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Growing up I was a voracious reader. I wiped out whole children’s sections of libraries and put major dents in the adult fiction shelves. College, however, changed things. Sure, there were plenty of books for classes that were interesting and even some that I really liked, but reading for class just wasn’t the same as reading for pleasure. I could probably count the number of books I read for pleasure during college on two hands. And I didn’t like that fact one bit.

So you ask, why didn’t you just buy a book and read the damn thing?!? Well, the problem is once I get back in the reading mode, it becomes a 2- or 3- book per week endeavor. And as a poor reporter (seriously poor), I can’t really afford to spend $100+ a month on books. And as for the library, that worked out really well when I was growing up, but nowadays I don’t really like thumbing through books that dozens (maybe hundreds, thousands) of others have touched.

So I finally decided to solve both problems once and for all: I got an e-reader. I absolutely love my Nook Simple Touch. True, it lacks that tactile sense you get when you’re holding a book, but I really like being able to go to the next page with just a simple tap. (I’m lazy.) As for borrowing books, OverDrive, the library e-book lending system, is doing me wonders. The great part about having lived in so many places in recent years is having library cards with multiple library systems, which means I have much broader access to library e-books than most people. Score 🙂

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My first order of business was to make a cover/case to protect my new Nook. Most of the covers sold in stores are rather plain and overpriced, so I decided to make my own with some materials from Jo-Ann and Walmart (total cost was less than $10).

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Step 1: Using a box cutter, cut two pieces of very hard cardboard (about 1/2 cm thick) that’s roughly 1 inch larger than your e-reader on the top and bottom and 3/4 inch larger on the sides.

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Step 2: Place both pieces of cardboard on your fabric of choice. (In total you’ll need one fat quarter.) Make sure to leave approximately 1 inch of space between the two. Then cut the fabric so it’s roughly 1 inch longer on each side.

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Step 3: Fold over the excess fabric, and using a permanent fabric adhesive that doesn’t require ironing (such as Peel n Stick Fabric Fuse), attach the fabric to the cardboard.

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Step 4: Cut another piece of fabric that’s the same size as the first one. Hem the sides with the fabric tape, making sure this second piece of fabric will fit perfectly as the inside lining.

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Step 5: Place your e-reader on the inside lining and use a pencil to lightly mark the spots where you’ll need to sew the elastics (whereby the elastics won’t cover any of reading area). I just cut 2 hair ties in half, but you can also use thicker elastics. Using thread that’s the same color as the elastic, sew them onto the inside lining, adjusting as needed to make sure the elastics are tight enough to securely hold your e-reader.

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Step 6: Using a scrap piece of fabric (1 inch wide, at least 8 inches long), create a small rectangular piece for your strap and then fuse it onto the case. Then fuse on the cut-out or fabric patch of your choice onto the outer side of the strap. Then use fabric tape to fuse Velcro onto the other side (both pieces of Velcro).

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Step 7: Add some padding to the spine. I used bubble wrap, but you can use fabric scraps, cotton batting, felt, fleece….whatever is flexible.

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Step 8: Then attach the inside lining to the case.

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Step 9: Place your e-reader inside and then close your case. Pull the strap over to the front so you know how far it will reach. Then place a piece of fabric tape on the back of the Velcro and press down to attach the back side of the Velcro to the front of the case.

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Tada!

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As for the first few books in the lineup? Mitch Albom’s The Time Keeper (a wonderful reminder to treasure life’s every moment and to be grateful for what we have); George Martin’s A Game of Thrones (as much fantasy as it is, it offers quite a few lessons in leadership, management, communication, and strategy); Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck (fun and insightful points on womanhood; my favorite is the purse story); and John Grisham’s The Litigator (another by one of my favorite authors!).

Read on, bookworm.

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