palettes. So if you're in the market for something modern and unique, consider this as one of your options.

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Best Reading Chairs Buyer's Guide--Everything You Should Consider

There are number of factors you should consider when choosing the best reading chair for your home. As much as I want to say just buy the most comfortable one.... That would be terrible advice.

Because buying a chair is more than just buying comfort. You're literally investing money into your entire home!

That being said, let's go over some key attributes to consider when buying a reading chair.

Size of the Reading Chair

Sorry guys, size matters. When it comes to your reading chair, of course.

You need to know just much space you can/need to afford for your chair. Me, in my apartment, can't go off and grab the largest most comfy chair I can find. I have limited space restrictions. I still need to put a sweet lamp and reading light in among other things. But sometimes t might be best to go a little bigger. If you have a large living room with some tiny little chair in the corner...it may be mistaken for the dunce corner and not a reading nook.

Materials and Construction

This is critical. If you buy cheap, chances are you'll get cheaper materials. Not to say that's a bad thing. Sometimes you don't need a super awesome chair. But let's just say you need to make consideration for a larger weight capacity. I just don't think a thin aluminum frame is going to hold 300 pounds. At that point you'll want to consider a sturdy hardwood design.

But it's not just the frame composition you need to be aware of. It's the reading chair material covering. Are you opting for leather? Or cloth? Or a polyester blend? While cloth may be cheaper, it is more prone to staining, rips, and burns. Polyester has a nice balance to it; however, a bad poly blend can make the chair not very breathable.  And leather, while pretty tough to stain and a much longer chair life, is much more expensive and requires special maintenance.

There are other materials out there so be sure to consider your options.

Ideal Reading Chair Style Considerations

Here's the thing...if you're looking at a potential reading chair and saying, "Nah...that ain't my style", don't buy the chair.

No matter how comfy it may be, you're not going to be able to appreciate it as much. You might actually decide it was a giant waste of money. Try and find a chair that blends well with your current style. Or a style you're currently building into. And if you're into Feng Shui... you better do some research. It would be a shame for you to get one chair just to sell it later to find another.

Reclining or Non

This is another personal preference you need to look at. My best reading chair would not be a reclining chair. But.... That's just me. If you want a recliner, more power to you!

Reclining options can be nice. They give you so much more mobility and even snoozing options--always good to snooze. But I'm not a fan because they are more difficult to clean, I'm always dropping my keys or phone down those little cracks, and they tend to be a bit heavier to move around.

Comfort

Last, but not least... comfort. If a chair hurts your back or is otherwise not fun to sit in--DON'T GET IT. That simple.

How to Choose the Right Chair

There are actually plenty of experts out there that can help you pick out the best reading chairs for your home. Take a look at this video from Cityline:

The Bottom Line on Best Reading Chairs

Choosing the best reading chair for you doesn't have to be a difficult process. All you need is to arm yourself with a little info on each potential candidate and with a set point of view on what you're looking for. Now, you're going to have to excuse me... My e-reader and chair are calling me. Until next time...

Cheers!


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The 5 Best eReaders [2020] for Modern Digital Readers

Should you check out one of these best eReaders? Lemme tell you about my situation.

I just love reading. After all, I am Samantha Howard--The Nerdy Book Girl.

But here's the thing. As much as I wish, I just can't carry around my full library of print books with me. It's a cryin' shame, but this girl ain't no octopus. I've only got two hands. However, that's more than enough to have an entire cornucopia of literature at my fingertips.

Thanks eReaders.

E-readers can make a book-o-phile's life that much more enjoyable! With a great eReader, I can always stay in touch with my favorite characters and stories whether it's riding the bus or climbing a mountain. Yet, there lies a problem. With the popularity of eReading and digital books come a whole bunch of sub-par reading devices. Pretenders to the throne, if you will.

No worries though because ole Sam here is gonna clue you into the absolute best eReaders available on the market today!

Just a disclaimer... I will be using Amazon Affiliate links here. This, however, does not change my opinion at all and they don't cost you anything to use. All they do is help me keep my teapots full and my cat fed. 

The Top 5 Best eReaders of 2020

  • Kindle Oasis
  • Kindle Paperwhite
  • KOBO Clara HD
  • KOBO Aura H2O
  • Onyx BOOX Max

1. Kindle Oasis (Best Overall)

You're probably not shocked to find a Kindle device at the top of this list. After all, they're the ones that kinda revolutionized the whole eReading thing. And if you're looking for the best eReader the Kindle line has to offer, your search ends here with the Oasis.

This baby has got it all. It's got a sleek, yet grippable and ergonomically designed body that keeps it lightweight and in your hands--to prevent dropping it on your face at night in bed. (We've all done it before. No shame.) One of the things that makes it so is the page turning buttons on the unit. No more need to swipe and turn--which quite frankly is AMAZEBALLS! However, the page turners are only on the right side of the book...So sorry lefties, right?

Wrong. No need to worry because the Oasis is the only Kindle with screen rotating tech. That means all you need to do is rotate the screen and VOILA! Your buttons are on the other side.

But that's not it. The Kindle Oasis is by far the most light balanced eReader available. It comes with 10 LEDs to help illuminate the screen evenly so you can forget about that stubborn light chasing. Now, there's no photo sensor so you'll have to manually adjust the brightness as you need. But that easily and simply done.

However, everything I just mentioned pales in comparison to what's next. It's unique leather cover. What makes the Oasis's cover so unique is not that it's leather, but that it's also a charger for your eReader. That's right. Your cover actually keeps your Oasis charged. And that charge lasts damn near forever. Seriously. The Oasis with the cover can last up to 10 MONTHS on a single charge. That's insane.

The only gripes I really have about this unit is that is it's not as waterproof as I'd like. And the price. It's one of the more expensive eReaders available, but when you're looking for Cadillac... Don't expect to pay for a beater.

Check It Out on Amazon!

2. Kindle Paperwhite (Best Bang for Your Buck)

Second on our list of best eReaders comes another Kindle option. And that's the Kindle Paperwhite.

While it doesn't come with as many bells and whistles as the Oasis, the Paperwhite can definitely give you a wonderful reading experience. As a matter of fact, you'll find many others claim this to be their top choice when it comes to eReader devices. (And I thought about it...But I'm in absolute love with my Oasis. No offense Paperwhite.)

The Paperwhite is like the upgrade to your standard Kindle ereader. It boasts a better resolution, better backlit screen, and increased battery performance. Along with standard WIFI, the Paperwhite comes with 4G LTE capabilities. That way you can always get your fix as long as you have a signal.

Oh! And it's way cheaper than the Oasis.

Check It Out on Amazon!

3. KOBO Clara HD (Best for Library Goers)

Now, let's get real for a sec... There may be some of you out there not yet ready to embrace the loving grasp of Amazon. (You can probably tell...I'm not one of those.) But if you are, there's still some of the best eReaders available to you. Like the KOBO Clara HD.

The KOBO Clara HD is a neat, simplistic option designed to be lightweight, portable, and easy-to-operate. But it does have some features even unavailable to the Kindle Oasis--namely being the light detection sensor. Yup, the Clara will automatically detect your ambient light and adjust to optimum reading levels. Not too shabby.

And if you're a frequent library goer, you're in luck. The KOBO Clara is super friendly with library checkout systems. So no need for a big hassle when checking out or returning books.

Check It Out on Amazon!

4. KOBO Aura H2O (Best for Bathtime)

I don't know about you...But I love reading in the bath. And what's even better is when coupled with my bathtime book stand, I can have a glass of wine along with it. However, it really sucks when I drop my book in the tub. I gotta do that that frantic dance of fishing out my read, cursing (normally quite audibly), and praying to the book gods that my print partner isn't gone for good.

And it's not like I'm gonna take my Kindle Oasis in the bath. I mean we've all seen Fear and Loathing right? But...there's a solution. Get a waterproof eReader! And on there's no better on this list of best eReaders than the KOBO Aura H2O.

While it's pretty ordinary as far as eReaders go, it has one thing that truly sets it apart. Its absolute ability to be waterproof. The Aura H2O can last submerged in up to 2 meters of water for an entire hour. That's nuts. Seriously, if you wanted to read a story completely underwater you could. Maybe just not War and Peace.

And if you've got little munchkins who love to read as well, no need to worry bout them grubby little fingers spilling who-knows-what on your Aura H2O.

Check It Out on Amazon!

5. Onyx BOOX Max3 (Best Reader for Sciency Stuff)

I love my eReaders. I really do. But they all have their limitations. One in particular that they share in common is the fact that schematics, maps, and coding diagrams are such a pain in the bohonkus to read!

You know that maneuver...The one where you zoom in, zoom out, swipe over, just to rinse and repeat? Yea, well that process definitely gets minimized with the Onyx BOOX Max3. And yes... I know there are going to be some of you out there who think I'm nuts for putting this on my list. After all, it's not just an eReader.

And you got me there. But despite its massive 13.3" screen, it's not a full-blown tablet. You can, however, read, jot notes, and listen to audio books...so, eReader. (Come at me, bro. J/K)

Either way, it's a bit expensive. But if you're reading a bunch of technical mumbo jumbo, you might want to make the investment.

Check It Out on Amazon!

Why Choose One of Our Best eReaders?

Bottom line: Because choosing a crappy eReader isn't going to be very fun. You should invest in something really worth your while.

That's not to say that there aren't other great eReaders out there. These are just my personal favorites--particularly the two Kindles. (For more detailed info, check out my Oasis vs Paperwhite article)

But you need to be willing to do some research in order to get the right option for you. Or just check out these...no pressure. E-reading isn't going away anytime soon. As a matter of fact, the number of self-published eBooks grows higher and higher every day. If you love books, don't get left behind. I love my paperbacks and hard copies, but I'd definitely be lost without my Kindle.

Cheers!


Ergonomic Keyboards for Writers: Our Top 5 Picks

When it comes to sitting down and grinding out huge expanses of words, you need to be prepared.

And I do mean prepared.

Get your snacks ready. Ensure that coffee or tea pot is full. Do some stretches--seriously guys, this is crucial in preventing some of those late night charlie horses. And whip out the most comfortable keyboard you've got.

That's right. Break out the good keyboard. You know that one with those sexy angles and a key gap that would make Michael Strahan blush. We're talking abut the Ergonomic Keyboard. Specifically designed to help alleviate muscle pain and cramping during extended use, you haven't really typed until you've gotten on one of these babies.

But which one is right for you?

Let's go over the top 5 best ergonomic keyboards for writers!

The Top 5 Ergonomic Keyboards for Writers

1. Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard (Best Overall)

Honestly, this is the gold standard when it comes to ergonomic keyboards. It's split design does wonders for a more natural placement for your hands to prevent undue stress and strain. And the domed part in the middle? That's not a manufacturing default, but a way for wrists and hands to effortlessly float to keep your wrists in a natural position all day long. Heck, even the keys maintain a curved profile in order to maximize the comfort for your fingertips. Top this all off with its padded wrist rest, and you can't ask for much more when it comes to ergonomic keyboards. The Microsoft Sculpt makes for a wonderful gift for yourself or any other long stretch writer.

Check It Out on Amazon!

2. Koolertron Split Mechanical Keyboard with Cherry MX Brown Switches (Best Mechanical Ergonomic Keyboard)

If you're like me, then you probably prefer a mechanical keyboard. I just love the feel of the key press, the resistance provided, and that little clicky-clacky when pushed. To me, it's a real writer's style keyboard. And thankfully there's a solid option when it comes to choosing a mechanical ergonomic keyboard. Enter the Koolertron--it even sounds cool. The Koolertron is essentially a keyboard cut in half and connected via link cable. However, this allows for you to place the keyboards at the proper interval for your hands. Now, this version comes with the Cherry MX Browns. I like these as a great middle of the road mechanical switch. But this keyboard can come with heavier black switches or the Cherry MX Reds for those with a more delicate touch. Check out my best keyboards for writers article to get the scoop on mechanical vs membrane keyboards.

Check It Out on Amazon!

3. Kinesis Freestyle2 Ergonomic Keyboard for Mac (Best for Mac)

Although I'm a PC girl through and through, we gotta cover the best option for Mac. It's actually kind of disheartening when you realize there's just not as many options available for the Mac platform. But this particular keyboard more than makes up for the lack of options. The Kinesis comes with a 9" degree of separation between the two keyboards allowing you to position them just where you need them. Not only that, but it also comes in  standard Mac key layout. There are some keyboards out there that can do both Mac and PC. But they tend to fall behind on the Mac side. This one is dedicated strictly to Mac. Oh! Did I forget to mention it's also Bluetooth compatible with all your Mac, Apple, and iOS devices? If you're a Mac user, this is definitely something you should take a look into.

Check It Out on Amazon!

4. Fellowes Microban Split Design Keyboard (Best for a Budget)

There's one thing that these ergonomic keyboards for writers have in common that kinda sucks. They can get pricey. Sure, you get what you pay for, but isn't there something out there for us common folk? Yes there is. The Fellowes Microban is a no-frills plug-and-play keyboard for the PC. It's ergonomically curved--although just one piece sans gap--so your hands and wrists can minimize the dreaded carpal tunnel. It also comes with a 16 key buffer making it ideal for fast typists. And the anti-microbial coating doesn't hurt either. This keyboard is not only great for those on a budget, but if you're looking for a cheap reliable keyboard for the office... This is it.

Check It Out on Amazon!

5. Logitech K350 2.4 GHz Wireless Keyboard (Best Wireless Option)

Now this ergonomic keyboard isn't quite as ergonomic looking as the others. That being said, this is no ordinary keyboard. It does retain the slight Constant Curvature needed to keep your hands and wrists in maximum comfort during long typing spells. Also, the Logitech comes equipped with a soft, cushioned palm rest so you can type with ease. This keyboard is also very unique with its full-on media controls located on the keyboard itself. The fact that this keyboard is wireless makes for an even better reason to look into this. And it's long battery life is sure to impress at a maximum battery life of 36 MONTHS on just a single set of AAA!

Check It Out on Amazon!

Why Choose an Ergonomic Keyboard?

Why go ergo? Because the standard keyboards in front of you were probably not designed to the human body. Not saying it's a flaw, but I've got some pretty large mitts. And typing on most keyboards cramps my hands and fingers. On top of that, my wrists hurt at the end of the night even after periodically stretching them during the writing process.

If a keyboard can be more naturally designed for my hand placement and make my joint life easier... Who am I to disagree? But I'm just one person and there are those out there who tend to disagree.

Either way, I do enjoy a good ergonomic keyboard, and if you do too.... These are my top pics.

Cheers!


The Best Audiobook Services that You Can Get Right Now

Finding the best audiobook services can be super crucial--especially if you're anything like me.

You see, I just love my audiobooks. For such a sedentary individual, I often find myself on the move. Whether I'm off fan-girling at a book signing or picking up Rhino some new cat treats, life gets busy. But that doesn't mean that this Nerdy Book Girl leaves behind her tales of lust and woe! (I'm actually on a mystery/thriller kick right now.)

Audiobooks help me fill that void. I love listening to books as I'm driving along a great stretch of interstate--just got to remember to be safe and alert-- or zoning out on the bus or plane and truly focusing on the story.

But there's a problem. Although all the rage, audiobook services aren't all created equal. Like... Who has the best selection? Or which service is the cheapest? Or are there any deals, subscriptions, or hidden fees I need to know about?!?

Your girl ain't made of money you know.

But I've narrowed it down to my top 3 audiobook services. So let's jump right in and start with #3.

#3. Kobo Audiobooks

Honestly, Kobo is a great place to start for audiobooks. It may not be as large as its direct Amazon competitor (just like when it comes to self-publishing), but it does have an extremely awesome and relatively extensive choice selection.

Now is it going to have every audiobook out there? No, but if you're looking to listen to some of the more popular titles... Kobo has got you covered.

And it's relatively affordable. Kobo works through a subscription process. Essentially, you sign up for a monthly service starting at $9.99 a month. Just keep in mind that this $9.99 only covers 1 audiobook per month. But if you really look at it... How much does a hard cover copy of a new release go for? Maybe 14-15 bucks or even higher... So not a bad deal. Plus, Kobo's subscription plan is slightly cheaper than our number one performer's. Can't go wrong there.

The one thing I have noticed though is that Kobo does tend to charge more for individual books. If you decide not to go with a subscription and outright buy the book... They do seem to cost more than other book services. So if you're looking to listen to strictly one big release a month, Kobo just might be the right choice for you.


#2. Google Audiobooks

Is there really anything Google doesn't have its fingers in nowadays? Not that I'm complaining. If you were to take away all of Google services, we'd be fighting in the streets. But when it comes to audiobooks, Google offers a unique persepective.

It's a subscription free service.

Google is strictly pay as you go. And there's not a darn thing wrong with that. Let's just say you like your audiobooks, but just don;t have the time needed to really get into them. A monthly subscription might not be best for you. No need stacking books you're never gonna listen to. Or what if you really love your audiobooks and just gobble them up? Paying a premium for an extra audiobook on a sub plan is going to add up quick.

But with Google Audiobooks, you can forgo those issues. And that's not even the coolest part. Google has integrated some of its other services into Audiobooks such as voice commands. Now, there's still only a few commands available at the moment, but being able to start and stop narration is pretty sweet all on its own.

If you're a Google devotee looking for an extensive selection of books or just trying to avoid a subscription service, this is definitely the right choice for you.


#1. Audible

Did you really think anything else would be at the top of this list? Audible is completely dominating the audiobook industry and for good reason. It's still the best audiobook service available.

Like Kobo, Audible is available via a subscription service plan. There's new major options to look out for.

One Book Option: This option is best for those who listen to around one book a month--which is kind of an average consumption. The plan costs $14.95/month.

Two Book Option: Now if you're like me and one just isn't going to cut it... You can opt for the two book per month option. This plan comes in at $22.95 per month.

While the sub rates are higher than Kobo's, the two book option actually saves you a little bit of money if you are a voracious reader. Not much granted, but at least it's something. Plus, the selection available can't be matched anywhere else. There's a pretty good chance that if there's an audiobook available, Audible has it.

And that's not all. Audible has unique offers that rotate on a semi-regular basis. Discounts here and there or a BOGO promotion. And that's not even including their promo for new users.

Audible offers a 30 day free trial for all new users and effectively gives you one free book. They also allow for you to exchange books if for some reason you just don't want the one you got.


Check It Out On Audible!

When it comes to the Audiobook World, Audible is clearly and without doubt king. If you're looking for more info on everything Audible can do for you, check out my full length review on Audible's service! You'll be able to see just why Audible is the right choice for most audiobook listeners.

Oh yeah! It just wouldn't be right for me to leave you hanging without a way for you to get that 30 day free trial.

If you're looking for your next read or want to avail of Audible's sweet deal, just hit the button below!

Check It Out on Audible!

What service do you use for your audiobooks? Let me know down in the comments below! I'd love to hear your thoughts and amend my list for the best audiobook services.

Cheers!

 


Ten Gifts for Writers that They'll Actually Love

Do you need the to find the best gifts for writers?

Whether it's for a special occasion or just to show you care, getting a gift for that writer in your life is always appreciated.

And while it's the thought that counts, not every writer out there is looking for yet another pen.

There's so much more out there than Cross pens--and much cheaper options as well. That's why I've put together this list to make sure that your beloved wordsmith get a gift they'll really enjoy.

Apple MacBook Air

Now I did say that there are some cheaper options than a Cross, but this isn't one of them. But in all fairness, this is one awesome laptop! The MacBook Air models have come with the reputation of being one of the lightest and thinnest models out there. And the latest in the line doesn't disappoint. With up to 16 GB of memory, a 1.5 TB SSD, and back lit keyboard, this powerhouse is ready to tackle any project that may arise. Again, the price point is a little steep, but this could make for a wonderful graduation gift to help prepare your author to take on the world.

Check It Out on Amazon!

Azio Retro Bluetooth Artisan Keyboard

If a whole new computer isn't within your budget, maybe a part of one is. This keyboard is so awesome! It's so funky and neat with its top plate, and the clack of the keys emulates an old-school typewriter. But besides from being super cool. This keyboard is back-lit and Bluetooth compatible with both PC and Mac. The Azio Retro truly puts the funk in functional. Can ya dig? Keyboards in general make great gifts for writers, so if you're looking for more check out my recommendations HERE!

Check It Out on Amazon!

Aqua Notes

I don't know about you, but honestly I do some of my best thinking in the shower. It's just me with my thoughts. But there's on big problem, there's about a 100% chance I'm going to forget every genius idea I came up with. And that's why Aqua Notes is so handy! It's a waterproof notepad where you can jot down all those great ideas.

Check It Out on Amazon!

Ember Temperature Control Mug

I'm very particular about my tea. I like it with 2 sugars, a splash of milk, and hot. Unfortunately, that last one doesn't really stick around as long as I would like it to. But those problems have been solved since I started using my new Ember mug. It keeps my tea at a nice constant temp that way I don't need to slog down a cold cuppa. And given the relationship between most authors and coffee (or tea!), the ember mug solidly makes it onto my list of gifts of writers. Or if you're a water type of person... Check out these sweet bottles here!

Check It Out on Amazon!

On Writing by Stephen King

Every writer needs a role model or a mentor to look up to. And whether you're a fan of his or not, you can definitely learn from one of the most prolific writers of our time--Stephen King. This book is a down-to-earth memoir that gives you practical tools that every writer needs to succeed. This is a must-have for any writer's bookshelf.

Check It Out on Amazon!

Meal Delivery Service Subscription

After a long day's worth of work, writing, or both the last thing I want to do is cook. Don't get me wrong. I love to eat--just ask my ever growing waistline. But after a hard day, I often find myself on the tail end of a Lean Cuisine and some leftover Pinot. And I know I'm not the only one. However, there are some options out there for those hardworking writers out there. Meal delivery services! Now while some provide all the ingredients prepared for a quick cook, others provide fully cooked meals. Just heat and eat! If you're looking for some of the best out there, check out this sweet (or savory) article over at fooddeliveryguru.com

Super Comfy Lounge Pants

There may be some writers out there that just looove to be as uncomfortable as humanly possible while they write. I just haven't met any of them. Now for the rest of us... getting into our comfort zones is requirement for top productivity. And what a better way to do so than by starting out with some super comfy harem style lounge pants! These are breezy, baggy, unisex, and totally ready to rock that couch in style.

Check It Out on Amazon!

Dry Erase Weekly Calendar

If you're looking to give a productive gift for your writer, a weekly calendar is a great one. Many of us writers get caught up in the whirlwind that is known as "lack of focus". It happens. But one great way to prevent that is to set daily and weekly goals. Utilizing a weekly planner can really help you stay on target. Simply write down your goals for the week and mark when complete. This may sound cheesy, but there's nothing better than watching yourself accomplish a goal. This is absolutely one of those gifts that will stand the test of time and get maximum use.

Check It Out on Amazon!

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones

Instead of giving a gift that keeps on giving, why not give a gift that taketh away? Noise cancelling headphones may soon become your writer's new best friend. These work great for empty the sound space around you to help center your mind. This can definitely lead to a more productive workday. Plus these are great for airplane travel, public transportation, or any other time when you just need to zone out.

Check It Out on Amazon!

Scrivener 3.0

There's a few things out there that can really help take a writer's work to the next level. One of which happens to be to use pro tools. And if I had only one tool that I could recommend to any writer... It would be Scrivener. It's an absolute game changer. Scrivener helps you start from square one to complete your writing project all the way to formatting and publishing. It's an all inclusive planning, organizing word processing software that does damn near everything but the dishes. I cannot stress just how great this software really is--so head over to Kindlepreneur and see that Dave Chesson feels the same way I do. Except he's got a super neat review and discount coupon.

Gifts for Writers All Wrapped Up

Now, a super sweet pen or a bunch of fancy Moleskines definitely will make this author happy. But we writers are complex creatures that look beyond the simple tools of our trade--like a great custom tote or drawstring bag. If you're really trying to show that special author in your life that you really care, you don't need to really go all out. Maybe all they really need is a hug, a thank you, and some home delivered meals.

Cause honestly... Ya girl here could eat!

Cheers,


The Best Laptops for Writers and Authors

So, you've decided to throw away the old typewriter and enter the 21st century.

Now it's time for you to start your next novel on a sleek, new machine. But not just any machine... You should opt for one of the best laptops for writers!

But aren't all keyboards the same? Nope.

What about the screens? Double nope.

There's actually quite a bit to look for when looking for laptops especially when choosing your next writing platform. But don't worry, I got you covered. I've gone out and done the research on what I find to be the 5 best laptops for authors!

Let's check it out.

The Best Laptops for Writers Ranked Best to Worst

1. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Best PC)

My top pick of the best laptops for writers is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. This Lenovo claims to be an Ultra-No Brainer choice.

Serious words there, Lenovo. But they back every one of them up. It weighs in at just under 2 and a half pounds putting it in contention for the lightest laptop around. And it's power... Oh boy. It comes available with an 8th Gen Intel Core vPro. Couple that with 16 GB of memory and 1 TB of SSD storage, and you have one heck of a machine. But it isn't just all muscle. It comes with some awesomely awesome features including:

  • Intel Thunderbolt 3 Technology
  • Rapid Charge Capability--Go from 0 to 80% Battery in just one hour!
  • Voice Command capable with Cortana Premium
  • ThinkShutter
  • and much, much more!

There's definitely a reason this PC takes our spot at Numero Uno!

Check It Out on Amazon!

2. Apple MacBook Air (Best Mac)

Now this girl, she ain't a Mac user or Apple fanatic. I had an iPhone 4s back in the day and that was it. (And yep. I had a Zune.) But you got to give credit where credit is due. Apple's MacBook Air is so awesome, it's making me thinking twice about buying a Mac. These laptops pride themselves on being the thinnest and lightest full function laptop around, and the newest model isn't any different.  But that's not it, the MacBook Air boasts some seriously luxurious features. It comes equipped with Touch ID--meaning all you need is your fingerprint to unlock it. Or it's newly revamped backlit keyboard for your darkly lit pleasure. And with up to 16 GB of memory and 1.5 TB of SSD storage, this laptop will be sure to handle any task thrown its way.

Check It Out on Amazon!

3. Microsoft Surface Go (Best for On the Go Writers)

Powerful enough to be a laptop. Portable enough to be a tablet. What exactly is the Microsoft Go?

It's an amazing hybrid that finds its way onto our list of the best laptops for writers.

The Surface Go comes with a ten inch Pixel Sense display that provides touch screen capabilities and touch pen use. Or simply connect the keyboard and it turns into a mini-laptop. Since the case and the keyboard are one in the same, this is an awesome laptop for writers who tend to work away from home. Whether you're adventure blogging from Cebu or writing that screenplay at your local coffee shop, the Surface Go is perfect for you.

Wrapped neatly inside its Gorilla Glass shell is up to 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB SSD storage. A unique and awesome tablet/laptop experience.

Check It Out on Amazon!

4. Lenovo Yoga c930 (Best Battery Life)

Are you into Yoga? Cause I sure am!

Well, the Lenovo Yoga anyway. This girl can barely touch her toes. But I digress. In our second entry from Lenovo, the Yoga is another one of those unique platforms of the computing world. It's another hybrid. One part laptop, one part tablet, and all parts awesome.

The Yoga really focuses on its audio and video quality. With the elite models using Dolby Atmos tech and 4k Dolby Vision, the Yoga more than provides an adequate A/V experience. They can also come equipped with fingerprint recognition and Cortana voice commands. But maybe the coolest part is its battery life. The Yoga can last up to 15 hours on a single charge. Now that's some real power.

Check It Out on Amazon!

5. Acer Chromebook (Ballin on a Budget Award)

If you're looking a machine to get the job done on a budget, then the Acer Chromebook is the one for you. It's lightweight and portable. It has the computing power to get your writing work done. And... it's substantially cheaper than most options on the market. It runs on a homegrown Google OS which performs well enough as is. However, this Google OS does cause some problems for writers or users. Most of the third-party tools that writers may want to use such as Scrivener and Publisher Rocket do not support Chromebook. There just isn't a market for it yet. But perhaps with the growing popularity of Chromebook and Google's OS, changes could be just around the corner.

Check It Out on Amazon!

 

What to Look for When Buying a New Laptop

Buying a laptop isn't a decision you should run head first into. It's a major purchase that requires care and thought. You need to make sure you have enough for your current needs. And maybe some future needs as well. Do you plan on holding video conferences or need webcam capability? Do you plan on using your computer as a hardcore gaming platform or for casual writing? Or are you going to be doing some hardcore writing?

Coordinating your needs should be your first step.

Important Tech Specs for a New Laptop for Writers

Let's take a look at some of the specifics that  writer would need to analyze prior to purchase.

OS (Operating System)

In our list of the Best Laptops for Writers, there are three different OS's. Windows. Mac. and Google. But which do you prefer? I've clearly stated my love for PC, but many writers actually prefer Mac. Macs are known for their caterings to creative and artistic folk such as authors. They also have exclusive programs for authors such as Vellum! Most writers using Google normally do so because they've purchased a Chromebook based on our next reason.

Budget

When purchasing a new laptop, you definitely need to consider your budget. Look, here's a truth bomb. Not all of us writers end up as Stephen King. And some of us can't necessarily leave our day jobs to pursue writing just yet. But that doesn't mean you should give up on a new machine. Just be wary of your budget. Now, Chromebooks are generally the least expensive option you'll find. They're not terrible and easy on the wallet. But they lack certain luxuries provided by other platforms. Macs, on the other hand, tend to be on the more expensive side of things, but that's not to say PCs aren't expensive either. They can definitely get up there. But they also have many more cheaper options than Mac.

Keyboard and Touchpad

If you didn't think that the keyboard would be a major factor when choosing the best laptops for writers... You might be in the wrong field. Test out the keys before you pick it up. Are they tactile enough? Is there enough vertical space for the keys to travel? Some keyboards have wider sets between individual keys which can be better (or worse) for smaller (or larger hands). Also, if you're a full-time writer, you don't want a flimsy keyboard. Trust me. I've been through enough keyboards to realize this. Another thing that I made sure my laptop has when it comes to keys is... a backlit keyboard. Seriously, this has come in handy more often than not.

Another thing to check is the touchpad. If you don't plan on using an external mouse, your touchpad will be your chief way of navigating your screen. Macs are famous for their awesome touchpads and the different commands that can be executed from them. Me... I find them to be too complicated for my taste. I actually prefer to use an external mouse.

What Laptop Should I Get?

Well, I can't necessarily answer that for you. Everybody has different needs. For example, I have a very heavy hand and spend almost 6 hours a day on my keyboard. So, I needed something that could handle my oafishness. I also needed a backlit keyboard and many plugs for external devices such as a mouse, phone, and others.

I'm also not a fan of Mac. Just my personal preference. I've just been using Windows since the DOS days and reuse to head over to the light side of Mac. That's why I'm on Windows. I also need a heavy graphic card for web design and video editing. So, my setup will probably be worlds apart from a casual writer's.

But that's just my two cents. Either way, let me know what setups you're running in comments below! Love to hear what going on with my fellow writers.

Cheers,

 

 

 


20/20 Insight on the Best Reading Glasses

BEST READING GLASSES. (just making sure you're in the right article.)

Do you get frequent headaches when you read? Or do the words just disappear into the page? Maybe, you're like me, and the whole world is just one big, hazy mush.

If these are the case, then you just might need reading glasses. And look (or don't), if you're worried about glasses not being cool or being a burden...

Don't be.

Have you seen these kids nowadays? They're running around with glasses without graded lenses! See (or don't), glasses are the things to have today. Plus, for those of us who actually need them, it's pretty awesome to walk around without fear of things such as lamp posts or walls.

So what are the best reading glasses for you?

The Best Reading Glasses Ranked Best to Worst

1. DoubleTake Pocket Readers with Clip Case (Best Overall)

These pocket readers are exactly what I want for reading glasses. Although they are slim and stylish, they perform their function perfectly and come with an equally slim and stylish hard case. These fit in every pocket your phone will (Sorry gals, we still out here fighting the good fight on pockets.) and come in a variety of magnifications. The readers also come with a pen clip. This way you can just clip them alongside your pens in your front pocket and always have them at the ready. They come in packs of two. Two minimalist designs that are ideal for unisex wear. Seriously. These are a great deal.

Check It Out on Amazon!

2. Success Eyewear Compact Folding Reading Glasses (Best Foldable)

Let's face it. Some of the best things are foldable. NY style pizza. Motorola RAZRs. But what about reading glasses? These glasses from Success Eyewear are also pretty awesome! They neatly fold so they can be tucked away almost anywhere. Keep them in your glove box, your office drawer, or a pocket to stay at your reading best!

Check It Out on Amazon!

3. ThinOptics Reading Glasses with Pod Case (Best Thin Model)

I lose everything. My keys, my hats, socks (just one only...dang old sock gremlins), my sanity. You name it. But there is one thing I hold on so dearly to. My phone. So, when I heard about a pair of glasses so thin, they could actually attach to my phone case... I had to check it out. These glasses are just as thin as two credit cards and come in a neat equally as minute case. A case that can be attached to the back of most modern phone cases. This way you can take your readers any where. Never struggle with menus or movie showtimes again!

Check It Out on Amazon!

4. Gamma Ray 5 Pack with Sun Reader (Great Value Award)

If you're looking for a bit of variation with your value packs, this is the choice for you. The Gamma Ray 5 Pack comes with 4 awesome reading glasses of your magnification AND one Sun Reader. That's right. Whether sitting at an outdoor cafe or reading a book on the beach, you can enjoy sunlit reading once again.

Check It Out on Amazon!

5. Lurglasses 7 Pack (Best for Glasses Destroyers)

So, story time! Back in the day, I had this roommate. Honestly, she was the sweetest, most kind and caring individual I have ever met. Now, she wouldn't hurt a fly, but her glasses... Now, those were a completely different story. 100% of the time they were completely destroyed. Heck, the smudges had smudges. Better yet, they had cracks so deep the Grand Canyon went on vacation to visit them.  She always just said, "Oh, they're just readers. I can always get another pair."

If this sounds familiar to you or someone you love, this is the deal to go for. There are 7 of these bad boys in a single pack. Wear for a week then toss em, and grab another pair. Disposable contacts meet the Lurglasses 7 pack.

Check It Out on Amazon!

Should you Get Reading Glasses?

Do you even need reading glasses? In all reality, if you think you do... You probably do.

Why?

Because you're probably seeing (or not) all the signs!

Here are just a few ways to tell if you need reading glasses:

  • Are words and images blurry when you are reading? Do you need to hold the book farther away to see them?
  • Do you find yourself struggling to read small print in dim light? Or are you purchasing large print books?
  • Are you experiencing headaches when reading?
  • Or do your eyes hurt when doing anything up close such as typing or sewing?

These are classic signs that you need to be looking for some reading glasses.

What to look for in Reading Glasses

There are many factors you should check before buying a pair of reading glasses.

Style

There are two primary styles of reading glasses.

Full Frame

With full frame glasses, the entirety of the lenses are made with the prescription. This is useful for those who spend a lot of their time reading or doing up close work.

Half Frame

These are the similar to the bifocals Old Ben Franklin created. These are useful for those who only need to look at up close things sparingly. Afterwards you can look above or around the lens for clearer vision for far distances.

Prescription Strength

Reading glasses are normally much less intensive than your standard corrective lenses. They often graduate in terms of .25 power grades starting at extremely low strengths. The lowest is at 1.00 diopter whereas the strongest is at right about 4.00 diopters.

The goal is to choose the one with the lowest number that works for you.

You can determine this by trying on a few pairs and attempting to read a magazine. Hold it about 14 inches away from your face and put on the glasses. Do they help? Is it sharp enough or do you need a little more oomph?

And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but... Your vision is more than likely to only get worse as time goes on. If you start experiencing some of the previous signs again... It's probably time to up your grade.

When to Go See a Eye Doctor

Once you start experiencing these signs, go to the doctor.

I can give you advice all day, but I am not a medically trained professional. Alas, I am but a Nerdy Book Girl on the internet. So, head over to your nearest ophthalmologist and get checked.

Your eyes will thank you.

Cheers,

 

 


The Best Light Bulbs for Reading, Writing, and Comfort

The Best Light Bulbs for Reading.

This article may seem a little pointless. It's dark. Then it's light. Tada!

But lighting is super important! What would you do if I just came and stole all the light bulbs out of your house? (Besides go to the store and get new ones?) I can bet you'd be pretty angry. Or what if I just rearranged your light bulbs?

Many times we use different light bulbs for different things. Let's say I took your outdoor flood lights and put them above your dining room table. A peaceful meal now becomes an interrogation--like dinner at your in-laws or Thanksgiving. Or what if we transferred your bright white bathroom LEDS or fluorescent and put them in your reading nook? Again... things wouldn't be as they should.

SO without further ado, let's come out of the dark and step into the light with these best light bulbs for reading!

The Best Light Bulbs for Reading

1. Phillips LED Dimmable A19 Light Bulb (Best LED)

These Phillips LED bulbs are this girl's top pic for Best LED. They provide 800 lumens of soft white light which is about equal to a 60W incandescent bulb. This means that they aren't overbearingly bright, but provide enough light to ensure that you can see whatever you are reading. It's just plain comfortable light. Comfortable might seem a little pretentious when describing light, but that's exactly what you need. Comfort. No straining. No squinting. Plus, these bulbs are dimmable and the more you dim... the warmer the light becomes. Keep it festive and bright or warm and cozy. The choice is up to you.

2. Sylvania 13W CFL T2 Spiral Light Bulb (Best CFL)

The Sylvania 13W CFL is an awesome choice for those of you into CFL type bulbs. These energy savers only use up 13W, but they pack a punch. They can replace a 60W incandescent bulb and provide up to 850 lumens. This falls into a comfortable light range keeping your eyes shielded from undue strain. Being CFLs, these bulbs cannot dim, so look elsewhere if that's what you need. However, they do provide a whopping 10000 hours of light. So they got that going for them which is nice.

3. GE 3-Way Light Bulb Soft White (Best Incandescent)

If you're old fashioned and prefer your light bulbs to be as well, these GE's are the pick for you. They get the job done and are cheap. Nothing too fancy. What sets these apart from other incandescent options is the 3-way capabilities. Use these at three different wattages--50W, 100W, or 150W. However, these will use more electricity than CFL or LED bulbs. And they won't last nearly as long. But if your lamp just won't support LEDs or you are looking for that iconic incandescent glow, here's a solid option.

4. Vintage LED Edison Light Bulbs (Best Vintage Option)

Whoever said light bulbs couldn't look cool probably wasn't very cool themselves. These are awesome! These dimmable LEDs produce up to 400 lumens of soft amber glow. They are also expected to deliver up to 30000 hours of light per bulb! These bulbs are just perfect for a cozy little reading nook or intimate setting like a formal dining area. Plus, they add a cool bit of ambiance to whatever room they light up. They're sure to be a conversation starter for any who see them.

5. Novostella LED Light Bulbs for Smart Lamps for Alexa and Google Home (Best Smart Bulbs)

With things such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, the smart home revolution has taken off. Not only can you control your speakers and TV, but you can utilize smart tech for your light bulbs as well. However, in order to do so, you need to make sure you have the compatible bulbs. And this bulb is one of the absolute best out there. At only 7W it can produce up to 600 lumens in almost any color you can imagine. Yep, there are right around 16 MILLION different color combinations that this single bulb can output all from the sound of your voice. You can also app control away from home. This means you can "Roxanne" your room when coming home from a hot date prior to arriving. Or put it at a nice warm glow for reading.

6. Yangcsl LED Light (Best Remote Control)

On a scale of 1-Nerdy Book Girl, how lazy are you? Well if you're just like me, the remote control feature of this light bulb is all you need. But that definitely not all this bulb can do for you. This bulb can bring the party. When utilized to its fullest potential, you can set it on different colors or functions--such as strobe--with just the simple press of a button. If you want to use it for reading, it's also great! I tend to fall asleep when I read (which is why I have to find a position where the book doesn't drop directly onto my face). By using this light bulb, I can actually set a timer for it to turn off after a specified amount of time. This definitely qualifies them as one of the best light bulbs for reading.

What are the different types of light bulbs?

As we have seen above, light bulbs come in many different flavors. (This being said I just prefer a light meal. Ba-doom Tsss...Still waiting for my comedy career to kick off.)

And each of these have their own advantages and uses. Let's explore them a bit more.

Incandescent

These are the OG's of light bulbs. Contrary to popular belief, Edison didn't invent the electric light bulb. This honor can be bestowed to Humphry Davy back in 1802. But it's shine was short-lived. Extremely short lived at that and way too bright for any practical purpose. Over the next 70 years, other inventors tried to create a viable product but to no avail.

This is when Edison stepped in. Using a charred bamboo filament, he and his team were the first to create a viably commercial electric light bulb. Thus the credit goes to him. (I still have my reservations about this Edison guy.)

Either way, these early bulbs were considered incandescent bulbs. Bulbs which are still around to this day, albeit much more modernized.

Incandescent bulbs work by transferring electric current through a specialized filament. The filament--which is in cased within a glass or quartz bulb filled with inert gas--then begins to glow and... Voila! Let there be light!

As simple as these bulbs are, they still hold some pretty great advantages when compared to its LED or Fluorescent counterparts. These include:

  • Great for providing warm light to small areas
  • Cheap cost for consumers
  • Reliable even lighting with no flickering
  • Safe with no toxic materials
  • Dimmable
  • Come in universal sizes

Fluorescent

Developed in 1934 by General Electric, these bulbs are still highly relevant today. You probably see them everyday or even have some inside your home.

You know those long skinny tube bulbs? The ones found commonly in office spaces and vanities? Those are fluorescent light bulbs. But they don't necessarily have to take those shape anymore. Modern day CFL bulbs (Compact Fluorescent Lights) are now commonly found in home lamps and overhead fixtures.

I am sure you've seen those tornado-like or twisted style bulbs. More than likely, those are CFLs. The twists and turns provide an extra length needed for the bulb to operate instead of just a long straight path.

The advantages for fluorescent bulbs include:

  • Much better energy efficiency when compared to incandescent bulbs
  • They are relatively cheap
  • Their energy efficiency leads to long term cost savings on electricity
  • Often provide for a better light distribution over incandescent bulbs
  • Less heat production due to its use of less energy

LED

If incandescent bulbs are the original gangstas of light bulbs, then LEDs are the new kids on the block. They're normally small, but extremely bright and durable. Most modern light sources are making the swap over to LEDs and for many good reasons. You can find them as light bulbs, computer screens, smart phones, televisions, etc.

Here are just some of the advantages of LED light bulbs:

  • The most energy efficient of light bulb choices
  • Extremely long life
  • No flickering or warm-up time
  • Solid state--this makes them super rugged
  • Awesome color rendering means colors are more true under their light
  • Easily directed to specific areas
  • Brightness and Color control is made easy

Just beware though. LEDs do have one hidden danger.

Blue light.

Excessive blue light can be detrimental to your eye health. In order to find out more info on blue light, check out THIS article on the best blue light blocking glasses.

What do I actually use?

Honestly, I'm a huge fan of LEDs. I believe that they are among the best light bulbs for reading. Incandescent bulbs are essentially phased out in the US and for just a few bucks more than a CFL, I can get a quality LED. Plus, I love the adaptability of LEDs. CFL's just can't do that. But, if you're on a tight budget, CFLs will work in a pinch. I would just reserve incandescent bulbs for antique lamps in order to get that authentic glow. However, LED tech is providing that glow now.

That's just my two cents anyway. Let me know what you think. What bulbs are you using and why? I'd love to hear from you.

Cheers,

 

 


The 7 Best Desk Lamps that You Can Get Right Now!

I love lamp.

And no. Not in a I'm just looking around the room, seeing things, and saying I love them sort of way.

Seriously. Lamps are awesome. They cannot only illuminate your room, but make it look more complete as well. And desk lamps are an absolute necessity for any who spend their time at a desk reading or writing.

But not all desk lamps are built alike. Some outshine others, while some are just left in the dark.

SO... before I can make another lamp pun, let's shine some light on the lamp situation (Sorry. Couldn't resist.) and take a look at some of the best desk lamps you can buy.

Best Desk Lamps Rated from Best to Worst

My Choices for the 7 Best Desk Lamps

1. TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp with Qi Wireless Fast Charging (Best All-Around)

This is my number choice for best overall lamp. It comes equipped with 5 color temperatures with 7 different brightness settings. You're sure to find the right combination you need for whatever lighting needs you may have. The lighting fixture swivels a full 90 degrees and left and right to ensure your light in directed in the proper direction. It also comes equipped with a sweet night light setting and one hour shut off timer. But wait there's more! The TaoTronics has the Qi Wireless Charging system to wirelessly charge your compatible Apple or Samsung devices. But if you'd rather utilize wired charging, feel free to plug up to two devices into this lamp's USB ports.

 

2. COZOO LED Desk Lamp (Best for Limited Sockets)

The COZOO is a great lamp for those who are in a pinch for electrical sockets--such as dorm rooms. The lamp not only comes with 3 brightness levels with 3 lighting modes, but also with 2 wall outlets! So now, you can plug in your lamp, laptop, and coffee warmer all at the same time! Need to plug in your phone? Well the COZOO has you covered there too with its 3 USB charging ports. Looking to give a great college gift? This is the lamp for you.

 

3. Wanjiaone Desktop Lamp (Perfect for Students or Writers)

This lamp is the perfect selection for writers and students. It's an all-in-one lamp sure to fit all your needs. Need a pen? Check the pen holder. Need to know the time? Check the alarm clock. Need to charge your phone? Check out the fast charging USB port. Its actual lighting feature is pretty standard with 3 different brightness levels , but its other features are what really make this great.

 

4. TaoTronics TT-DL16 Desk Lamp (Best All-Metal Option)

TaoTronics' all metal TT-DL16 is an awesome choice for those looking for a sleek, yet robust lamp. It comes with 5 color modes and 6 different brightness levels. The lamp also boasts an advanced memory system. Just set your favorite settings and revert back with the press of a single button. It's also fully adjustable from all joints so you have the superior angle for whatever your situation calls for.

 

5. Alera Traditional Banker's Lamp (Best for Traditional Styling)

Do you have many leather bound books on your desk? Or does your apartment smell of rich mahogany? Then, this might just be the lamp for you! It's antique finish and decorative pullchain will make you feel more luxurious and studious. The shade itself can also pivot slightly for a better light direction. Although this lamp is pretty standard as far as lamps go, the look and class it adds to your room is second to none.

 

6. HAITRAL Industrial Desk Lamp (Best for Funky Modern Design)

Without its ability to shine, this lamp would be a one-trick pony. But... it does that trick well. Its awesome industrial design lends creativity and style to any room it is placed in. It comes with a standard bulb socket to accommodate any light bulb of your choosing. And since it is shadeless, the HAITRAL can definitely light up a room. Lamps don't have to be just for illumination, and this one proves just that.

 

7. Newport Home Goods Tree Lamp with Bluetooth Speaker (Best Ambiance)

If you're looking for a centerpiece for a room, look no further. This lamp is it. Its super cool, elegant design is sure to capture anyone's eye. But it can also grab their ear as well. With its built-in Bluetooth speaker, you can do just that. Put on some light jazz, dim the light with its easy touch slider, and relax away with a nice glass of Pinot (Noir or Grigio, your choice).

 

Factors to Consider when Buying Your Ideal Desk Lamp

When it comes to choosing anything, there are considerations to be made. This is especially true with desk lamps. After all, it is a light or dark situation!!! (I swear I'm not a comedienne, folks.)

But all joking aside... There are some key elements you should look for including:

Light Quality

Believe it or not, not all light is created equal. Some light can actually be harmful to your body--i.e. blue light. (If you're looking to avoid that... I got a whole article on it!)

But when it comes to quality, there are two major things to look at.

Color Rendering Index (CRI)

Simply put, this is how true colors look underneath the given light source. This rating is super important for desk lamps. Imagine working at your desk as a cartoonist. When you go to color fill, you want to make sure that your light source is able to properly convey the color you want. Or else, your greens may be more blue than you think. To avoid this, look for LED bulbs with a high CRI rating. A rating of 85-100 would be best for color contrast situations.

Color Temperature

This measures how a light source's emissions look based on a scale of "warm" and "cool". Warm light tends to have a yellowish, or even orangey hue to it. Whereas cool light produces a brighter, clearer white light.

 

The Right Size for Your Desk

Imagine buying a tiny little clip on desk for a huge Cocobolo desk. How goofy would that look? Plus, it wouldn't even begin to cover the surface area. But put that lamp on a roll away desk in the corner of your dorm room, and you're doing it right. Likewise, don't buy a giant swing arm for a tiny desk. It could over saturate your workstation with light. And you don't want it hanging off your desk either.

When placing your lamp, make sure that the light source is above your eye line, and you can navigate your desk comfortably.

Adjustable

Another key factor to consider is how adjustable the lamp is. Can you swivel it? Does it bend at more than one angle? If you are a strict typist, this may not be too much of a factor. But doing other tasks such as crafting or drawing, a non-adjustable lamp can cause a problem. Make sure to find a lamp that best suits your needs.

My Final Take on the Best Desk Lamps

All of these lamps listed above are awesome! Just remember to shop what you need. Every lamp is different and special. Sometimes, what works in the office doesn't work in the living area. So, be mindful into what you are buying. Welp, I hope I was able to shed some light on the situation and brighten up your day!

Cheers,