Make Your eReader Yours.


Get an eReader for Christmas? Here’s how
to customize it for your personality type.

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read. – Groucho Marx.

Electronic readers are designed to be functional. They’re engineered to help the average reader carry around an entire library of thousands of books at once. It’s important for the manufacturers to house that capability in a simple to use device that’s smaller than the average hardback best-seller. What they’re not made to do is to accommodate every style, every functional need outside of the plastic (or aluminum) shell.

Think of it as a pre-fab house. The structure is there, but it’s up to you to decide how to fill it up and how the rest of the world sees it from the outside. That’s where this list comes in. We’ve selected the best of the cases out there for Amazon’s Kindle™ eReaders; mainly because there’s such a wide selection of cases available. Where it’s appropriate, we’ve also noted the cases that are available for other popular eReaders, like the Barnes & Noble Nook™.

Jump to your personality type with the links below:


1. The Big City Commuter

Your eReader isn’t just a hobby, it’s an integral part of your daily routine–like coffee and keeping an eye out for that passenger who’s teetering between being the subject of a poem or a police report. It’s the time on the train or in the carpool van that circumstance and necessity have set aside for you to read without guilt, without interference, without having to drive.

The cases we chose for you are stylish, modern and shouldn’t invite too many conversations while you’re busy trying to read.

You probably own: Kindle Paperwhite

What you probably have (or should have) in your reader:

Recommended cases for you:

  • Grey felt and Italian leather folio.
  • Linen newsprint case with leather closure.
  • Classic magenta notebook-style case with orange elastic closure.

2. The Grandma or Grandpa

Sure, we know that there are as many types of grandparents as there are types of people. There are grandmas who are yoga instructors, pilots, lawyers, engineers, and Senators; grandpas who are authors, school teachers and athletes. But the list we picked out for this category is for storybook grandparents — the ones who bake cookies and fly kites; who know that there’s a time and a place for making a huge, satisfying mess; whose refrigerators are covered with photos, drawings and handprints.This is for anybody who, when asked “what do you do?” says “oh, I have grandkids!”

You probably own: Kindle Fire or Kindle Paperwhite

What you have (or should have) in your reader:

Recommended cases for you:

  • Bright Green car ride-proof, oops-resistant case with carrying handle. (Kindle Fire only)
  • Purple, water-proof, drop-resistant case for grandparents and grandkids who are reading chapter books. (Kindle Paperwhite)

3. The Artist

Your eReader isn’t just the way you get inspiration, it’s how you share the way you feel about the world. If you’re exuberant, if your heart sings, if your brush strokes are wild and colorful and full of life, it shows in the books you read, and the cover you choose.

You probably own: Kindle Fire

What you have (or should have) in your reader:

  • The War of Art: How to Break Through Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles. Steven Pressfield.
  • Free access to 400,000 images from the Met’s online collection.
  • Sara Urist Green and husband/author John Green’s weekly Art Assignment video series.

Recommended cases for you:

  • Slide-on case with watercolor bird and wallpaper collage.
  • Folding case with vivid brushstroke stripes.
  • Folding case with dogwood blossoms photographed against the sky.

4. The “All Business”

Your eReader isn’t a way to express yourself, it’s a way to keep yourself informed. The case you get doesn’t need to get attention or make a statement, it’s not the elevator speech for who you are and what you love. It just needs to protect your device as effectively and unobtrusively as possible.

You probably own: Kindle Paperwhite

What you have (or should have) in your reader:

Recommended cases for you:

  • Harris tweed slip-on cover.
  • The lightest, thinnest leather cover out there.
  • Simple, black cover with built-in hands-free stand.

5. Style Maven

You use the inside of your reader to keep up to date on the best of what’s currently out there. Whatever reader you have, it’s probably filled with color, design and wish lists. The outside should have as much style.

You probably own: Kindle Fire HD

What you have (or should have) in your reader:

Recommended cases for you:

  • Kate Spade handbag. It’s not a Kindle case, but who says you can’t keep one in here?
  • Leather, manilla envelope style slip-on case.
  • Jonathan Adler black and cream question mark case.

6. The Farmer’s Market

You have a couple extra bags in the trunk, just in case. Or in the basket of your bike. You can thump a cantaloupe and tell if its ready; tell a ripe green apple from a green unripe one. You prefer counting miles your food has travelled over the amount of calories it has. More likely than not, you’ve signed a petition enthusiastically.

You probably own: Kindle Paperwhite

What you have (or should have) in your reader:

Recommended cases for you:

  • Patchwork wool slip-on case with leather closure.
  • Striped wool slip-on case with button closure.
  • Leather folding case with sunflowers.
  • Leather folding case with honeybees. (only available for Kindle Fire)

7. The Athlete

You get up early because that’s what you have to do. Not to meet some New Year’s resolution, but to meet the expectations you set for yourself. You push because it’s who you are and the way you choose to live.

You probably own: Kindle Fire

What you have (or should have) in your reader:

Recommended cases for you:

  • Waterproof, shock-proof, hard tablet shell.
  • Otterbox™ super-tough, Defender series shell with stand.
  • Waterproof, wearable case with neck lanyard.

8. The Maker

You like to do things yourself — sew things, glue things, bolt things to steel. You know how to drive a straight nail or stitch a straight hem. You cook, you bake, you take things on. You’re a woman who doesn’t need a pink drill, a man who doesn’t need the instructions.

You probably own: Kindle Fire

What you have (or should have) in your reader:

  • Make Magazine. From robots to 3-D printers; bike-powered, DIY cell phone chargers and more.
  • Mental Floss Magazine. It’s not about building anything but your brain.
  • Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs has a blog and a plan to make things better for all of us.

Recommended cases for you:

  • Make your own denim Kindle case from an old pair of jeans.
  • DIY case made out of wood and a bamboo sushi mat.
  • Cheerful felt case that just seems like you might have made it.

9. The Bedtime Reader

You do most of your reading at night. You don’t need bells and whistles, because you’re trying to wind down and other people might be trying to sleep. If you’re trying to read yourself to sleep, you might want to read about Mindfulness here as a way to learn to control the pace and tenor of your thoughts. If night is just the place you prefer to read, because that’s what you’ve always done, please, read on.

You probably own: Kindle Fire

What you have (or should have) in your reader:

Recommended cases for you:

10. The Sci-Fi Fan

You might have a vast collection of memorabilia or a hidden penchant for Firefly. You might have t-shirts that broadcast which fan clubs you’re a member of, or a secret folder of bookmarked fan fiction. Either way, you crave lasers, faraway worlds and the sense that there is such a thing as a misunderstood hero who can rise above his past to save a universe or two.

You probably own: Kindle Fire

What you have (or should have) in your reader:

Recommended cases for you: 

  • Chewbacca blowing a giant bubble gum bubble.
  • C-3PO in a suit from a long, long, long, long time ago.
  • The Tardis. From the time, in the distant past when there was such a thing as a phonebooth.

Shop Reading Glasses for Digital Devices Here>>>

Five Reasons You Only Need to Make One Resolution This New Year


“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—G** damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”

Kurt Vonnegut. From God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.

There’s only one resolution any of us need to make this year, and it’s this: to encourage ourselves and those around us to be kinder, better people; to look around for the hurt we can fix, the good we can do and the ways we can effectively help. Even the best of us have room to be more forgiving, more patient and more empathetic.

We could all learn to follow the Boy Scout campground rule socially and try to leave every person we meet better than we found them. It’s not just that being kind or fair makes us feel warm and fuzzy or gives us the chance to be smug when no one’s looking, it’s that treating each other well is a provably better way. There is even some speculation that the most efficient way to be selfish is to be generous; that we earn far more dividends in the long run by extending kindness than we do by being bitter or angry. Here are 5 reasons being kind is the only resolution you need to make this year:

1. Being Good to Others Lowers Your Blood Pressure

How many of us have tried cutting out salt, taking ACE inhibitors, losing weight, or giving up nightcaps, all in the name of getting our numbers down into a range that will make our doctors nod in approval? What if we could get part of the way there, have a head start, race ahead of the mall walking, dessert shunning and teetotalling to a better resting diastolic? What if that way was to give time or money to a charity organization that helps other human beings?

A study done by Piferi and Lawler in 2006 showed a direct correlation between charitable contribution and lower resting systolic pressure, diastolic pressure and heart rate. To make it even better, the same study showed a connection between those participants who gave social support and receiving greater “social support, greater self-efficacy, greater self-esteem, less depression, and less stress”.

To put it succinctly, if you help others more, you receive more help…and, oh, by the way, it lowers your blood pressure. For ideas on direct charitable giving to incredibly effective, but underfunded organizations, go to GiveWell.

And here are two others, closer to home, that you might consider:

Timmy Global Health

The Wounded Warrior Project

2. Helping Others Helps You Live Longer

Teach somebody to read, help a neighbor fix his fence, bring dinner to a shut-in and you’ll not only feel great about yourself, but you’ll live 22% longer. An analysis of over 40 scientific papers showed that people who help others get an average of ⅕ more life in which to help. While the study didn’t prove conclusively where the benefit comes from (whether a boost in, say chemicals like oxytocin, associated with positive emotions, or the direct social benefits of helping were causally related to the increase), there seems to be tremendous longevity benefit when it comes to lending a helping hand.

3. You’ve Heard of the “Runner’s High”? Well, There’s Also a “Helper’s High”

It turns out that, under clinical studies, the act of contributing to another person’s well-being actually releases endorphins — the chemical responsible for that sense of euphoria that runners experience as a result of a really great workout. It’s not just that helping can make you feel good, it’s that biologically speaking, there’s a direct chemical path between helping and feeling really, really good.

4. The Economy Runs on Trust

There’s been a lot of talk in the recent decades about the importance of competition in the Free Market. Our laws against monopolies are designed to sustain competitive environments. And in recent years, we’ve been running socio-economic experiments to determine whether increased competition from private charter schools makes for a better educational system. But, with all the talk of competition, we may forget that trust is absolutely fundamental to our economy (Forbes, July 2010).

In 2010, the World Bank estimated that, in the US, $12.4 trillion was directly attributable to established systems of trust. If the father of economic theory, Adam Smith, was correct and all economic systems are built on a foundation of specialized individual skills, Person A must trust Person B do whatever task that Person A does not have the time or resources to do. It follows, then, logically, that the less we trust one another, the more resources we are obligated to spend defending our own interests against each other.

5. Kindness is Contagious

For the first time in 2010, two researchers (Christakis and Fowler) were able to prove in laboratory conditions that cooperation and acts of kindness ripple outward through social interactions. That is, each kind act makes another kind act more likely to occur. In the study, research showed that not only did kindness propagate through a social group, but that it was likely to multiply by 3. A single smile at a barista will, on average, result in three smiles between the barista and customers, the customers and each other or the customer and a co-worker later in the day.

Whatever else we resolve to do or to be in 2016, let’s resolve to try to be kind to one another. If we try to understand where others have come from, what kind of day they might have had and choose to respond with kindness, it will make things better. Maybe not immediately and maybe not in every situation, but if we just keep trying, we will live longer, live better lives and pass that chance on to people around us.

Six Holiday Gifts That Can’t Possibly End Up in the Closet


It’s buying season; shopping season; bringing home boxes and bags and lists season.

It’s that time of year when we’re all obsessed with finding the perfect thing — an entire list of perfect things. But, what do you do for people who already have too many things? What do you get for kids or grandkids who can only own whatever they can move onto campus in a minivan? Or, the aunt and uncle who are downsizing to retire to Santa Fe? What do you get for the friends and the family who say “you know what…I honestly can’t think of a single thing I need”?

We’ve built a list of six gift ideas that are perfect for those friends. These are gifts that come from the bottom of your heart and will never end up in the back of a closet.

1. Philanthropy.

Make a donation in your loved one’s name.

Especially for someone who says they already have everything they need. There are plenty of people, causes and organizations that simply do not have everything they need and would be grateful for the support.

Timmy Global Health

We might be a tiny bit biased, because we partner with Timmy Global Health, but we’ve teamed up with them for a reason. Timmy is headquartered near us in Indianapolis and does amazing, much needed work — bringing medical care to communities in need around the world.

This has been an incredible opportunity for us — to provide UV-blocking sunglasses to a farmer in South America to protect her eyes from the sun, or to give a weaver in Africa the bifocal readers that will help him earn a living. (For more on our partnership with Timmy, read here.)

Heifer International

What’s not to love about giving people in need exactly the things they need to help themselves? Donations in a friend or family member’s name can provide a farm animal, clean water or even a small business loan to a community that will use the gift to gain an economic footing and move toward sustainability.

Building Tomorrow 

Another charity with a goal of community self-reliance, Building Tomorrow promises communities in Uganda materials and plans to build schools in exchange for community buy-in to help build and support it. What starts as a project that brings the community together becomes a long-term center for transformation and economic progress. (There’s a beautiful animation explaining what they do here.)

If you’d like to find a charitable organization that supports a cause that’s close to your heart, go to for information on which not-for-profits make the best use of your contributions.

2. Culture.

Consider a gift of the arts.

North American Reciprocal Museum Association

Many large cities have shared memberships between local museums, zoos and other similar cultural sites like, botanical gardens. Take a look at the North American Reciprocal Museum Association website for information about which museums offer membership plans that will give you member’s only access to partner museums around the country.

NPR membership

Admittedly, a coffee mug does take up physical space, but there’s always the option to turn down the gift you receive with membership to Public Radio. Find out more about benefits of becoming a supporting member of your local station here.

International Performances Live

Local movie theaters around the country host broadcasts like the Taming of the Shrew performed by the Bolshoi Ballet (Jan. 24th, 2016) and the opening night of TED Talks 2016 (Jan. 15). Go to Fathom Events to find more information on upcoming dates and times.

3. E-Books/Audiobooks.

When physical copies take up too much time. Or space.

For people with no space left on their shelves, eBooks are a perfect way to replace physical copies with something that doesn’t need to go back to the library. For people with no time to read, audiobooks might be the better answer.


Because its parent company,, offers an enormous selection of eBooks, Audible only carries the audio version of everything from contemporary best-sellers like The Martian, to classics like Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s.


One of Audible’s biggest competitors, Scribd, has a lower monthly fee and offers both audio and eBook versions of its selection.

Yes, Please

Amy Poehler’s hilarious memoir, featuring appearances by Seth Myers, Carol Burnett, Patrick Stewart and others.

Doing Good Better

Oxford Associate Professor of Philosophy William MacAskill on ways to maximize the effectiveness of philanthropy.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Truman Capote’s classic, read by Dexter star, Michael C. Hall.

Stumbling on Happiness

Harvard psychology researcher Daniel Gilbert on why we’re all so terrible at figuring out what might make us happy and gives insight on how we can change that.


Lauren Hillebrand’s acclaimed story of Louis Zamperini’s will-driven journey through danger and desperate times.

4. Share a Documentary.

Sometimes, there’s nothing better than sharing some idea that moves you, in the hopes that you can share the depth of feeling that it evoked.


If someone you love doesn’t have an account, consider giving them online (and possibly TV) access to an incredible selection of movies, including some of the best documentary work out there for around $10 a month. See details of gift memberships here. Or, buy $30 gift cards here.

Tim’s Vermeer

A digital video pioneer sets out to prove that one of the world’s best known artists used state of the art optical devices to help paint his masterworks.

20 Feet from Stardom

The inside stories to some of the most famous backup singers in Rock and Soul music history.

Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry

The story of controversial Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei, whose work openly criticizes and defies his government. Ai Wei Wei’s work takes many forms, but much of it points out the imbalance between the human-driven Chinese industrial machine and individual identity and civil rights.

Life Itself

The story of film critic Roger Ebert whose witty, thoughtful and sometimes exuberant reviews were driven by a deep, abiding love for film, and life.

The Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Werner Herzog’s exclusive look at the science and magic of cave paintings sealed off by a rockslide for 20,000 years.

5. Apps.

There’s an app for nearly everything.

The best part about owning smart phones and tablets is customizing them to do the things that help fuel our obsessions, organize our days and enrich our lives.


The best app for people looking to start daily meditations or those who just need help taking a few minutes to relax and reconnect with themselves.


Your kids and grandkids are probably posting photos of their lives on this. If you want to see them at their happiest, most unguarded and most photogenic, join them on Instagram. It’s easy to install, easy to use and one of the most reliable ways to get an answer to the question “so…what have you been up to?”

List App

Actor and Comedian B.J. Novak (NBC’s The Office) helped found this startup dedicated to creating and sharing lists. Celebrities and other, non-famous users have compiled hundreds of lists (so far) dedicated to what they love, hate, fear, remember and look forward to. The results are fascinating. Here are a few examples.

6. Podcasts.

We are in a second golden age of radio.

But this is radio you can play when and where you want to listen. You can chose to listen to months or years of the same show, or spend months discovering the best episodes of a whole world of shows. A lot of the work being produced is available for free (and perfectly legally) if you know where to look for it. Consider gifting a list of the best of what you’ve heard; stories that touched your heart; interviews that made you laugh out loud. Here are a few resources to get you started:


One of the top podcast players around, Stitcher can play podcasts, download the latest episode of any podcasts you’d like to listen to regularly and will make recommendations based on what’s trending and new or their listeners’ favorites. The application is free and requires no monthly subscription for content.


This is easily the most talked about podcast series to date. It’s the ongoing story of Adnan Syed — a high school football player convicted in 1999 of murdering his ex-girlfriend. NPR’s Sarah Koenig takes listeners through 12 episodes in which the case against Syed is measured against new evidence, ethical standards and basic, rational thinking.

Found My Fitness

This is the site and accompanying podcast of Dr. Rhonda Patrick, who discusses the latest information about the connection between food, gut fauna and physical health. Topics have included the correlation between Vitamin D deficiency and a variety of health issues and which nutrients that seem to prevent cancer, but may also make existing cancers worse.


An NPR sponsored site where listeners submit their favorite podcasts. This is an incredible way to find the best of what’s out there.

[Note: For those familiar with NPR, the podcasts listed on are not produced, edited or censored by National Public Radio and may contain potentially objectionable material.]

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