As I've mentioned before, it is my habit to annotate and even to extra-illustrate books I'm reading. Imagine the frustration of being cuddled down with a really interesting book while in a comfy chair with a hot mug of tea on the side table, and finding that there is no pencil nearby! Horrible. Well, it's horrible for me anyway. By the time I've grumbled for a few minutes and then forced myself out of the cocoon, I'm distracted by something else, have forgotten the book as well as the pencil, and then my tea has gone cold.
This happened one too many times, so I came up with a remedy: a little desk. Now I do have a reproduction wooden lapdesk but it's clumsy and heavy (made of particle board!) and not really efficient to tote around. (I've even tried to sell it at yard sale and no one else wanted it either, the poor sad thing.) My solution came in the form of a couple of old cardboard boxes (filled, once upon a time, with stationary) that came from the dollar store. I scouted extra bits and pieces from my desk, and filled the boxes up. Perfect solution. Zero dollars spent!
One little box lives on the writing table in my dining room; it's easy to pick up and carry anywhere while also juggling a book and the obligatory mug of tea. It has little extras that are necessary for thorough reading.
Pens, pencils, paper clips, page flags, stapler, bookmarks.....
.....scissors, glue, ruler, notepad, sticky notes, and more.
The boxes are quite small: 8 1/4 X 7 X 1 3/4 inches, about the size of a book, and the two tier structure allows me to keep lots of small items inside in a fairly tidy fashion.
The contents of the box I keep on the beside table are similar, although a little less intense, and they include an extra pair of reading spectacles (just in case) and a small bookreader's light.
With extra bookmarks and some cute stickers because, hey, who knows when you'll need cute stickers!
Now the world today is full of ready-made stuff of every description, so I'm sure there are versions of my little desks that are easy enough to find. And the world is also full of all sorts of Makers and Doers who have a truly intimidating array of DIY skills of every sort, so someone else could undoubtedly do better.
I'm ordinary. I used whatever I had on hand. My boxes work very well for me because I can adapt them to just what I really need as a reader; there's nothing I don't need (even the cute stickers). And they make me smile whenever I'm reading whatever I'm reading--they don't have to be perfect, just fun and useful.
Life is good. Really, really.