I\’m Too Sexy for My Master\’s Thesis


two tools you must buy

Posted in tools by Rae on 16 June 2006

I get a thrill from finding great computer-based tools that can aid my research. As much as I love geeky tech stuff, nothing can replace two particular physical, hold-in-your-hands tools that I use on a daily basis.

I thought I was the world’s biggest (greatest?) fan of page tabs, until I started using them for research. The primary sources I use are circa WWI and the adhesive on the tabs does a number on the paper. In the pic of the tabs below, you can see some that have torn off bits of paper. It breaks my heart…

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But Book Darts have changed everything. They’re cute and get the job done superbly well, the tin is lovely and convenient, and the price ($30 for three tins containing a total of 375 darts) is far superior to that of Levenger’s Page Points ($83 for 375)! I don’t normally write infomercials, but that’s such a huge difference that I couldn’t help but point it out. I love browsing Levenger’s catalog, but they’re obviously going for a group of readers with significant incomes. Even if I did have lots of money, I’m too much of a bargain hunter to pass up a great deal on as practical an item as Book Darts.

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Here is Father Inch's review of this fab product:

Unlike the “other brand”, Book Darts are the cat’s meow of bibliomarkers. They fit tightly on the page (unlike the alternative, which is loose on the thinner pages), so that one does not leave off reading with the haunting fear that the marker will slip off (either accidentally or on its own volition). In addition, the lip that enables one to slip it onto the page is much more subtle than the competitor’s crude version, thus producing a slimmer profile when one examines the book from the side, and producing practically no dent in the page, even after a period of time (the competitor’s version feels compelled to leave evidence of its presence in the form of a slight nick on the page). My conclusion: Book Darts rule.

In case you need more proof, here are before and after pics.

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Awesome, right?

The other tool is a book weight. I have three, though the one shown below is the best of the bunch (and was about $10 at Borders). I usually have a few books open at one time when I'm researching, and it's convenient to have a tool that works so well. Sure, there are lots of other heavy objects one could try using, but I've tried them all and they don't compare. Other books are too big; cell phones are too small; a pencil case works well, but not if you need to take out a pencil, eraser, or sharpener. I also use my book weight on airplanes, as it frees up my hands for snacking and nail biting.

With:

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Without:

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Cats can also be used as book weights:

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But I assure you they can only provide a temporary solution.

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3 Responses to 'two tools you must buy'

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  1. Linda said,

    I’ve been using the Borders book weight since you inspired me with it last year. It has become indispensable to my own multi-tasking: knitting while reading anyone? the multi-tasking keeps me awake.

    One of these days I’m going to start with the book darts too.

    Do you know any good sources for dry highlighter pencils? I’m sure Levenger’s has them but at the expensive price. I’ve seen some at Pencilthings, but am still shopping.

    thanks and have fun.
    L.

  2. mistress said,

    Do you know where I can get my hands on a nice gray kitty book weight? (Temporary solution suits me; fast reader of fiction.) Or perhaps you can provide a loaner kitty so that mine can be properly trained in the one paw per page technique?

    Nice post, Rachel 😉

  3. Rachel said,

    Linda, I’ve unforunately never bought dry highlighter pencils, so I can’t help you out! The places where I usually buy pencil and paper supplies don’t seem to sell them.

    Mistress, I may *have* to provide a loaner kitty…


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