Publisher Rocket Review: Is It Worth It?

Before this Publisher Rocket review, I want to tell you a story.

A story of a burned out writer.

This writer is me.

Many moons ago, my primary focus was not on books and book marketing. Not on gizmos and gadgets for writers. But Information Technology. Web development and programming to be more exact. I studied hard and practiced long to become a top-notch coder. I had learned all the tips and tricks. All those secret little back doors to coder's paradise. And then it hit me... I should write a dang book about this stuff!

And you know what? I did.

I was soooo excited! My first book was complete! Now, it was time to share it with the world.

I figured, "Heck, I'm an awesome writer. I know things. People will love it, and the book will sell like hotcakes!"

Oh boy. I had no idea just how wrong I was.

I posted it on Amazon like a giddy self-publisher would threw some random keywords into my publication campaign and called it a day. Well, that day turned into a week. Which turned in a month. Then two. And before I knew it... I had sold one single copy.

Seriously. Thanks Mom.

My hopes were dashed, my inkwell ran dry, and my confidence was at an all-time low.

Until one day, I stumbled across something that would change my life forever.

KDP Rocket Review: This isn't my kind of thing!

When I first heard about Rocket, honestly, I blew it off. I figured it's just snake oil. No way in H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks could it work. After all, I've been burned before from programs and services telling me they'd help me sell more books.  Oh, please!

But, then a fiction author friend of mine told me, "It saves me sooooo much time!!"

Huh...time is important and I'd prefer to spend more time writing than working on my book marketing.  Plus, they have a 30 day money-back guarantee, So, I figured I'd at least give it a try. After all, if it saves me even a couple of hours of tedious book marketing work, it would be worth it.

And after that... well, here I am. And KDP Rocket's evolved into something much more powerful and determined.

In this Publisher Rocket review, I'm going to let you know exactly what Rocket can and can't do for you.

What can Publisher Rocket 2.0 Do for You?

Well, that's the million dollar question isn't it?

The best way I can describe Publisher Rocket is this:

The Best Damn Book Marketing Tool Available!

(Exactly.)

Publisher Rocket helps you to lift that veil of ambiguity that Amazon's presented and see what actually is going on--what people are looking for, how they buy books, how much money they are spending, and how your competitors are doing.

It does so through four majorly distinct features.

  1. Publisher Rocket helps you find your keywords to target or for new book ideas!
  2. It helps you find categories that help you to have a better chance at being a bestseller
  3. Rocket analyzes the competition to give you an advantage (but it doesn't tell you what keywords they are targeting because Amazon doesn't provide that info)
  4. If you do AMS ads, it helps you create AMS campaigns more effectively and efficiently.

(U/I and Display Score: 10/10)

Is Publisher Rocket just some lame extension or what?

It operates as a standalone application meaning you don't need to be signed into your Google or Amazon. All you need is a computer and an internet connection. Now, I've heard some people say that other guys are a built-in extension so it's easier to use. And I have a response to that... They must be crazy. Do you know what the least remembered things are in programming or the Internet in general are?

That's right! Plugins, extensions, and widgets! These go straight to the back of the line. Why? Because there is always something bigger and badder around the corner. Like a standalone platform. From a programming perspective, standalone databases and query tools are the best because they don't have to rely on anything else to do their job.

Keyword Analysis with Publisher Rocket 2.0

So, let's tackle that first feature from earlier...

Remember how I told you about how I just threw down some random keywords in my Kindle campaign? Well, if that wasn't a giant frickin' mistake. Some of those keywords were just too general and couldn't compete in the great Amazon bidding wars. Or they were just randomly obscure and specific. These words were worse. At least people were searching for the other ones.

But Rocket helped me solved that issue after the fact. (Wish I had a Publisher Rocket Review like this one earlier...) It allowed me to hone in onto my keywords and choose the ones that Amazon BUYERS were actually looking at! And if you've ever gone through the pain of manually searching and selecting keywords... You understand just how much a pain in the butt that is. Literally hours of research and time in front of a computer.

Rocket turns hours into seconds. And that's no joke. Just head over to their Keyword Search function and--Voila! You are on your way. And it can also help you find just the right niche to start writing your next book!

(And look how beautifully clean and well-designed it is...)

Let's put it to the test.

Finding a New Book Idea with Publisher Rocket

First, we need to select Book or E-Book. That's right. Publisher Rocket now has information for print OR E-Book!

We'll go with e-Book. And now we need a subject... Cats it is. :)

Ok, so we'll enter that in and push "Go Get Em Rocket".

And these are our first results. Now, before we get into our keyword, let's address the elephant in the room.

Why the heck are they blank?

I'm not a Rocket programmer, but if I had to guess... It would be for a few reasons.

With the exceedingly large amount of keyword hits I got from the phrase "cats", it just might crash Amazon's API with all that data. Like that's seriously a huge data pull.

And also, it just looks cleaner. Less on the page I have to worry about. Obviously, I wouldn't want a world without cats, and that keyword would never apply to me. So why clutter up my screen. Just saying.

Now, let's go ahead and push analyze and see what happens.

After pushing analyze, we end up with some useful data.

First, I can see just how many competitors I have in the "cats" department. And that's a whole heck of a lot. And there's also a competition score of 42. Yikes. I better be ready for that stiff competition.

But maybe there's another keyword that would be better suited for me.

Cats and Robots. Now... we may be onto something here. I like cats. And robots. And just maybe...the two together would make for an interesting story. Now, let's look at the numbers.

Less competition. Easier competitive score. Higher average monthly earning.

Guess who has two thumbs and just found her next book idea? This girl!

That took all of 30 seconds. Publisher Rocket can seriously cut your keyword research time way down.

But besides keyword analysis, what else can Publisher Rocket do?

Well, the next major area of concern is Amazon categories. And boy does Rocket come in clutch here.

Finding the Right Category with Publisher Rocket

Back when KDP Rocket was released, they didn't have category searching data. It actually came out as a later feature. And truth be told, KDSpy was the better option. It excelled at providing you with the best category. This was something that neither Kindle Samurai or  Rocket could do. But then, Rocket grew up. It started providing awesome category data.

But it was very different from KDSpy. Have you actually taken a look at the interface for KDSpy? Not trying to dog on it too much, but honestly... It needs some serious work. It's very cluttered and hectic at times. It reminds me of looking at old lines of scrolling DOS back on Windows 3.1. (Sorry for showing my age...)

(Reminding me of my coding days and not in a good way.)

Don't get me wrong though. KDSpy does have the category data. And for one point in time, there was no other option. KDSpy was king of the categories. Until Rocket came along with their categories. And their signature ease of use. SO... when given the opportunity to choose, it's a no-brainer.

Rocket for the win. But this is a Publisher Rocket review, so let me get back to the point. (For more on KDSpy vs Rocket, click HERE!)

Now, in Publisher Rocket, there has been a major overhaul to the category system. If I'm not mistaken, it looks like they are completely current with Amazon's database of categories.

But what does this mean for you? You have the best opportunities to find the right categories for your book to help you sell more books.

Imagine if you had the ability to openly explore all of Amazon's 22,000+ categories at your fingertips. No signing in. No trying to see just how far the rabbit hole goes from window to window.

Just raw data there at the click of a button. That's remarkable.

Let's check it out.

Category Exploration with Publisher Rocket

Just like before, the Category Hunter can be accessed from the home screen. And again, you are given the option between Book or E-Book and Fiction or Non-Fiction.

Let's explore fiction E-Book categories for our robot cat novel from above.

After clicking "Go Get Em Rocket", we are presented with a list of main categories that this E-Book can fall under. I'm feeling youthful after that DOS reference so let's go with a children's book.

I'll just click the "Check it out" button and see what happens.

WOW! Ok. That's a lot of sub-categories...

Publisher Rocket Review Gripe #1

  • Now, this is something that kinda perturbs me right now. This list is long and extensive. And it seems that I have no way to filter them out. This definitely seems like something that should be amended. (After an email convo with Publisher Rocket's exceptionally courteous support, it seems that there will be a search filter released in a soon upcoming patch. Stay tuned folks.)

But until then... let's scroll with it. (LOL. I crack myself up.)

Ok! Here's one that looks promising!

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Children's eBooks > Children's eBooks > Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories > Science Fiction > Action & Adventure

Let's check out the data first.

It actually looks kind of inviting. With only 11 books needed to be sold to become the #25 book? I can probably reach that!

But if you have higher aspirations, 114 are needed to hit that coveted Bestseller spot and get that sweet, sweet orange ribbon.

What happens if we click that little "check it out" button though?

It takes us straight to the home page of that category! This way I can scope out that number one spot.

Hmm. Hunger Games. I'm coming for ya, Suzanne. I'm coming.

But all jokes aside, this category hunter is a definite upgrade from their previous version. And sets a new precedent for future Category Hunters to come.

Getting to Know Your Competition

Another one of the Rocket's major features is its competition analyzer. This is truly an incredible feature. It can let me know exactly who I need to beat as an author and who I need to look out for.

Now, it doesn't show your competitor's keywords. (Found out why through another email dialogue with Rocket's support. Apparently, Amazon doesn't release that information. Good Guy Amazon? This must be a new thing.)

But it does show other important data such as:

  • Monthly Sales
  • Daily Sales
  • Keywords in Title or Subtitle
  • Age of the Book
  • Book's ABSR number

It also gives a link to the author's sale page. This way you can really grind in. Read your competition's reviews. Find out what you need to do to be the best.

Let's take a look at my robot cats' competition.

Same step as before. Head back to the homepage and click Competition Analyzer.

Next, select E-Book.

Publisher Rocket Review Gripe #2

  • Honestly, the folks behind Publisher Rocket should definitely think about adding a fiction/non-fiction filter here. If you're competing against fiction... you should have the opportunity to only pull fiction titles.

(Well folks, seems that this ole gal jumped the gun... I had the awesome opportunity to chat directly with Dave Chesson himself--creator of this awesome program. Turns out that you aren't necessarily concerned about fiction or nonfiction when it comes to competition. Because the competition isn't about your target audience. It's about the keyword itself! So ranking above all genres is even better. Gripe resolved.)

Back to business... I'm going to be using the term "robot cat". I'll go ahead and click "Go Get Em Rocket!" and BOOM!

The results are in.

So, this is my competition in the E-Book realm. As you can see from the scroll bar on the right, there are more titles although not very many. Seems like robot cats might be a good topic to get into after all!

But what's next? What happens after you make the decision that robot cats are the ones for you?

You write the dang ole book!

Creating Awesome AMS Campaigns with Publisher Rocket

For the sake of continuity, let's say I wrote a book on Awesome-tron the Robot Cat. (Copyright and Trademark pending.)

Now, it's time to get Awesome-tron out there in the great big world of Kindle! But will he be received with glad tidings or crash and burn? One thing is for certain. Awesome-tron has a much better chance of survival and prosperity with a great AMS ad campaign.

And Publisher Rocket can help us achieve just that.

One last time, we head to that beautifully crafted homepage and click on AMS Keyword Search. This time, we are told to enter in a book title, keyword, or phrase and Rocket will generate for us a list of keywords. But before we do this, let's stop for a second.

The creator of this software--Dave Chesson-- has provided a series of tutorials and lessons on just how to select AMS keywords.

As a matter of fact, he has released an entire free course on how to find AMS keywords. So, before searching for said AMS keywords, this Nerdy Book Girl recommends taking that course first.

AMS ads are for intermediate to advanced users and I would do them a disservice to be crudely explained on this Publisher Rocket review. Dave does it just perfectly in his free course.

But the AMS features run just as smoothly as the keyword, category, and competition features from above.

Do any "Top Authors" use Publisher Rocket?

You'd be surprised at the sheer amount of support that Publisher Rocket gets. It's not just us little guys here that are looking to get invested in Publisher Rocket. Here are just a few of the more prominent clientele:

What do I as a Rocket user want to see from this program?

Every single thing has room for improvement and Rocket is no exception. It is still early in their transition period between the old KDP Rocket to this new Publisher Rocket, and I'm eager to see what lies ahead. Personally, I'm looking forward to international markets. KDSpy has them, and I believe Rocket should too. I spent the early part of my childhood in Germany actually (Mannheim represent!) and would love to be able to market there.

Another change I would love to see is more filter and search options. This might seem like more of an opulence than a necessity. And you know what... you're right. But doing so would help to soften the blow when purchasing. Add these to my Publisher Rocket Review gripes.

Bottom Line: Is Publisher Rocket worth it?

Without a doubt, this is the best Kindle and AMS assistance software available. And it looks like it's gonna be a while before the King gets dethroned.

Sure, there are some hiccups. Especially in these early stages of Publisher Rocket. But each passing week since its release, I have experienced nothing but excellent service from the Publisher Rocket support team. They are kind, understanding, and patient even with a Obssessed Nerd such as myself. Honestly, if you can't communicate peacefully with them... You're probably not a nice person. HAHAHA!

Just kidding. But they really are awesome. They also seem to be well trained in book marketing and self-publishing as well and all my questions were answered in turn. Not only that, but they directed me to another nifty tool...the Kindle Sales Calculator!

OH SNAP! I never told you the end of my tale from the intro. Anyway, long story short... Rocket helped me get that orange Bestseller ribbon. And for that, I can't thank Dave Chesson enough for. Now, I'm not gonna make any guarantees that this is for everybody. That's just naive. However, it truly helped me. And I think if you put just a little effort and faith into the program... it can help you too.

Well, that's a wrap for me on this Publisher Rocket review. So, go out and get your copy today!

Go Get Publisher Rocket Now!

 


Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle Oasis: Which is Best for You?

Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle Oasis?

Does it really matter? I mean there's still print!

What’s more cozy than snuggling up with a good book in front of a crackling fire?

Doing so from the comfort of your favorite leather bound armchair and a glass of 1985 Castello di Ama Merlot.

However, if you’re like me… the glow of the crackling fire has been replaced by the soft tint of street lights from my apartment window. The armchair… an old futon (remnant of a younger time). And that wine… replaced with a hot mug of Earl Grey-- two sugars and a squeeze of lemon.

But the book. That stays the same right? The crisp turn of a page. Creaking of a leather spine opening to reveal the adventure inside. The smell of paper turned more than its fair share of times.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

As much as I would love to own a library full, realistically, I just don’t have the space. Or the cash. Now, I do keep a few of favorites in print form. BUT… when books are a major part of your life, a scant selection of print does not for a very merry life make. So, I have turned a lot of my book reading towards the 21st century.

That’s right. Ebooks.

Now, there are a ton of e-reader devices out there. And when it comes to e-readers, Amazon Kindle is leading the charge. The word Kindle has become synonymous with e-reader just as Coke has for really any carbonated beverage. (Southern folks, I’m looking at you.)

And when it comes to Kindles, there are two major options in my eyes. The Paperwhite and the Oasis. In all reality, both of these devices get my seal of approval. Each have the quality you would expect from an Amazon product and the ability to access Amazon’s Kindle store. But it’s their differences that set them apart from one another. That being said…

Let’s take a closer look at these two industry leaders and some features to help determine which one is right for you!

Kindle Paperwhite

vs

Kindle Oasis

 

Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle Oasis--Price

The Kindle Oasis is Amazon’s flagship top of the line e-reader. And for good reason. It comes with many unique qualities and features. But along with those top notch features comes a price to match it. Starting at $249.99, the Oasis does boast a pretty steep price point.

The Kindle Paperwhite, on the other hand, is much more budget friendly. Coming in at $129.99, the Paperwhite is substantially less expensive than the Oasis.

These prices may seem to be a little steep--especially that of the Oasis. But things do need to be considered. Your average NYT Bestseller costs around $15 for a hard cover and $8 for a paperback copy. E-books on the other hand are usually half the price.

For avid readers, e-books are much more cost effective than print. Investing in a quality reader may be worth your while.

Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle Oasis-- Design Construction

Price isn’t the only difference these two have. (Well duh, Samantha!) But their are key differences in the actual construction of the two.

The Kindle Paperwhite isn't all too heavy. Weighing in at 191g, it is constructed of a thick plastic body with a soft back coating. While the Paperwhite doesn’t feel flimsy… It lacks that certain premium touch.

That’s where the Kindle Oasis shines.

The Oasis has swapped out the plastic body for that of aluminum. And a sleek looking aluminum as well! Its beveled edges give it a sleek, angular design which holds great in your hands. Not only that but, the Oasis clocks in at 194g (another great lightweight option) making this a great holding experience.

But the materials used aren’t just it. The Paperwhite uses the industry standard touchscreen. Simply tap and swipe your way to a happy ending. But Oasis is not so run of the mill. It comes equipped with PagePress buttons.

PagePress buttons seem kind of wonky at first, but you will get accustomed to them very quickly. They work to replicate the feeling of real buttons. These are actual found on the back bezels. They are activated by placing appropriate pressure on the applicable bezel. It takes a few minutes to learn, but in the end… They are really comfortable and help keep your screen smudge-free.

Speaking of…

Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle Oasis: Screen and Display

A screen’s a screen right? I mean, they can’t be that different.

Or can they?

The Paperwhite is equipped with a 300ppi (Pixel per inch) display. This is the same pixel resolution that was debuted with the Oasis. So… the Paperwhite does have an absolutely wonderful resolution. But… once again the Oasis has some tricks up its sleeve.

The Oasis comes equipped with a micro-etched glass screen (unlike the plastic display of the Paperwhite). This is an awesome feature! The tempered glass is more resistant to scuffs and scratches--especially useful if you happen to have a few cantankerous cats running around who love to jump on everything… But I digress. And the micro-etching… That helps to prevent reflections.

Not only does the Oasis have a glass screen, but adaptive light technology. This makes transitions from dark to light and vice versa extremely useful. And this is done with 12 separate LEDs compared to the Paperwhite's 5.

IMHO, both displays are just great. But the Oasis takes the cake.

Tech Specs

Now, most of this is pretty much the same.

Both have the same battery life--a staggering 6 weeks! I wish I had other batteries that lasted that long…

Each come with 8 or 32GB of internal storage. This might not seem like much in today’s day and age, but remember that ebooks don’t take up much space. As a matter of fact, each reader can hold thousands of book on their internal storage. If for some reason you need more space, you can always avail of free cloud storage.

So What’s the Bottom Line?

The real question here is:

So, Paperwhite vs Oasis?

And the answer is…. Not that clear.

For those who are full on dedicated to ebooks, the Oasis is probably your best bet. It has so many great features and wonderful specifications. The major setback here is the price.

But no need to worry, the Paperwhite is also a wonderful option! Although the Paperwhite lacks some of the bells and whistles of the Oasis, that does not make it any less viable an option. The Paperwhite is ideal for casual readers looking to enter the world of ebooks.

Well, that’s my take! If you have any experience with either of these, feel free to comment below and let me know what you think. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Cheers,

 


Audible Review: Is It Really Worth the Hype?

I love snuggling up with a good book. A comfy chair, a glass of wine, and the feel of the pages between my fingertips… Doesn’t get much better than that.

However, I don’t always have the luxury of that kind of comfort reading. Thankfully, I can still get get my read on through another means.

Audiobooks.

And when it comes to audiobooks, there’s no place I’d rather check than Audible. It is hands-down the most dominant audiobook marketplace available today and for many reasons.

In this article, you will learn:

  • Why you should choose to listen to audiobooks
  • How Audible has the right selection for readers of all types
  • How does Audible work
  • Pricing options available with Audible
  • About Special Promotions with Audible
  • How to get your first 2 books free!

Before we begin, I would like to state an open disclaimer. I will be using affiliate links within this article. However, that does not change my opinion in any way. Those links just help keep hot tea a-brewin so I can keep bringing you these sweet reviews. Now… Let’s get on with the article!

Why Should You Listen to Audiobooks?

Before we jump head first into all things Audible, let's tackle the big question.

Why audiobooks? Isn’t that cheating?

In all honesty, listening to an audiobook is very comparable to reading. You are just focusing your input in a different way. And there are many reasons why choosing an audiobook over a regular book is the right decision.

Accessibility Reasons

Accessibility isn’t a luxury. It’s a human right. There are many readers out there struggling with traditional books due to the difficulty of reading print. Instead of hoping that your favorite author’s latest novel is available in large print text, just grab an audiobook and enjoy. Those who are blind and visually impaired oftentimes find difficulty in getting special Braille books. Audiobooks can easily solve that problem.

Great for On-the-Go Readers

Many times bringing along a book when travelling seems like a great idea. But let’s face it… Just how much quality reading can actually get done? Sure, you can bring along some noise cancelling headphones. And you might be great at ignoring potential visual distractions. But with audiobooks you don’t have to worry about those. Simply put on some headphones, kick back, and enjoy a good story.

Better Comprehension

There are three majorly accepted ways to learning. Reading, doing, and listening. For all you readers and doers out there, thumbing through pages may help you soak in the information better. But what about the listeners? Audiobooks can help you with your comprehension and retention.

Convenience

There’s nothing more frustrating than picking up a new book and having zero time to read it. My shelves are full of books I’ve picked up but have never really had the time for. With audiobooks, you don’t have to go through this. Listen to your book at the gym, on the bus, or at the office. The possibilities are endless.

Greater Engagement

Text is just that. Text. Words on Paper. When we read, it’s up to us as readers to provide the voice and emotion for them. However, such isn’t the case with audiobooks. Those narrating often provide appropriate tone and timbre for the matter. By hearing this aloud, you can actually start to get more into what’s being read and engage even deeper into the story.

As you can see, listening to audiobooks can benefit everybody. But is there an audiobook for everybody out there?

Audible’s Massive Audiobook Collection

Do thrillers and horror stories keep you up late at night? Or is it steamy romance novels that scramble your eggs in the morning? Or maybe you’re like me and enjoy epic space marine battles that save the galaxy from the throes of destruction?

Either way, there’s an audiobook for that. And they can all be found on Audible.

Audible has the largest database of audiobooks available with over 475,000 options! It’s mathematically improbable that Audible doesn’t have an audiobook that’s just perfect for you.

How Exactly does Audible Work?

Audible works on a credit based system. This means you subscribe for credits and trade those credits in for audiobooks.

For instance, with Audible’s Gold Monthly plan, you receive one credit per month. This equates to one audiobook per month. Upgrading your plan can garner you more credits monthly, thus more audiobooks. Simple. And if you’re curious what happens if you don’t use those credits… They do rollover, so you never miss out on getting your new audiobook.

Once purchased, accessing your audiobook is a breeze. They can be listened to on any PC, Mac, iPhone, Android, or Alexa device. Your audio library is always readily available at your fingertips.

And once you purchase an audiobook, it’s yours for life. Even if you cancel your subscription. But if for any reason you don’t enjoy your audiobook, refund for a no questions asked money back guarantee. Through Audible’s Great Listens Guarantee, you can return any audiobook purchased for any reason within 12 months of purchase. Talk about customer service.

Audible Price Guide

PriceCredits EarnedRollover Credit Limit
Gold Monthly$14.95/month1 per Month5 Maximum
Gold Annual$149.50/year12 per Year6 Maximum
Platinum Monthly22.95/month2 per Month10 Maximum
Platinum Annual$229.50/year24 per Year12 Maximum

Special Promotions with Audible

Aside from audiobooks, there is another thing Audible has no shortage of.

Sales, promotions, and deals.

Seriously. Audible is constantly offering something interesting. Whether it’s a 2 Books for 1 Credit deal or receiving a discount on an annual membership, Audible always has something to offer.

They also place certain audiobooks on sale that you can just purchase outright.

These offers do change up however. But don’t be discouraged. Maybe the next deal offered is an even better one for you.

How to Get Free Audiobooks from Audible

Yep. You read that right. You can get free audiobooks from Audible. Here’s how.

First, head over to Audible and register for their 30 day free membership. Next, download any two books that you desire.

That’s it.

After thirty days, your subscription will automatically start at $14.95/month. However, you can cancel your free trial at any point within those 30 days. And the best part is… You get to keep those two books you downloaded!

Doesn’t get much better than that.

Is Audible Worth It?

If you are into (or planning on entering) the world of audiobooks... Audible is absolutely worth it.

Audible’s extensive selection, exclusive promos, and awesome refund policy make it a hard service to top.

If you are a casual reader, perhaps it’s best if you stick to one of their Gold plans. But if you have a much more voracious appetite for reading, the Platinum plans should definitely be considered. As far as price is concerned, these plans are a pretty affordable venue for audiobooks.

Plus with the two extra free books from the trial… Consider me sold.

Cheers,

 


Kindle Unlimited vs Prime Reading: Which is Best for You?

Take look at your bookshelf.

It’s probably organized to your little quirks. Maybe it’s arranged alphabetically by author title? Or simply book height. Or it’s like mine… Disorganized as all get out.

Seriously. My shelf starts with the I Ching and ends with Stephen King’s memoir on the craft (On Writing, seriously a good read.) with a few comic book omnibuses peppered throughout. But I do have a few set-aside.

The ones I haven’t read.

We all have those books that we are just gonna get to later. But what happens when we don’t?

If you’re a voracious reader such as myself this can pose a problem. However, it doesn’t have to be.

Thanks to the world of online communications and eBooks, a literary universe lies just beneath your fingertips. And there’s one major player.

Amazon.

Along with their ever-growing assortment of goods and services, they have two specific items of interest to us “Bookaphiles”.

Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime Reading.

Awesome, huh? But you might just be thinking…”But why two? Surely, one would suffice. What’s really the difference?”

Trust me. Before I got into it, I was asking the same questions. However, a close examination concludes that each of these two services has their own merits.

Let’s take a closer look into each of them and find out which option is the best one for you.

Kindle Unlimited

Could you imagine holding the keys to one of the greatest libraries ever amassed? That wonder and imagination is now a concrete reality.

Kindle Unlimited provides you access to over ONE MILLION different titles and options! This not only includes ebooks but cookbooks and magazines as well.

And for less than your daily cup of coffee, you can indulge in this literary heaven. For a monthly subscription, you pay just $9.99!

That’s insane. Like seriously. I have paid overdue library fines bigger than that. (Don’t judge me. The Brothers Karamazov can become a lot longer of a read than expected.) But really, that’s a hell of a price.

They do offer prepaid packages in 6, 12, and 24-month increments which make for great gifts for other like-minded individuals.

Still on the fence though? Amazon provides a free one month trial for those interested. So… there’s no need to hesitate.

Right now, you’re probably saying to yourself… “Yeah yeah, what’s the catch? There’s got to be some kind of limit.”

And you’re not wrong. You can only check out a measly 10 books at a time. (Although that time is unlimited.)

I hope you were able to catch that sarcasm coming through the font. But other than that there are a few points of concern you should look at.

Kindle Unlimited is lacking in what some like to call the Big 5 of Publishing.

THE BIG 5

Hachette
Macmillan
Penguin Random House
HarperCollins
Simon and Schuster

If you have a favorite author, there is a good chance that they are not available on Kindle Unlimited. But if your appetite for reading extends to independent authors and self-publishers, this is an awesome resource!

This leads to the next major pitfall of Kindle Unlimited.

Most indie titles cost under $5. So if you aren’t as hungry of a reader, maybe Kindle Unlimited isn’t for you. But instead our other option…

Amazon Prime Reading

So let me preface this by saying that in order to utilize Amazon Prime Reading, you must first be a subscriber to Amazon Prime. And if you do anything at all on Amazon on a semi-regular basis… You should be on Amazon Prime. Nuff said.

Now. Amazon Prime gives you unlimited access to a rotating selection of top Kindle books, magazines, comics, and audible options.

When pit against Kindle Unlimited, the amount of books available pales in comparison. But… the books are much different. As stated above, Kindle Unlimited is missing the Big Five and focuses primarily on Indie authors.

That restriction does not apply to Amazon Prime Reading. With Prime Reading, you get full access to Kindle top-selling items. So, if you’re one to gravitate to New York Times bestsellers… this might be a better platform for you.

Just as with Kindle Unlimited, Amazon Prime (thus Prime Reading) comes with a 30-day free trial.

Sounds great huh? But there is no such thing as perfection. (Unless we count my Granny’s peanut butter cookies. But I digress…)

Amazon Prime Reading can only be used by those based in the US. So for all you international readers… I’m sorry. But Kindle Unlimited has overseas locations. But you will be limited to selections from your particular location.

What’s Best for You?

Given this information, what’s the best platform for you?

There are definite perks and pitfalls to each. So, only you can make that choice. What I can tell you is this. Having one or the other is a wonderful way to not only enhance your library but your reading life as well.


The 10 Best Blue Light Filter Glasses of 2019

Is it just me or does anyone else spend a crazy amount of time on their cell phone? No? Perhaps your computer? Or maybe tablet or e-reader?

Nowadays, it’s kind of hard to avoid. We are in the age of technology after all. The Digital Era. But as much as this tech can make our lives easier or entertain, it can also put a strain on our minds and bodies. More specifically through harmful light rays.

Enter blue light and UV blocking lenses and glasses.

These lenses can help to alleviate problems caused by prolonged exposure to harmful light. But remember… Not all glasses are built the same. There are so many duds and fakes out there on the market. Let’s help guide you away from the knock-offs and towards the best blue light filter glasses out there.

The 10 Best Computer Glasses Ranked Best to Worst

Best Blue Light Glasses Reviews

#1. KLIM Optics Blue Light Blocking Glasses (Best Overall)

The KLIM Optics Blue Light blocking glasses score our overall top pick. Their sleek design offers one of the highest blue light filtering percentages out of all the glasses we have scoped out. They are exceptionally lightweight and comfortable for your face. Although they pack a punch quality-wise, they are not too hard on your budget. With these, you get more than you pay more. These truly are one of the best blue light blocking glasses. 

  • German Made Lenses
    • These German made lenses filter out a whopping 86% of blue light. This rating is much higher than the industry average.
  • Durable and Lightweight
    • The frames are made partly out of TR90, an extremely durable yet lightweight material. The glasses weigh in at only 20g, so they will rest comfortably on your nose.
  • Yellow Filter
    • The yellow tint actually helps to further reduce your blue light exposure. It will take a minute for you to adjust after putting them on, but you will be glad that you did.

#2. Holland & Jagger Blue Light Blocking Computer Glasses (Best for Home Use)

These blue light filter glasses are the ultimate in blue light protection. They have a maximum blue light filter allowing zero blue light access to your eyes. The Holland & Jagger’s are actually FDA approved so you can rest easy knowing your product will be top notch.

  • 8 Separate Protective Coatings
    • Each pair of glasses comes with 8 different protective coatings to help enhance your experience. These include anti-glare, scratch resistance, and anti-UV coatings.
  • Maximum Blocking Power
    • These glasses boast to prevent 100% of blue light from entering your eyes. And with its FDA claim… that speaks volumes. With that being said, the yellow tint on these are much heavier than other glasses.
  • Great Customer Care
    • These glasses come with a protective case and cleaning cloth to help prevent the wear and tear of extended use. They also come with a 90 day money back guarantee for all those not sold on its abilities.

#3. PROSPEK – Premium Computer Glasses (Best for Office Wear)

The Prospek premium computer glasses are our selection for the most professional looking pair of blue light blocking glasses. There is no yellow tint on them. Gone are the prying questions and silly looks you may get from jealous coworkers. On top of that, they actually function very well. 

  • 50% Coverage
    • These lenses block out 50% of blue light. Much less than the ones above it. Yet, the lenses are clear with no yellow tint. This makes them perfect for office wear with no color distortion
  • All Devices Covered
    • The Prospects were developed to ensure that all computer screens, phones, and tablet blue light frequencies are covered.
  • 90 Day Money Back Guarantee
    • These come equipped with a 90 day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee for those who feel these aren’t the right fit.

#4. Fitover Anti-Blue Blocking Computer Glasses w/ Flex Frame (Best Fitover)

If you wear corrective lenses, buying any form of eyewear can be an absolute nightmare. You need to take off your corrective glasses, but then you can’t see through your cool new shades. Or perhaps all you can find are extremely bulky fitovers. Either way, not fun. With these, however, you can still experience the benefits of blue light protection. 

  • Flexible Frame
    • These glasses have a much more flexible frame than most other fitovers on the market. No need to worry if you will end up snapping them when putting them on. Great for teenagers or unruly adults.
  • Amber Colored Lenses
    • These lenses filter out 100% of blue light and provide extra protection with their amber tint. These do require a bit getting used to due to the darker nature of color distortion. May not be ideal for gamers before an adjustment period.
  • FDA Certified
    • These fitovers are FDA certified ensuring that the the protection you want is the protection you are getting.

#5. GAMEKING Ultra Lightweight Blue Light Blocking Clip-on Computer Glasses (Best Clip-On)

Not a fan of the fit over style glasses, but still need something to wear with your corrective lenses? Look no further than the GAMEKING Ultra lightweight clip-ons. These clip-ons fit on almost every other corrective frame. 

  • Lightweight and Super Durable
    • These clip-ons weigh only 8g! Coupled with other lightweight corrective glasses, these can become the lightest blue light blocking glasses on the market. They are also incredibly durable. They have passed the FDA Drop Ball test ensuring maximum impact resistance.
  • Anti Blue Light and UV
    • They have a blockage percentage of 60% of all blue light. The lenses do allow some blue light to pass through to ensure long term effects of blue light deficiency are not experienced.
  • Lifetime Breakage Warranty
    • These come equipped with a LIFETIME WARRANTY! These clip-ons are definitely worth every penny.

#6. Swannies Gamer and Computer Eyewear (Best for Gaming)

In the world of competitive gaming, fashion is not overlooked. Many picture gamers as plain and drab. But the truth is… that is normally far from the case. For those looking for blue light blocking abilities with bold fashion, look no further. The Swannies come in an exotic tortoiseshell pattern sure to make a statement. But that’s not all they can do. 

  • Unique Lenses
    • These are outfitted with orange lenses that block blue light better than other lenses. They are made out of CR-39 for superior clarity and lightweight for maximum wearability. Also, they are coated with anti-reflective and anti-glare coatings.
  • Acetate Frame and Spring Hinges
    • The acetate frame is more environmentally friendly than other petroleum-based plastics. Coupled with spring hinges for maximum flexibility, these glasses surely will outperform the competition.
  • Sizes Available
    • We all know that “one size fits all” is normally a lie. That’s why these glasses come in multiple sizes to best fit your head. The glasses are even customizable all the way down to lense dimensions.

#7. GAMMA RAY 003  Computer Glasses w/ Magnification (Best for Reading)

You may not need full-time corrective lenses. Many don’t. But some of us still need reading glasses. Reading glasses are not necessarily corrective but provide a degree of magnification to cut through all the fine print. Gamma Ray Optics offers just what you need, but with blue light blocking technology. 

  • Differing Degrees Available
    • Whatever your needs are, Gamma Ray is sure to have a set of blue light blocking glasses for you.
  • Simple and Stylish
    • These come in an all black plastic frame ready to suit all occasions. They are not, however, the coke bottle frames of the past yet sleek, modern design.
  • Great Customer Care
    • Comes with a 90-day money back guarantee and a lifetime breakage warranty on both frame and lenses.

#8. Cyxus Blue Light Filter Computer Glasses(Honorable Mention)

For those of you searching for basic pair of blue light filter glasses. This is the pair for you. They are a simple black frame with clear lenses. They have no magnification or color tint. Their sole purpose is to block out harmful blue light. They are a global brand and able to ship just about anywhere.

#9. Gamma RAY 010 Slim Vintage Computer Readers(Honorable Mention)

These Gamma Ray Optics glasses are another set of plain and simple glasses. They do however come in varying grades of magnification as needed. They also come in three separate colors. You are sure to find a matching fit with a pair of these. These are shaped with a more vintage style than the previous Gamma Ray eye wear.

#10. TIJN Blue Light Blocking Glasses (Honorable Mention)

This pair of blue light blocking glasses is for those looking to make a statement. They are square shaped and completely transparent. Don’t let the transparency fool you though. They are well equipped with anti blue light properties. Although they will not block as much as the others on this list, you will look cool doing so.

Dave Asprey Glasses

Bulletproof 360 Guru and successful entrepreneur Dave Asprey have made quite a name for himself. He has created a successful program for a healthy way of life and is an INTERNATIONALLY BEST-SELLING AUTHOR! Maybe it’s his glasses?

Dave is a huge proponent of blue light filter glasses he has popularized his own style: True Dark Glasses.

Their reddish-orange tint and sleek design make seeing better look good.

Key Information You Need to Know about Blue Light

So, What Actually is Blue Light?

Ok. Picture this. Light can be represented on a rainbow scale.

You remember ROY G BIV from elementary school, right? If not… here’s a quick refresher.

R- Red

O- Orange

Y- Yellow

G- Green

B- Blue

I- Indigo

V- Violet

ROY G BIV is the order of the colors in a rainbow.

Now. Follow me here. Time to get our science on.

Science of Blue Light

Light has been observed to move in wave-like patterns. When represented on a graph, it looks a little something like this:

The upper most points are called the crests.

These crests are very important for determining wavelength. Because wavelengths are measured by the distance from one crest to another.

Back to those colors. It has been also observed that colors at the beginning of the rainbow– i.e. Red and Orange– have longer wavelengths.

That means that the waves are less intense due to a fewer number of waves transmitted in any given amount of time.

On the other hand, colors at the end of the rainbow– i.e. Blue, Indigo, and Violet– have much shorter wavelengths.

This means that these shorter wavelength colors are much more intense due to a higher number of waves transmitted in any given amount of time.

So, BLUE LIGHT is a high intensity, high energy form of light. But the most inconvenient part of this is… Blue light falls on the visible light spectrum (not all light is visible–different lesson for a different time).

And it’s becoming more and more common.

Common Sources of Blue Light Exposure

As I mentioned earlier, your favorite devices and gadgets may be causing more harm to you than you know.

You see, one of the most common sources of blue light is through LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes).

LEDs today are found pretty much everywhere. From flashlights, to light bulbs, to your television set. Why is that? Because they are a wonderful source of pure bright light.

Other common sources of blue light from LEDs come from:

  • Cell phones
  • Computers
  • Tablets
  • E-readers
  • Digital Clocks
  • Smart watches

Essentially, any gadget with a backlit screen. Now, you may not stare at your digital clock for hours on end. But cell phones, computers, tablets, and e-readers pose an actual credible risk for overexposure to blue light.

Blue Light- Advantages and Disadvantages

Now. blue light isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes it can be good for you. Let’s go over some of the differences between good blue light and bad blue light.

Good Blue Light

  • Regulates your Circadian Rhythm
    • Blue light is actually extremely important in maintaining your circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm is your body’s internal sleep/wake cycle. This is most effective when you receive blue light exposure during daytime hours. Prolonged exposure to blue light in the evening, however, can have an adverse effect. Too much blue light at nighttime– say from an e-reader– can actually mess with this cycle. Instead of reading to help you sleep, it can keep you awake and lead to daytime tiredness.
  • Great for Psychological Well Being
    • Blue light is also used for therapeutic purposes as well. Particularly for a syndrome known as SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. This disorder is a type of depression that is related to the changing of the seasons. Blue light plays a major role in light therapy used to treat this.
  • Keeps you Alert and Active
    • When there is bright light around, your body produces 2 hormones. Serotonin and cortisol. Serotonin can be thought of as your happy hormone. Where cortisol is known as your stress hormone. Both of these keep you awake and active. When there is an absence of light, melatonin is produced. This is what helps you go to sleep.

Bad Blue Light

  • Can Lead to Macular Degeneration
    • Remember when we said blue light is more intense than other colors? Well, that intensity allows it to travel further into your eye. As a matter of fact, it travels all the way to the back lining of your eye known as your retina. This is not desirable. Repeated and prolonged exposure to blue light can begin to damage the light-sensitive cells of your retina. This leads to macular degeneration, a symptom when unchecked can lead to permanent vision reduction or loss.
  • Increases Digital Eye Stress
    • The intensity of blue light can do more than just affect the retina. The short wavelengths actually cause the light to scatter more across a surface. This scattering effect (also known as Rayleigh scattering) can cause your eyes to not focus as well as they should. It is most common when using digital devices such as cellphones, tablets, and computers.

Despite the benefits of blue light, the negatives can be pretty severe. This is why it is so important to consider wearing proper eye protection when using blue light emitting devices.


The 10 Best Book Stands of 2019

There are many things in this world that are underrated. The smell of freshly mown grass. Great home cooked meal. T. Rex (The 70s band, not the dinosaur– he’s still pretty BA too though). But what about in the world of reading and writing?

The unsung heroes of our realm are Book Stands. These handy devices are much more critical than many give them credit for. They allow for great hands-free operation for those with tired arms or dirty fingers. Some are even doing their part to help alleviate some of the challenges experienced by those with special needs.

So without wasting any more time… let’s bang a gong, get it on, and discuss the 10 best book stands of 2018.

Top 10 Book Stands Ranked Best to Worst

These are our choices for the best book stands you can buy in 2018.

Top Ten Book Stand Reviews

#1. Uncaged Ergonomics Adjustable Reading Stand(Best Overall)

Out of all of our options, the Uncaged Ergonomics stand came out on top. This stand can do it all. Whether it’s reading in bed or cooking in the kitchen, the Uncaged Ergonomics reigns supreme for all your book stand needs. Let’s take a look at why. 

  • Adjustable Height and Angle
    • The height is adjustable up to 21” making it ideal for almost situations Use it in bed or on your tabletop. The angle of the holding tray is fully adjustable and locks in 15-degree increments.
  • Open Space Bottom
    • This is a really useful feature. When used on your desk, you can minimize and even help declutter your workstation. Place your reading material on top and your other supplies underneath. Another great thing about this feature is when reading in bed. You can place it over your legs or lap minimizing the stress on your body.
  • Made out of Lightweight Aluminum
    • This makes it perfect for kitchen or workshop use. It is sturdy and non-porous which makes it great for using around raw foods or chemicals.
  • Collapses Flat
    • Not only is it lightweight, but it has the ability to collapse completely flat. This makes it great for portability and transportation.

#2. LEVO Hands-Free Book Stand (Best for Bedtime Reading)

When it comes to bedtime reading, the LEVO Hands-Free Book Stand really shines through. This makes reading in bed a much easier experience. Let’s take a look at some of the features that enable this book stand.

  • Fully Adjustable Design
    • You can adjust just about every aspect of this book stand! You can adjust the height of the stand from anywhere between 30-56” making this ideal for reading from any piece of furniture.
  • Cantilever Swing Arm
    • Its adjustable swing arm easily extends over your chair or bed. It also is easily adjustable on a five-point axis to make sure you have the best reading experience possible.
  • Sturdy Wheeled Base
    • The sturdy base of this unit is heavy enough to support a book weighing up to 4 lbs. Yet, it’s easy to maneuver around due to the casters mounted on its underside.

#3. ScanJig Pro Plus for Blind, Visually Impaired & Fine Motor Difficulties (Best for Special Needs)

Sometimes, life throws you curveballs. But, that doesn’t mean we still shouldn’t swing for the fences.  For those who need that extra boost, this is the perfect book stand. The ScanJig Pro Plus is much more than an ordinary book stand. It can be a real game changer for those with special needs. 

  • Scanning Stand
    • The ScanJig comes with stable support for your phone that you can use to scan your documents. These can then be used in coordination with different text to speech apps in order to help decipher the printed text.
  • Open Design
    • This stand is designed with open angles to allow maximum light penetration thus minimizing pesky shadows that interfere with scanning capabilities.
  • Travel-Friendly
    • This book stands folds up nice and neatly so it can be carried with you wherever you go. At full fold, it can be squarely placed inside your backpack.

#4. Reodoeer Reading Rest (Best for Messy Areas)

Ever need a reading stand in a messy area? Maybe you’re baking cupcakes and need a helping hand to hold that recipe? Or perhaps, you’re in your auto shop flipping through user manuals and repair guides? You need a sturdy book stand to handle it and one that can be cleaned afterward. The Reodoeer is just the stand for you. 

  • Sturdy Construction
    • This book stand is constructed out of a sturdy plastic and metal plate. This makes this an ideal book stand to be used around rugged areas. Plus, it’s non-porous. Meaning minimal pathogens can creep inside the materials.  Simply wipe down with your favorite antibacterial and you’re good to go.
  • Heavy Duty Holding
    • Since this book is made out of stronger materials, its weight capacity is much larger than most other stands. This allows for a very large book ranging from your standard run-of-the-mill textbook to a Standard Operating Procedure for a turbine driven electric plant.
  • Adjustable
    • The Reodoeer has seven different angles that it can be adjusted to. This ensures you always have the right angle when getting down and dirty.

#5. PSRVR Luxury Bamboo Bathtub Caddy (Best for Bath Time)

What’s better than a nice glass of wine, a scented candle, and a good book? Doing all this in the bath of course! And now you can with the PSRVR Luxury Bathtub Caddy. Keep your book safe from the bubbles with this bamboo book caddy. 

  • Multifunctional Trays
    • This caddy holds more than just your book. There are two trays on either side of your book that you can use to hold other things such as a bookmark or highlighter. The caddy also comes equipped with two indented rounds perfect for holding that glass of Pinot and a nice candle.
  • Waterproofed Bamboo
    • This book holder is made out of a lightweight, yet durable bamboo. This makes it easy to move into place or take down. Along with that, the bamboo has been waterproofed as not to deteriorate your product over time.
  • One Size Fits All
    • The caddy can be extended lengthwise to fit just about every standard size bathtub.

#6. [SmartMe] Portable Book Stand (Best for Travel)

Reading is one of the most popular options to do on long flights because let’s face it… those in-flight movies are never really that good. But a big problem with reading on an airplane is the space. You are in a very cramped area with no room to stretch (particularly in coach). Save your arms from awkward cramps and soreness with this book stand. The [SmartMe] portable book stand is perfect for these types of situations. 

  • Foldability
    • This book stand has the ability to fold into a size slightly larger than your standard flashlight. This makes it ideal for traveling in your backpack carry-on.
  • Lightweight and Durable
    • This book stand weighs in at just over 5 ounces. This is one of the lightest books stands on the market. You should have no problem transporting this or exceeding your weight limit due to this item. Although it is light, the [SmartMe] is constructed of a high-grade ABS plastic which helps keep it tough enough for your purpose.
  • Stable 4 Point Support
    • This feature helps to eliminate curling and folding of books and their covers– especially near the ends of the book.

#7. A+ Children’s Book Stand (Best for Kids)

Do your kids love to read? Or do they need a little encouraging? Perhaps a book stand of their very own is just what they need! The A+ Children’s book stand is great for those little bookworms in training. 

  • Kid Friendly
    • This book stand was designed purely with children in mind. It has smooth rounded edges with no sharp corners. It’s also made with safe non-toxic materials so you can rest easy with this around your tykes.
  • Easy to Setup and Learn
    • This book stand is super simple to use. There is no assembly required. Just slide the backboard into its desired position and you are ready to go.
  • Certified Safe
    • These stands have been tested in CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) certified laboratories in accordance with all Children’s Safety Regulations.

8. Standing Lectern by Christian Brands (Best for Presenting)

Are you part of a book club that reads aloud? Or, do you have a presentation you need to give? Most people don’t give enough credit to the lectern. These large, but versatile book stands are ideal for reading aloud in front of groups. There’s already the pressure of an audience. You don’t need that pressure being transferred to tired arms as well.

  • Beautiful and Simple Design
    • This lectern’s construction is an elegant, yet simple design sure to draw the attention of those before it. It is handcrafted out of genuine maple with a rustic walnut finish.
  • Wide Top
    • The top of this stand is 15” x 16” making it ideal for large books.

#9. HENGSHENG Bamboo Book Stand with Retro Elegant Pattern (Best Functional Decor)

Who says function can’t be fashionable? This is definitely the case with this awesome looking book stand. The HENGSHENG book stand is made out of ornately carved bamboo sure to get noticed. But not only does it look good… it works great. 

  • Stable and Sturdy
    • Made out of high-quality bamboo, this book stand can support books of all sizes.
  • Flat Folding
    • Folds flat when not in use to easily be accommodated in a medium sized backpack.
  • Adjustable
    • This book stand can be adjusted to 5 different angles ensuring that you can read at your leisure.

#10. Esschert Design Cast Iron Cookbook Stand (Best Iron Book Stand)

This iron stand is designed to bring life into any kitchen. Your cookbook will look just great when perched upon this stand. It does require some assembly, which may be difficult for some. Yet, when completed, this Victorian-inspired piece of art is well worth it.

  • Iron Cast
    • Sturdy and strong. This piece is very difficult to break.
  • Weighted Page Holders
    • This stand comes equipped with elegant weighted page holders ready to keep your pages flat and easy to read.

Things to Consider when Purchasing a Book Stand

Purchasing a book stand doesn’t have to be the most difficult decision in your life. Let’s take a look at a few factors to consider when purchasing a book stand to make your process a little easier.

Height and Weight

When purchasing a book stand, you must take into consideration the dimensions that you need. Some book stands are great for tabletop reading, while others excel for other places. But what is the ideal height for you?

Did you know that if you focus on something too close to your eyes that you are putting undue strain on them? Or that looking at something too far away does the same? It goes beyond just nearsightedness or needing bifocals. Those with perfect vision can also fall prey to these conditions. This can lead to future eye problems or worsening of current ones.

According to healthguidance.org, the book or paper you are reading should generally be between 16 and 21 inches away from your eyes and a little bit below eye level. It’s actually easier to read looking down than looking up. Remember to keep this in mind when searching for a new book stand.

Another thing to take note of is the weight. For instance, would you want to get a cast iron book stand for an elderly individual or a child. Obviously, the answer is no. But besides from that why else should you worry about weight?

Let’s say you are reading in bed. You are following proper guidelines with the book stand on your lap with the book balanced inside. How heavy is your book? How heavy is the stand? Depending on the combined weight of the two, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. That could be just enough pressure to push down on your legs to reduce blood flow or place unwanted pressure on your nerves.

By keeping height and weight factors in mind when shopping, you are sure to make a better decision with your book holder selection.

Adjustability and Portability

Some people have a designated reading area. They have a special chair or bed they go to when ready to curl up with their next new adventure. But… others don’t. Some can just plop down anywhere and get right into it.

Now for those stationary readers using book stands… adjustability and portability become less of an issue. Simply find the right size with the right angle, and you’re all set. However, for those less static, these factors can become very important.

For instance, those using e-readers would love angle adjustability. We all know how it goes… sometimes the angle of our laptops or e-readers isn’t quite suited for the ambient light. Well with laptops, the solution is easy. Just angle your screen accordingly. E-readers or tablet-like electronics are a different story. These must be adjusted by being held differently and sometimes in awkward positions.

An adjustable book stand definitely can help with those kinds of situations.

Portability is another huge consideration. Is it practical to carry a full-size lectern from the living room to the kitchen just to hold your cookbook? No. What about travelers? Is it practical to bring a non-collapsible wrought iron book stand? Absolutely not.

Speaking of travelers, do you know the weight limit for international carry on baggage? It’s roughly 40 lbs. That includes the bag and its contents. Those who intend on doing some reading on a long flight may want to consider using their book stand. One designed for travel may be just what you need.

Material

Material considerations are definitely something you should pay attention to. Here are two reasons why.

  • Strength

Material strength can be very important when choosing a book stand. Let’s just say you spend most of your time reading heavy textbooks. A simple plastic stand just isn’t going to cut it. The plastic may easily snap under the weight of the heavy book. But if you are using the book stand for smaller books (such as bedtime stories for children), maybe a plastic stand is a better option. One common lightweight material used is bamboo. Bamboo combines the best of both worlds allowing for maximum weight with minimal strain on the stand. As we will see next though, bamboo is not necessarily the best for all situations.

  • Intended Use of Stand

There are many reasons why one would use a reading stand. Some use them in bed. Others at a desk. But what does this have to do with the material of the stand itself. Everything. For example, you use your book stand in the kitchen to hold up your recipe book. You are making your Grandma’s world famous chicken pot pie. YUM! Now, in this recipe, it calls for cleaning and preparing a whole chicken. As those who cook know… cleaning a chicken can get a little dirty sometimes. But that’s ok. We can just clean it up, right? Well, yes and no.

Let’s just say some of that chicken juice went flying and got onto your book stand. With wooden or bamboo book stands… this may not be desirable. You see, the wooden or bamboo stand may actually soak up some of that chicken juice along with whatever bacteria may be hiding in it. Wiping this down will help, but the risk of contamination is definitely still there. In this case, a metal or sturdy acrylic may be best. The Spruce Eats puts out an interesting article on this as it applies to cutting boards, but the principle is still the same. Use non-porous materials for kitchen use.


Best Floor Lamps of 2019

Birthdays. Graduations. Retirement. What do these all have in common? These are times for celebrations, and more often than not… gift giving.

Do you have any bookworms and bibliophiles on your gift list? If so, a great floor lamp could be just what you’re looking for!  These make great gifts for college students who study all night, late-night readers, writers, or just anyone who needs to spruce up a room.

But with sales rapidly coming and going, you need a game plan ready for your shopping. How will you know which are the best options for floor lamps? Let’s shed some light on the situation and break down the Top Ten Floor Lamps of 2018.

The Best Floor Lamps Ranked Best to Worst

This handy table will make light work of helping you to select your next floor lamp.

Top Ten Floor Lamp Reviews

#1. Brightech Leaf LED Floor Lamp (Best Overall)

Our overall winner for best floor lamp is none other than the Brightech Leaf LED Floor Lamp. It’s like the Mercedes-Benz of floor lamps but at a fraction of the price. It comes with a wide array of great features including:

  • 3 Brightness Settings
    • If you need the extra light, the brightest setting pumps out a whopping 1150 lumens to illuminate even your darkest situations.
  • An Omni-Directional Hood
    • Focus light where you need it while minimizing losses to ambient.
  • Touch to On
    • This wonderful feature allows you to simply tap the lamp for extreme ease of powering up or adjusting brightness levels.
  • Cool to the Touch
    • For those worried about heat generation (particularly around the hood), this is the lamp for you. This lamp was designed with Estheticians and Make-Up Artists in mind. Even if you accidentally touch the hood, you do not need to worry about burning yourself. This is also a great feature for curious and climbing children.
  • Universally Stylish
    • With its modern yet traditional styling, this lamp is sure to make a great addition to any room. The lamp is also rated for voltages up to 220V. This means you can run this lamp outside of the United States. Just make sure you have the appropriate plug and socket adapter for your country.

Product Specifications:

Height53”
Weight8 lbs
MaterialMetal
Bulb TypeLED
Warranty5 Year Warranty

#2. IMIGY Dimmable LED Floor Lamp (Best for Bedtime Reading)

This lamp is amazing! This IMIGY model is perfect for bedtime reading. Its sleek design and narrow frame allows it to be easily tucked behind a nightstand. The gooseneck can then be directed towards your bed for a bit of light reading.It was very difficult to choose between this model and the Brightech Leaf for our top model due to these great attributes:

  • 5 Different Color Temperature and Brightness Settings
    • With this lamp, you will receive 5 color settings:
      • Warm White
      • Cool White
      • Natural
      • Yellow
      • Warm Yellow
    • All of these colors can also be dimmed to 5 different brightnesses!
  • Flexible Gooseneck
    • The flexible gooseneck allows you to angle the light projection at exactly where you need it.
  • Remote Operated
    • This is one of the greatest features in my opinion. Long gone are the days of climbing out of bed to turn off your lights. Simply click the button on the remote and roll over and head to sleep. The remote not only controls power functions but the dimming and color temperatures as well.
  • Timer
    • The timer feature is what makes this lamp the ultimate in bedtime reading. Have you ever fallen asleep while reading? I know I have. (Of course, the book always falls out of my hands and lands on my unexpecting face…) But what about your light? It stays on driving up that electric bill. Well, no more! With this handy timer, you can set the lamp to turn off automatically. All of this is controlled via the remote control.

Product Specifications:

Height56”
Weight6.45 lbs
MaterialABS and Iron
Bulb TypeLED
Warranty5 Year Warranty

#3.Brightech Maxwell LED USB Shelf Floor Lamp(Best Smart Floor Lamp)

In today’s day of Amazon Alexa and Smart Homes, there’s gotta be some smart floor lamps out there. Right? Turns out… there are quite a few of them. But none of them really stands out above the rest. Except for this one. As our second Brightech submission on this list, the Maxwell model does it all. Its Asian-inspired accents will match well with any room in your house. Its multi-functionality can give any room that little extra something that may have been missing. Let’s go over some of these features.

  • Integrated Shelving
    • The lamp comes with three separate shelves that you can use for maximizing the space you will receive out of the room it’s in. Use these as functional or as decorative shelves.
  • USB Charging Ports and Electrical Outlet
    • The lamp and shelves come with 2 USB charging ports! Use these to power up your Apple or Android devices so you never miss that important call again. Not only that, but this lamp also comes equipped with an electrical outlet. This can be great for those with limited amounts of electrical sockets. Need light to work, but also need to plug in that laptop? No problem. Simply plug the lamp into the wall and the computer into the lamp. That easy.
  • Smart-Enabled
    • When paired with the appropriate smart outlet, this lamp is compatible with the 3 major smart home applications:
      • Amazon Alexa
      • Google Home Assistant
      • Apple HomeKit

Product Specifications:

Height63”
Weight12.55 lbs
MaterialAll Wood Frame
Bulb TypeLED
Warranty5 Year Warranty

#4. Adesso Trinity Arc Floor Lamp (Best for High Ceilings)

In homes with vaulted ceilings, having furniture or fixtures without the appropriate height can make the room a little underwhelming. That’s why this lamp makes our top choice for high ceilings. Its large arc reaches up and out accentuating your room’s vertical prowess. The three lamps hang from a height of 81.9”. That’s almost 7 feet tall! The burlap shades provide an elegant yet rustic look perfect for living rooms and dens.

  • Cycle Between Lamps
    • This lamp comes equipped with a rotary switch to allow you to select which lamps are illuminated. Turn on one lamp or all three. The choice is yours.
  • Sturdy Base
    • Because the lamp is so tall, it is important that you have a strong, steady base to support it. The Adesso has that base covered.
  • Smart Home and CFL Compatible
    • The medium sockets on the lamp accommodate energy saving CFL bulbs. The lamp itself can also be adapted for use with Smart Home technology such as Amazon Alexa.

Product Specifications:

Height81.9”
Weight33 lbs
MaterialMetal
Bulb TypeCFL
Warranty1 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty

#5. Brightech Sky LED Torchiere Floor Lamp (Best for Small Spaces)

Sometimes, we need to light up space but don’t always have the most room available. That’s why a torchiere-style floor lamp would be perfect for you. That’s why I recommend the Brightech Sky LED Torchiere Floor Lamp. Its slim design fits perfectly into any corner making this lamp the best floor lamp for dorm rooms or small offices.

  • Weighted Base
    • Due to the slim design of the lamp, a sturdy base is required. The base is weighted as to provide proper support for the lamp post.
  • Super Bright and Dimmable
    • This lamp produces a MASSIVE 1660 lumens of light. Making this lamp one of the brightest torchiere-style floor lamps around. However, sometimes that much light isn’t needed. Simply dim it down to one of three preset brightness levels.
  • Tiltable Head
    • In small rooms with limited light capabilities, it can be hard to fully illuminate the area. Using the Brightech Sky, you can use its major light-producing capabilities along with the tiltable head to maximize light projection to every corner of the room.
  • Wall Switch and Amazon Alexa Compatible

Product Specifications:

Height63”
Weight5.58 lbs
MaterialSteel
Bulb TypeLED
Warranty5 Year Warranty

#6.LEONC Design Creative LED Floor Lamp (Best Mood Lighting)

Sometimes, you need a floor lamp for mood lighting. The mood or aura of a room can really alter how much you enjoy being there. We all have our favorite room in the house. With the help of the LEONC Design floor lamp, turn any room into your favorite. This lamp is not only stylish but practical. Let’s look more into the LEONC Design.

  • Foot Powered On/Off Switch
    • The power switch is securely located near the plug and socket. This allows for ease of operation without having to bend over. This lamp is very friendly for seniors or others who have difficulty bending over.
  • Great Height
    • How many times have you seen a floor lamp that really should be called a table lamp? Not with this model. The pillar stands at five feet tall!
  • Collapsible and Replaceable Lampshade
    • The lampshade is of unique design. Yet, it is easily collapsible and foldable! This allows for ease of transportation from one place to another without fear of ripping the shade. However, if it is torn, it is easily replaceable through LEONC Design.
  • Easy to Assemble
    • The lamp may looks mysterious, but its assembly definitely is not. No tools are needed for its assembly. You can be up and running in just minutes.

Product Specifications:

Height60.2”
Weight3.75 lbs
MaterialFabric Shade, Steel
Bulb TypeCFL
Warranty12 Month Replacement Warranty

#7.DEMMEX Turkish Moroccan Mosaic Floor Lamp(Best Conversation Starter)

Now, I know that some of you are into entertaining guests. Having a well-maintained home comes along with that territory. But, what if you had that extra pizazz to go with it? I’d like to introduce you to the DEMMEX Turkish Moroccan Mosaic Floor Lamp! This lamp is the definition of a showstopper. It is sure to spark up the conversation at first glance. This lamp may not be for everybody though… Curious cats, dogs, and children are sure to find the lamp just enchanting as the rest.

  • Handmade Mosaic Globes
    • Each of the nine globes is handmade and unique. No two lamp are alike. You will truly appreciate the craftsmanship of this. This lamp literally is a functioning work of art.
  • Very Sturdy
    • This piece is extremely sturdy. This is due to its strong steel frame. The frame will easily support the weight given to help your lamp keep standing.
  • Customizable Globes
    • You do have the option of customizing your globes. This can add your own personal touch to an already breathtaking piece.

Product Specifications:

Height70”
WeightNot Available.. But we’re sure it’s heavy.
MaterialMetal, Glass
Bulb TypeE-12 Candelabra
WarrantyNone

#8.Hsyile Lighting Crystal Floor Lamp (Best for Elegance and Ambiance)

Sometimes, you want to add a little class to your space without going overboard. If that’s the case, the Hsyile Lighting crystal floor lamp is perfect for you. It has a simple yet elegant design sure to make anyone in the room feel like royalty. This is one item I recommend getting two of for a complete set.

  • Real Glass Crystal
    • These are not some cheap plastic crystal pieces. They are the real McCoy. Heavy pieces of hand-picked and polished crystal allow for some of the most stunning light throws of any product on the market.
  • Steady Base
    • The stand and post are both constructed out of high-quality steel to ensure that your lamp stays upright even with the heavy top.
  • 24 Month Warranty
    • This product comes with a 24 month (2 years) warranty. If anything breaks due to product error, Hsyile will replace the entire unit.

Product Specifications:

Height59.1”
Weight18.5 lbs
MaterialCrystal, Metal
Bulb TypeLED
Warranty2 Year Limited Warranty

#9.Brightech Eclipse Floor Lamp (Best for Trendy and Minimalist Design)

Today, minimalism is all the rage. It’s hip and trendy. Adopting a minimalist style also opens up space in your room you never thought you had. However, it can be difficult to find furniture and appliances that maintain a minimal structure with maximum results. Our last Brightech submission on this list does just that. The Brightech Eclipse is ideal for those seeking a trendy fixture with powerful light emission.

  • Unique Design
    • This design is one of a kind. It has two light emitting rings that can be tilted or rotated for proper light projection.
  • Energy Saver and Cool to the Touch
    • This lamp comes equipped with energy saving LED fixtures that can stay on for hours and keep the lamp cool to the touch.
  • Built-In Dimmer
    • The lamp comes equipped with a powerful light source, but it can be dimmed down two levels. One at 50% brightness and the other at 30%

Product Specifications:

Height75”
Weight9.3 lbs
MaterialMetal
Bulb TypeLED Ring
Warranty5 Year Warranty

#10. Simple Designs Home Mother-Daughter Floor Lamp (Best Budget Floor Lamp)

Let’s face it. Sometimes, we just need a good lamp at a good price. Nothing too fancy, and definitely not too expensive. This lamp is just right. Our best budget floor lamp is the Simple Designs Home Mother-Daughter floor lamp. But just because it’s cheap, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have some useful features.

  • Adjustable Gooseneck Reading Lamp
    • The reading lamp is on a bendable gooseneck allowing you to direct light specifically for reading. The smaller lamp is on a power switch of its own making it completely independent of the taller lamp.
  • Plastic Shades
    • The lampshades are made of plastic. While not necessarily a desirable quality in high-end lamps, the plastic shades do offer some reprieve. They are much more durable than glass. Therefore, they’re much less likely to be broken. On top of that, the plastic shades do not heat up the way glass ones do. This means fewer burns from the shades.
  • Best Lamp for College Students
    • The durability and cost of this lamp make it the ideal lamp for college students. If for some drunken reason, the lamp is knocked over it is more likely to survive the fall. And if the lamp is broken due to a cause outside of its one-year limited warranty, it is much cheaper to replace.

Product Specifications:

Height71.5”
Weight9.35 lbs
MaterialMetal
Bulb TypeIncandescent
Warranty1 Year limited

Factors to Consider when Purchasing a Floor Lamp

Make sure to do your research before purchasing any floor lamps. This can prevent a lot of headache and regret. No need to be left in the dark on these issues.

What do Voltage Ratings Mean?

Is your lamp rated for 110V? Maybe 220V? Why is this so important? Most places in the United States operate off of a 110V power grid. So… when you plug in a device rated for 220V, you will not receive the full capacity of the product. Not only that, but the device will pull more electricity in order to try and run it.

This can lead to an increase in power bills. The device may begin to fail over time as well. You see, with reduced voltages, a higher current must be drawn in to compensate. This can start to break down the electrical components of your lamp leading to failure.

Plugging a 110V device into a 220V socket is much more spectacular. The 110V can receive up to 4x the amount of electricity it is rated for. An exploding light bulb is a minimal effect. This can cause severe damage to the lamp itself. Your lamp may no longer be able to work. On top of that… it’s a huge fire safety risk.

If you are planning on traveling or moving out of the country with your new lamp, check out these sweet safety tips that can keep you covered! Be sure that you know exactly what you’re getting into prior to buying that new floor lamp.

Lumens vs Watts

What exactly are lumens? According to lumens.com, lumens are:

“a unit of luminous flux in the International System of Units, that is equal to the amount of light given out through a solid angle by a source of one-candela intensity radiating equally in all directions.”

Right… what they said…

In layman’s terms, lumens equate to brightness!

But wait… doesn’t watts mean brightness too? In short, no. Watts are actually a measurement of how much energy is used. You see, back in the day, there were very limited styles of lightbulbs. Pretty much two categories.

  1. It worked.
  2. It didn’t work.

Actually, it was mostly just incandescent bulbs. As these bulbs, drew more energy they were able to get brighter. Thus more watts… more light.

Nowadays, things are different. With the introduction of LED bulbs to the playground, lumens and watts have begun to separate themselves. Ideally, you want to find higher lumens with a lower wattage rating.

It’s definitely become much easier with the assortment of bulbs out there.

Bulb Types for Floor Lamps

Luckily for us, there are many alternatives out there to standard incandescent bulbs.

  • Halogen
    • Halogen bulbs are quickly becoming the standard for replacing existing incandescent bulbs. Out of all the light bulbs types, Halogen bulbs emit the most natural light to that similar to actual daylight. They are more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, but are more expensive and burn hotter.
  • Fluorescent
    • These bulbs you will normally find in office and commercial buildings. They produce a large amount of flat blue light and last a very long time. These are an economical choice for brightening up basements and attics.
  • CFL
    • These bulbs–although more expensive– are a good choice of a lightbulb for household use. They on average last ten times longer than incandescent bulbs and save 4 times the amount of energy. When these bulbs do burn out, remember they can be recycled.
  • LED
    • These are the most recent lights to hit the market. More importantly, they are the most efficient lightbulb in terms of energy and tend to last next to forever. However, there are some drawbacks with these bulbs. At the moment, LEDs can only provide directional light emissions. This means they need to be clustered or provided with reflective guides in order to illuminate a whole room.

For more information on these different types of lightbulbs, check out this super neat article from HGTV.


Best Book Reading Lights of 2019

Whether you need a book light for reading in bed, or just need a book light to help improve your reading experience, I’ve taken the time to research, and test the best reading lights and book lights on the market.

In this book light review, we’ll be covering the best clip-on book lights for reading in bed, or for the mobile reader who wants a little light to help improve their reading experience.

Best Book Lights – Ranked Best to Worst

As you can see, we’ve listed the best book lights for you and included some of the differences between them like whether or not they are clip-on book lights, rechargeable book lights or whether they serve as a portable reading light.

Best Book Light Reviews

#1. RANIACO DAYLIGHT 12 LED READING LIGHT

The Raniaco Daylight 12 LED reading light gets my #1 best book reading light vote because not only is it the sturdiest of them all, it is the most powerful light with 12 LED bulbs and uses 3 adjustable brightness settings.  I found the adjustable lights incredibly important because it allowed me to change light intensity, thus making this the best reading light at bedtime.  Add that to the fact that this is the only one with 3-year money back guarantee, and it totally became my new best friend in reading.

The only thing I had against this one is that it isn’t the prettiest of them all.  However, I’m usually using these lights when in bed.  So, who am I trying to impress?

Features:

  • 12 LED Lights
  • 3 Brightness Levels
  • 3-Year Free Replacement Guarantee
  • Built-in 1000mAh Rechargeable Battery
  • 24-hour battery life
  • Weight: 4.2 ounces

So, check out this sturdy, well built, highly luminescent book reading light.  It’s got a permanent place at my bedside.

#2. LUMINOLITE RECHARGEABLE WARM 6 LED BOOK LIGHT

The LuminoLite book light is not as powerful as the Raniaco, holding only 6 LEDs.  However, like the Raniaco, it does have 3 settings for light intensity. Because of the lower light capability of the LuminoLite, the battery lasts much longer and also the light weighs less.  I personally am not too concerned with this, because I’ve found the weight difference of 2 ounces to be minimal, and would prefer a more powerful light source if I need it.  Also, while I thought the battery life would be very important, I’ve been reading for over a couple of months and haven’t had to recharge my book light since.  So, the battery life isn’t that much of a concern.

Also, while the LuminoLite claims to have soft/warm light, I didn’t see much of a difference but did like the light’s illumination path.  This reading book light also includes a 3-year warranty, which is nice.  Therefore, because of the dependability and light illumination, the LuminoLite gets my #2 for best reading light.

Features:

  • 6 LED Lights
  • 3 Brightness Levels
  • 3-Year Free Replacement Guarantee
  • Built-in 1000mAh Rechargeable Battery
  • 60-hour battery life
  • Weight: 2.4 ounces

#3. LUMINOLITE LED BOOKMARK READING LIGHT – BEST TRAVELING BOOK LIGHT

This gets the third spot in my list because of how sleek it is and easy it is to carry. Also, because of its flexible charging plug, it’s very easy to plug into my laptop while traveling.  Therefore, I decided to keep this one and permanently put it in my purse. The switch to turn it on isn’t bad either, with it being on the side.  This makes it so that it doesn’t inadvertently turn on like some of the others do.  I’ve had a couple of book reading lights run the batteries dead because the light was inadvertently turned on while I was traveling and I didn’t know it.  While not perfect, this one’s button design is better than most to stop this sort of thing from happening.

However, it only has 1 LED and boasts four light settings.  I found that the light produced, while soft and pleasant, didn’t show enough for my books.  Also, because the light isn’t diffused, it didn’t cover the entire area of my book.  Also, be careful with the battery life.  This one sports the lowest battery life of all.  But then again, I think that’s a sacrifice worth making for such a small and sleek light.

Features:

  • 1 LED Lights
  • 4 Brightness Levels
  • 1-Year Free Replacement Guarantee
  • Built-in Lithium polymer rechargeable Battery
  • 8-hour battery life
  • Weight: 1.5 ounces

#4. CESUNLIGHT RECHARGEABLE LED BOOK LIGHT – BEST HANDS FREE BED LIGHT

I’m personally not a fan of these types of lights where they hang off your body like this.  I like to shift around while reading in bed, and I found that every time I do this, I have to re-adjust my lights so that they are in place.  This made me a bit self-conscientious about how I read and position myself – which isn’t enjoyable.

However, with that said, I know there are many readers that dislike the ones that clip-on their books, thus adding weight.  I get that.  So, I decided to test a bunch of hands-free versions out there and decided these were the best bang for your buck.

Features:

  • 1 LED Lights
  • 2 Brightness Levels
  • No Replacement Guarantee
  • Built-in 700mAh Rechargeable Battery
  • 10-hour battery life
  • Weight: 3.8 ounces

#5. ELLESYE DUAL HEADS CLIP-ON BOOK LIGHT – BEST DUAL BOOK LIGHT

The Ellesye Duel head is a great clip-on book reading light that works best for those who want individual lights to highlight each page.  I get that.  It can be frustrating when the edges of the light don’t reach the entire page, and I catch myself straining my eyes as I get to the edge of a page.  If this is important to you, then look no further than the Ellesye.  It’s light weight and provides ample enough light with the two heads.  It also has the longest lasting battery life of them all.

However, I still believe the top two choices for best reading light provide enough light to catch all pages without having to hassle with two light heads.  Also, it doesn’t have any replacement guarantees.  Although, I didn’t experience anything that worried me about its durability.  The parts didn’t feel very cheap compared to others, and I didn’t see anything in the reviews that people experienced any unnecessary issues with its durability as well.

Features:

  • 10 LED Lights – 5 per head
  • 3 Brightness Levels
  • No Replacement Guarantee
  • Built-in 1000mAh Rechargeable Battery
  • 60-hour battery life
  • Weight: 3.2 ounces

#6. TOPELEK READING LIGHT – EASIEST ON EYES

Having 9 different reading modes to use, the TopElek gets my best rating for being the easiest on the eyes.  You can change the color temperatures, and brightness levels in order to get the light to the most optimal level for your eyes.  With the easiness on the eyes and 1.5-year guarantee, why isn’t it the #1 choice for best reading light?

I found the 7 LED lights underwhelming.  There were times I wish it had the extra 3 LEDs that the top reading light has.  I also wasn’t impressed with its weight compared to the others.  Although it compares to my number #1 choice, I’d of expected the TopElek to pack enough punch. But alas, it didn’t.

Features:

  • 7 LED Lights
  • 3 Brightness Levels, 3 Color Levels
  • 1.5 Year Replacement Guarantee
  • Built-in 1000mAh Rechargeable Battery
  • 60-hour battery life
  • Weight: 4.2 ounces

#7. ENERGIZER CLIP BOOK LIGHT – CHEAPEST AND LIGHTEST BOOK LIGHT

Although the Energizer Clipbook light is the lightest and cheapest of the lights, it’s light lacks in intensity, and does not have a replaceable battery.  The CR2032 are not a commonly owned battery and it only lasts 25 hours.  I found that this was very problematic and would cause issues for future long term use.

Features:

  • 1 LED Light
  • No Brightness Levels
  • No Replacement Guarantee
  • 2x CR2032 batteries
  • 25-hour battery life
  • Weight: 1.3 ounces

What to Look for in a Book Reading Light

If you’d like to learn more about book reading lights, be sure to check out these characteristics:

  • Rechargeable Book Light vs Replacement Batteries

    • Are you the type that prefers rechargeable abilities vs batteries? For readers who do a heavy reading at night, replacement battery costs may begin to grow expensive. If that’s the case, you should consider a rechargeable book light. Check for a model similar to this Mighty Bright.
  • Clip-on Book Reading Capability

    • Sometimes you need portability for your book light. Clip on book lights are great for on-the-go readers. Models like this LuminoLite may help you solve your dilemma of needing a clip-on book light for reading at night.
  • LED Light Intensity

    • Look for a book light with adjustable brightness. Excessive light intensity can damage your eyes– and keep your spouse awake at night. Maybe a book light such as this RYCYN would best suit your needs.
  • LED Color Settings

    • Studies have shown that different light colors can affect our eyesight. According to the EastWest Eye Institute, reading with excessive blue light at night can throw off your circadian rhythm and over prolonged exposure cause retinal damage. Look for a book light with multiple color settings such as the HOLIFE mini rechargeable light offered by Amazon.


KD Spy vs KDP Rocket vs Kindle Samurai [2019]

Welcome to the showdown between the big beasts of the world of Kindle keyword software!

In this article, we will delve deep into the tools which claim to turbocharge your Kindle publication efforts through strategic keyword research and competitive analysis.

If you’ve ever had the experience of investing your hard earned cash into a product or service which failed to live up to the hype, you know how badly it sucks. It can even cause us to become cynical, doubtful that any products are trustworthy and live up to the hype.

Thankfully, help is at hand. We have taken the time to test, explore and review the three big players within the world of Kindle keyword software: KD Spy, Kindle Samurai and KDP Rocket.

So, read on to discover –

  • How Kindle Keyword Software Can Help You
  • Kindle Keyword Software Deals & Guarantees
  • KD Spy VS Kindle Samurai VS KDP Rocket –  Features Compared
  • The NerdyBookGirl Pick For Best Overall Choice

By the end of this article, you’ll have a full understanding of how to make the most of your chosen Kindle keyword software, and which is right for your needs.

Benefits Of Kindle Keyword Software

Perhaps you’re sitting there thinking ‘why should I even care about this software?’. If so, I totally understand. It’s not immediately obvious why you would want to invest in something like this. In a nutshell, using keyword software can help you in the following ways –

  • Using carefully researched keywords in your title and subtitle can help the right readers find your book
  • You can write a book safe in the knowledge that there is actual demand for your idea before you get started
  • You can see how competitive certain niches are and whether they are worth your time
  • You can look for beatable competitor books which you can gain a solid competitive advantage over

Some people have moral qualms over keyword software, seeing it as ‘gaming the system’ or some other form of tomfoolery. In actual fact, there is no way to ‘game the system’. Do you really think Amazon would allow it? They have strict policies over keyword usage. If you violate them, your book will get taken down – simple as that.

Therefore, using keyword software is very much playing by the rules, and is simply a way of giving your book a helping hand.

Kindle Keyword Software Deals & Guarantees

Before we go deep into the features offered by each of our analyzed keyword software, I want you to feel safe in the knowledge that you can spend money without any risk. Therefore, let’s take a look at the guarantees offered by each software.

KD Spy – 60 Day No Questions Asked Money Back Guarantee

Kindle Samurai – 30 Day Conditional Guarantee (will only refund you if they can’t fix an error within 72 hours)

KDP Rocket – 30 Day No Questions Asked Money Back Guarantee

As you can see, you can try KD Spy an KDP Rocket with complete confidence in getting a refund if it’s not to your liking.

You need to be a bit more cautious with Kindle Samurai as they only offer refunds in the case of errors that can’t be fixed within 72 hours. This is a serious disadvantage over KD Spy and KDP Rocket.

KD SpyKDP RocketKindle Samurai
Price$47$97$9
Guaranteed Refund Period6030None
Standalone SoftwareNoYesYes
Windows CompatibleYesYesYes
Mac CompatibleYesYes3rd Paty Only
Shows Google Demand Data
NoYesYes
Shows Amazon Demand DataNoYesNo
Level of Keyword AnalysisBasicDetailedBasic
Level of Competition AnalysisBasicDetailedBasic
See Book Cover In AppNoYesNo
Read Reviews In AppNoYesNo

Kindle Keyword Software Showdown – Idea Research Comparison

Let’s take a closer look at one of the main purposes of Kindle keyword software – researching your book idea. We’ll explain the basic principle behind the process, before looking at each of our three contenders’ capabilities in turn.

The basic principle behind finding a good book idea is to ensure that there is demand for your idea in order to justify the investment of time required to write and publish it. This requires taking a quantified, analytical approach, in order to judge whether the amount of people looking for your idea justifies pursuing it further.

Now let’s take a look at each Kindle keyword software’s idea research capabilities.

KD SPY IDEA RESEARCH

KD Spy is more heavily focused on finding Kindle categories than it is on researching keyword ideas. However, it claims to be useful in that area as well, so let’s see exactly what it offers.

One way in which you can use KD Spy to research ideas is to check out its ‘word cloud’ feature which shows you the words used in titles of books selling well within a certain category. This isn’t especially useful as you just end up with a list of really obvious words that are heavily derivative and are unlikely to represent a new, original, book idea. It’s also next to useless for fiction, because who wants to base their title off a mashup of other fiction book titles?

The other main way to use KD Spy to research an idea is to conduct a search with a seed keyword. The software then uses what seems to be Amazon’s autosuggest function to generate a list of ideas based on what you’ve entered. You are given a red, yellow or green light for each, with green being the easiest to compete in, and red being the hardest. This is a bit basic as there is no easy way to differentiate between two ideas with the same color rating.

You can then go into each idea individually in order to look at more data on it, but this does not make it easy to compare multiple ideas at once, and KD Spy does not attempt to show you the number of searches for an idea on Google or on Amazon.

Overall, using KD Spy for the purposes of finding a good keyword based idea is not ideal. The software is more geared towards finding categories and therefore isn’t the best choice for idea research, as it lacks too many needed features, such as Google and Amazon search volume.

Kindle Samurai Idea Research

Kindle Samurai makes no secret of the fact that its main purpose is keyword research. It’s more limited in scope in that sense than KD Spy and KDP Rocket. So let’s see exactly what it’s made of and how it can be used to research a book idea.

With Kindle Samurai, you can enter an idea and it will use a mixture of Google search data and Amazon autosuggest to generate a list of keywords. The interface for generating keywords is a little bit clunky and confusing, especially in comparison with KD Spy and KDP Rocket. In general, Kindle Samurai is very much a no-frills option on the visual presentation side of things. It’s clear enough, but definitely not pretty. Think of using a spreadsheet and you have a good idea of what the user experience resembles.

For each keyword analyzed, you can see data such as the number of Google searches, the number of results for each keyword, the average price for books ranking in that keyword, and whether Samurai thinks the keyword is ‘bad’, ‘difficult’ or ‘excellent’. This is again a basic level of analysis, similar to the traffic light system used by KD Spy, which is not that useful. You have to do a lot of work to meaningfully figure out the difference between two keywords rated as ‘excellent’, for example.

Overall, Kindle Samurai is better for research than KD Spy, but has a lot of disadvantages. It’s also really ugly, so if you don’t enjoy staring at plain looking spreadsheets, this isn’t the software for you.

KDP ROCKET IDEA RESEARCH

KDP Rocket has made significant improvements to its functionality since launching. Let’s take a look at the process of using KDP Rocket to research a book idea through the use of keywords.

KDP Rocket has a much more intuitive layout than the other two keyword tools mentioned in this article – you can easily click a big, bright ‘keyword search’ button on its home screen. This attractive presentation is nicer than that found in KDSpy and a LOT nicer than Samurai, but what about the functionality? After all, a pretty package is useless if it fails to deliver core functionality.

To research idea keywords with KDP Rocket, you simply enter a seed keyword, and Rocket gives you a list of possible ideas, based on Google as well as Amazon search data.

The absolutely killer feature which gives KDP Rocket an advantage over KD Spy and Kindle Samurai is its presentation of both Google search volume for an idea, and estimated Amazon search volume as well. The estimated Amazon search volume is not found anywhere else – this alone makes KDP Rocket seriously worthy of your attention. After all, knowing how many people are searching for a keyword on Amazon itself equals some very useful, very actionable competitive intelligence.

The final way in which KDP Rocket has improved upon its older rivals is by offering a score between 1-99 showing the difficulty of competing for any given keyword. This is much better than the overly simplistic analysis found in KD Spy and Kindle Samurai. After all, it’s much easier to instantly know the difference between ideas with scores of 20 and 30 than it is to trawl through the data related to two ideas marked ‘green’ or ‘excellent’.

Overall, KDP Rocket offers a higher level of functionality than KD Spy and Kindle Samurai, and is more aesthetically pleasing and intuitive.

Kindle Keyword Software Showdown – Idea Research Verdicts

Best – KDP Rocket
Runner Up – Kindle Samurai
Worst – KD Spy

KD Spy comes in last place due to its extensive limitations as an idea research tool. Kindle Samurai offers a good basic level of functionality, while KDP Rocket is the clear winner due to several unique features not found elsewhere.

Kindle Keyword Software Showdown – Competitor Analysis Comparison

Finding a good idea is only one half of the cake – it’s also essential to determine what the competition is like for each idea, and to identify areas of potential competitive advantage, in order to ensure your book is able to convert search volume into sales volume.

In this section of our showdown, we’ll take a look at the competitor analysis capabilities of our three pieces of Kindle keyword software, before ranking them on this aspect of the book research process.

KD SPY COMPETITOR RESEARCH

If KD Spy is somewhat lacking as an idea research tool, it is a lot better as a competitor analysis software. This is somewhat frustrating as having one without the other is far from ideal.

To look at the competition on KD Spy, you need to first enter a keyword, in order to generate a results page. This is fine if you have the right keyword already, but as stated, finding it through KD Spy alone is less than ideal. On the results page, you can see the basic data needed to analyze the competition, such as the price of each competing book, the number of reviews, the average review score, the estimated sales etc. No complaints about the data here. However, the presentation is a little hard on the eyes, albeit not as much as Kindle Samurai.

It’s worth emphasizing once more that KD Spy is a browser extension, so you are required to have your browser open at all times while using Spy. This obviously leaves you vulnerable to the potential disruption of a browser crash ending your research session prematurely. This isn’t a major downside, however it’s something to be aware of.

One cool thing about KD Spy is the ability to track the rank of a book over a period of time – however this is only really useful if there is a specific title you are going up against. One downside to KD Spy is it does not allow you to see the book cover in the browser extension, only on the Amazon page itself. It also does not allow you to read the reviews for any given title in the extension.

Overall, the data provided with which to analyze the competition is decent, but the lack of a good idea research capability means that you’ll probably have to validate your initial idea elsewhere.

KINDLE SAMURAI COMPETITOR RESEARCH

Some people think that you can’t use Kindle Samurai to analyze competition. They’re wrong. You can – but probably shouldn’t!

For any given keyword, Kindle Samurai will show you the data for the front page for that keyword only. This is a serious limitation in comparison to KD Spy and KDP Rocket. It also presents the data in its trademark ‘ugly spreadsheet’ aesthetic. The data presented for each title is a little lacking – it offers the basics like rank, reviews, pages etc. but doesn’t calculate earnings for you, meaning you have to do math for each and every title (who wants that?).

You also can’t see the actual reviews for each book, only the average score, and you can’t see the book cover either. Seeing as the book cover is an absolutely essential aspect of competitive analysis, and reading the reviews is a must to judge areas on which to gain a competitive advantage, there is absolutely no point whatsoever in using Kindle Samurai as your competition research tool.

Overall, this is not good enough. The number of results shown is too few and the data presented is lacking. Kindle Samurai is not a good choice here.

KDP ROCKET COMPETITOR RESEARCH

We’ve established that KDP Rocket is the best choice for researching a book idea. However, can it go 2 for 2 and clean up in the competitor research showdown?

You can research a competitor in one of two ways on Rocket. Either use one of your ‘keyword search’ results, and open it in a new ‘competition search’ tab, or directly search for a keyword to analyze the competition on.

One cool thing about Rocket is the way in which you can easily go back and forth between the ‘keyword search’ and ‘competition search’ tabs. The presentation is also a lot more easy on the eye than KD Spy or Kindle Samurai.

So, what about the functionality and data offered?

KDP Rocket offers all of the standard data, such as the price of the book, the number of reviews, the average review score etc. However, it also offers aspects not found in either competing software.

Some of the unique aspects to KDP Rocket’s competitor research process include its calculation of both daily and monthly earnings, and the ability to see a full list of reviews as well as the book cover within the actual software itself. This is awesome. You can also see whether the reviews are verified or not – something not offered by the other Kindle keyword software, despite the fact verified reviews have a lot more weight on Amazon than unverified reviews.

This detailed, rich, qualitative and quantitative mix of competitive data, coupled with the seamless integration with the ‘idea search’, means KDP Rocket is a really powerful book research solution.

Overall, this is a fantastic function of KDP Rocket. It is impressive due to its presentation, unique data offered, and seamless integration with Rocket’s keyword search.

Kindle Keyword Software Showdown – Competitor Research Verdicts

Best – KDP Rocket
Runner Up – KD Spy
Worst – Kindle Samurai

KDP Rocket, once again, is a clear winner here. It offers better data presented in a nicer way. KD Spy is good, but the lack of a good idea search capability makes its competitor research a lot less useful than it could be. Kindle Samurai is simply not good enough when compared with the other two options.

Kindle Keyword Software Showdown – Final Verdicts

Now that we’ve taken a detailed look at the capabilities of all three software packages, let’s sum up the pros and cons of each, and see who might be the ideal customer for each option.

Kindle Keyword Software Showdown – The Winner

So, by now, a clear winner has emerged – KDP Rocket.

I truly feel that this is the best choice out there for both idea research and competition research, and I’m confident if you try it for yourself you will agree with me.

I like the fact that KDP Rocket has been created by a trusted, known name in the self-publishing community – Dave Chesson of Kindlepreneur.

I feel that the $97 price can easily be recouped through the profitable book ideas you’ll find with KDP Rocket. I also feel safe making this my top pick as the no questions asked money back guarantee means you can give it a go for yourself without worry.

You can read my in-depth exploration of KDP Rocket here.

So, there you have it. A guide to the world of Kindle keyword software.

Now go and rock it with Rocket, and send your book research into the stratosphere (what do you mean my puns are awful?!?).

KD SPY FINAL VERDICT

Good Points

Good for tracking a particular book
Decent competitor research functionality
Good for exploring categories

Bad Points

Only available as a browser extension
Subpar as an idea research tool
Averagely attractive layout

Is It Right For Me?

If your main focus is on Kindle categories, KD Spy could be worth checking out as a budget option. If you want to research your book idea, or analyze the competition, there are better options.

KINDLE SAMURAI FINAL VERDICT

Good Points

Cheap
Decent basic keyword research tool

Bad Points

No money back guarantee (only a conditional, obtuse promise to fix issues)
Spammy sales tactics (a fake discount countdown timer on the sales page)
Horrible presentation
Very lacking competition research capabilities

Is It Right For Me?

If you want to spend the least amount of money possible, and don’t mind the lack of a refund guarantee, you might want to check out Kindle Samurai. However, if you are in anyway serious about book idea research, you’ll eventually want to buy something better. So why not cut the wait time and buy something better right away?

KDP ROCKET FINAL VERDICT

Good Points

The highest level of functionality
The most attractive and intuitive presentation
Unique functionality in both idea and competitor research modes

Bad Points

A slightly more premium price (more than KD Spy) for an undeniably premium product

Is It Right For Me?

If you are serious about finding a book idea with real profit potential, and conducting the highest level of competitor research out there, KDP Rocket is well worth your attention. $97 for lifetime access is excellent. This does everything KD Spy does, but better. It also does a lot more.