Thursday, July 12, 2012

Read a book: Done! (Part 2 of 2)

The early Harry Potter books were only a couple hundred pages each, so I was able to stick them in my bag and read them while I waited for the shuttle. However, the later books were insanely thick, and I could no longer easily transport them. Eventually, I decided to get a Kindle.
Obviously, every Kindle needs its own case. I visited the Salvation Army and bought two books that might be able to fit the Kindle inside. Eric Carle's "My Very First Book of Words" would be the ironic option, and the Harry Potter book would have significance in that it got me into reading fiction. 

Based on my experience in cutting secret compartments into books (this would be my third), I ultimately decided on the Eric Carle book because it was a board book and would hold its structure more easily. I was in a bit of a rush at the time, so I used clear tape to temporarily hold it all together. I have since replaced all the visible tape with double-sided tape (which everyone should have... it's magical!). I also stuck magnets on each side of the case (right below the surface pages) to keep the book from drifting open.

Because the Kindle uses E-ink instead of an LCD screen, it minimizes glare, but is useless in the dark. I wanted to see if I could make a simple gadget to supply a light source. After a bit of finagling with basic supplies I had lying around, I came up with a design that uses a small binder clip, a medium binder clip, 2 LEDs, 1 cell battery, and a small strip of paper. The medium binder clip is used to attach the contraption to the custom Kindle case.

Surprisingly, binder clips conduct electricity decently well. I used one of the arms of the binder clip to be the on/off switch. In the first picture below, the arm pointing off to the left side of the picture leaves the circuit open, so the LEDs stay off. In the picture on the right, I have flipped the arm so that it rests on the battery, thus completing the circuit and turning the LEDs on.

Here is what it looks like in the dark.

Some people have asked what the point of all this is. Yes, I know there are all sorts of cases and lights made for the Kindle, but by ThaiBinh standards, that would just be too easy. There wouldn't be anything to blog about and share with all 1 of my followers.


  1. Does the blogger statistics count the people who subscribe via RSS feed?

    Also, congrats on getting back into reading. I have to say that I really do get way more excited than I have any right to be when I hear that someone's getting into reading again (or for the first time). Keep it up! There's so much great stuff to read.

  2. Keep with the amazing ideas, and the reading too!

  3. You have no idea how attracted to you I am right now.

  4. try to sand the leds with a sandpaper to get more diffuse light! :D its better for read!

    sorry about my english ;)

  5. This is an amazing idea! Thank you for sharing!