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Tips and Tools for the Serious Reader

Updated on January 21, 2019
Leland Johnson profile image

Despite his appreciation movie watching, Leland sees himself as an avid reader as well as an out-doorsy type. He is a man of many interests.

Better Tools, Better Reading Experience, Better Learning

Are you still jamming 3x5 cards between the pages of your books? Still reading an entire paragraph that you've already read because while your book marker saves your last page, it doesn't take you to the last sentence you read? (Yes, I am talking about actual books here folks, not Kindle, Ibooks, etc.)

The tools I am about to show you will not only make reading more fun and less frustrating, but more efficient too. In fact I am so confident as to how much you will love the items discussed in this article that I bet you add them to your shopping list immediately. For me, these are must haves!

Sharpie Gel Highlighter

The top end of the gel pen features a rotation knob that advances the gel tip as it wears down form use.
The top end of the gel pen features a rotation knob that advances the gel tip as it wears down form use.

Highlighting that Works Great Without Smearing or Penetrating Through the Next Page

The Sharpie Gel Highlighter feels like a hybrid between a gel pen and a crayon. It moves so smoothly and gently across the page and yet it doesn't smear or go through to the other side. This is especially helpful for Bible study because the pages in Bibles tend to be much thinner (a lot like pages in a phone book) than your average on-the-shelf tome. I've given several of these highlighters away to friends and co-workers and it is so much fun to watch their facial expression morph into that of delight as soon as they try it out. That's how I give it to them. I say, "Hey, check out this highlighter, just highlight something, anything." They do and that's it. They instantly HAVE to have it. I've found this item at Rite-Aid and Walmart.

Page Points

Page Points: One of my Favorite Tools for Reading

These nifty, kitschy, little do-dads are so helpful! Not only do they keep your page, but the also mark precisely where you left off. This may seem petty, but I think a lot of readers feel this way: I hate going back to the book I've been reading and re-reading an entire paragraph because I can't remember where I was went I put the book down the day before. Yes, a book mark keeps you on the correct page, but it doesn't keep you on the correct sentence. I highly recommend changing that in your reading practice. Page points are thin and slide over the edge of any page. Two caveats:

  1. Be careful not to slide one under your fingernail. Ouch! I've had it happen- once!
  2. I suggest only marking one page at a time. Trying to cram a page point over multiple pages can cause it to bend, and once bent, they DO NOT work well.

Magnetic Page Points

I found these little guys at Wal-mart.  I think it would make a great gift idea for the "reading dad" on Father's Day because they resemble a tie.
I found these little guys at Wal-mart. I think it would make a great gift idea for the "reading dad" on Father's Day because they resemble a tie.

Magnetic Page Points

These page points serve essentially the same purpose as Levenger page points/nibs/darts. They maintain both last page and last sentence positions for the reader. Their functionality is different. While the metal Levenger points slide over a page, these magnetic points open and clamp on the page like a fish mouth. I find them just as helpful and possessing a special flair- they look like miniature ties for men. Two caveats:

  1. These do not work as well as their metallic counter parts for bible study because they are heavier.
  2. While sturdy enough, they can tear apart if handled roughly as the seam uniting the two magnetic components isn't exactly robust.

Page Inserts

This item was initially imposed upon me by a friend who hated to see me writing notes in the margins of my bible.  I was resistant at first, but grew to appreciate the helpfulness of this tool.
This item was initially imposed upon me by a friend who hated to see me writing notes in the margins of my bible. I was resistant at first, but grew to appreciate the helpfulness of this tool.

The Elusive Page Inserts

Despite my best efforts I have been unable to find this item on Amazon, E-bay or even the Levenger website. I hope you have better luck.

Conclusion

There are so many great items available to enhance the reading experience, but I've limited this list to my favorites and those I have personally used with much success and satisfaction.

Other retailers for similar items include: Barnes and Nobles book chains, Rite-Aid, Wal-mart, Kmart stores, Big Lots, as well as local stores in your area. Give some of these ideas a try and make reading fun again!

Adhesive-backed Page Inserts

The idea of this item is to allow the reader to make notations in a book he/she is reading without actually writing in the book itself. I was introduced to page inserts by a friend who couldn't bear to see me writing in the margins of my Bible, something I see as evidence of a true student! However, to humor him, I began using them and was surprised at how much they grew on me. I still write in the margins of all my books, but for people who don't want to or who want to retain the value of their books for resale purposes, page inserts are an excellent alternative to defacing your pages, whether you're a "true student" or not.

Page inserts come with an adhesive strip on one side that comes off and allows the page to be inserted into your book. It's that adhesive that comes off easily should you wish to remove the page later so it really is win-win.

© 2019 Leland Johnson

Comments

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    • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Leland Johnson 

      16 months ago from Midland MI

      haha- I've always wanted to work in ads :)

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      16 months ago from UK

      Maybe you could start a whole new trend.

    • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Leland Johnson 

      16 months ago from Midland MI

      Liz- You just gave me an idea: They should have a page point in the shape of a "dog ear." Wouldn't that be cool! Then we could really say our pages are dog eared. :)

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      16 months ago from UK

      You give great advice. I could have done with page inserts when I was studying English literature. They could have saved a few bibles too. The page markers definitely beat my folding over a corner of the page.

    • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Leland Johnson 

      16 months ago from Midland MI

      Hi Vivien! Thanks for reading and commenting. I'm in the same boat when it comes to sales. I've been thinking about that though, funny you should mention it. I'm wondering if the products I discuss are generally just to narrow for my audience? eg, recently I wrote about kayaking and listed some on sale via amazon and I don't think it got any traction. Maybe this stuff will be better because its smaller and more affordable? We'll see.

    • Noelle7 profile image

      Vivian Coblentz 

      16 months ago

      So many people on hubpages insert affiliate product listings with a very weak description of personal use and application. You did a great job pitching these, and your photos are great.

      Do you have a lot of success in general when using Amazon affiliate links? My stats show I sometimes get hundreds of clicks, but it seems I rarely have a sale!

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