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.

5 Pumpkin Recipes You’ll Love This Fall

5 Pumpkin Recipes for Fall

Fall is upon us and you know what that means — time for pumpkin everything! If you find yourself craving a bit more time in your kitchen as the weather cools and the days get shorter, we’ve got just what you need to bring the warm, cozy (slightly healthier) tastes of fall into your home! Add these five pumpkin recipes to your fall favorites, and don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest for even more kitchen inspirations. Happy cooking!

1. Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

From Sally’s Baking Addiction

Pumpkin and Oatmeal Cookies
There’s nothing quite like warm, fresh-from-the-oven oatmeal cookies when fall rolls around. What makes these seasonal treats even tastier? Pumpkin, of course! This particular recipe lists three different variations of the same recipe, that way you can test and try out a few different cookie combos. For easy step-by-step instructions (and delectable photos along the way), click here!

2. Creamy Pumpkin Soup

From The Comfort of Cooking

Creamy Pumpkin Soup
This savory soup is just what you and your family need to balance out all the sweet baking you’ll be doing this fall! Talk about a versatile recipe — this soup is the perfect dinner solution, especially once temperatures start to drop. Make a batch and top it with extras for a complete meal, or make it as a side dish to complement your main course at a dinner party. For the recipe details, click here!

3. Pumpkin Spice Granola

From Joyful Healthy Eats

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Granola
Homemade granola is easy to make and healthy to eat! This pumpkin-spice version is the perfect topping for granola, fruit, and really anything else you can think of! Double your batch so that you can keep some for yourself, and then give away the rest to friends and neighbors as a Happy Fall treat. Read the full recipe, here!

4. Roasted Pumpkin Seed Hummus

From Half Baked Harvest

Pumpkin Hummus
Try this hummus and we know you’ll be finding reasons to make it all season long! From crackers and pita bread to sandwich spreads and salad toppers, this roasted pumpkin seed hummus goes with just about anything. The recipe uses simple, wholesome ingredients and is easy to follow. Details here!

5. Pumpkin Waffles

From No. 2 Pencil

Pumpkin Waffles Homemade
This is one the kids will love! Saturday morning breakfast just got a hundred times better with these pumpkin waffles. Check out the step-by-step instructions here along with tips for keeping your waffles crispy (never soggy!) when serving for a crowd — perfect for when your kids want to host a fall slumber party!

What are you excited to cook up in the kitchen this fall? Share your favorite fall recipe with us on Facebook! We’d love to try it out ourselves. :)

Vote For Your Favorite Reading Nook & Win!

Here at, the only thing we can think of that’s better than reading for hours on end — is reading for hours on end curled up in a cozy nook. We’re hosting a contest to determine which of these DIY Home Bloggers’ reading nooks is the most spec-tacular!

Check out the reading nook designs below (click through each nook for a closer look!) and vote for your favorite to be entered to win a $100 Home Improvement Gift Card, $50 Gift Card, and Kindle Paperwhite!

Chernee's House Jenna Sue's Designs Our Fifth House Pretty Handy Girl Windmill Words Image Map

Now that you’ve seen them all, see the official rules, and vote for the one you think is most spec-tacular below! You may vote once per day until the contest ends on July 29. 

How to Enter

Input your email address in the quiz form above and select the reading nook you want to win! Remember, you can enter up to once a day.


The blogger whose reading nook design receives the most votes will be selected as the winner of the contest. An individual who voted for the winning design will also be selected at random as a winner. Both individuals will receive the following (amazing!) prizes:

  • $100 Home Improvement Gift Card
  • $50 Gift Card
  • Kindle Paperwhite

Official Rules


Rediscover Classic Records Online

Hobbies & How To's

From step-by-step tutorials to helpful hints, the family is always up for trying new things. Join us each month as we consult the experts in fields ranging from social media to antique hunting in our Hobbies & How To’s series, and hopefully learn a thing or two along the way! 

4 Ways to Find Music Online

While nothing quite compares to spinning those classic vinyl records with your family in the living room, there are lots of new, convenient (and free!) ways to listen to your favorite music on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. Check out our list below and discover all the new places you can listen to all your past favorite hits! Maybe you’ll find that your favorite songs aren’t so hard to find after all.

1. Spotify

Spotify LoginSearching on Spotify

Spotify is a free, easy-to-use music streaming application that you can download for your desktop computer, smartphone, or tablet. When you install Spotify, you are asked to create an account by using either your email address or your Facebook profile. Connecting to Spotify through Facebook will provide you with lots of ways to connect with your friends over music. You can message your friends back and forth, sending them your latest favorite tunes, and you can follow the playlists they’ve created on their own accounts. Also, by linking through Facebook, your Spotify activity will show up on your profile, allowing your friends to see the songs you’ve been rocking out to lately.

There are lots of different ways to use Spotify. Keep it simple by just searching for your favorite band or song in the search bar and begin listening instantly! However, if you want to begin creating your own personal streaming library, you can add songs to playlists, discover new music recommendations based on your previous listens and likes, and browse and follow playlists created by other users in Spotify based on genre, mood, popularity, and new releases.

Download and install Spotify here!

Recommended Playlists


2. Pandora

Pandora Sign UpCreating a Pandora station

If you aren’t already hooked on using Pandora, you probably will be after learning more about it. Pandora is internet radio tailored to your own personal taste in music.

Here’s how it works: Sign up for Pandora by creating an account using your email address and choosing a password. Then, create a station by choosing a genre of music, an artist or band, or a song that you like. Pandora then automatically generates songs you might like based on your station selection. If you do like what Pandora plays, click the thumbs up button. If you don’t care for it, press thumbs down, and Pandora will skip to a new song you might like better. By giving the thumbs up/thumbs down feedback, the “smarter” your station becomes. Give it a try — you’ll be amazed at some of the songs Pandora digs up.

Create a Pandora account here!

Recommended Stations

  • Earth, Wind, and Fire Radio
  • Today’s Adult Hits Radio
  • Fleetwood Mac Radio


3. iTunes Radio

iTunes RadioiTunes Radio

Chances are, you already use iTunes to store music you’ve purchased and listen to on a regular basis. To keep up with the growing number of online music streaming services, however, iTunes is now more than just a place to buy and catalogue MP3s. iTunes Radio functions in a way similar to Pandora. You can create a station based on an artist, song, or genre, and then star the song to generate more songs that are similar, or skip the song if you don’t care for that selection.

Another unique feature on iTunes is Genius. There are three components to the Genius feature on your iTunes dashboard. Genius playlists create a playlist with songs in your own library. All you have to do is select one song, click the Genius icon, and the playlist will automatically generate. Genius will also recommend new music for you to purchase on iTunes based on songs in your current library. With all of these smart features, you’ll never be out of suggestions for new music to explore.

Download iTunes here! You’ll need to create an Apple ID if you don’t already have one. For more on creating an Apple ID on your iPad, click here.

Recommended Stations

  • Led Zeppelin Radio
  • iTunes Top 50 Radio
  • “Saturday Night Fever” Radio


4. YouTube

YouTube searchYouTube music video

YouTube is not only a great way to listen to music, but a great way to watch music videos and live performances from your favorite musicians that you either missed or want to relive.

Finding a YouTube video is as easy as searching for the song you’re looking for in the search bar. Like videos that you enjoy by pressing the thumb icon, and YouTube automatically saves it to your Liked Videos playlists so you can go back and watch them again and again. Another convenient feature of YouTube: related and similar videos will show up in the sidebar of the video you’re watching, so you can keep browsing until you find exactly what you’re looking for. Be careful — this is what makes YouTube so awesomely addicting!

Recommended Channels


How do you love to listen to your favorite music? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook! And if you need further help walking through each of these online music tools, send us a message on Facebook and we’ll be happy to help!