Fun Bookish Recommendations!

Have you ever wondered what librarians use and recommend for their reading time and book-ish accessories? We all know you need a good reading light and a comfy chair, but check out these fun accessories and book-ish delights, below! These recommendations have been suggested by Smithton PLD staff members, and are NOT sponsored. They include services, products, apps, and more!

Smithton Public Library District

I love our library!  We carry the newest titles.  What we don’t have on our shelves, we can order for you from over 400 libraries in the largest consortium in North America — the Illinois Heartland Library System!

Going to the library with all its different tools and resources is still a joy and gets you out of the house.


Online card catalog:

Call us! 618-233-8057

Hoopla (website and app)

This app allows me to check out books from the library straight to my device.  There’s no waiting!

Using the app you do not have to wait for an item to become available, everything shown can be checked out. 


Smithton PLD, more info:

Search your favorite app store for “Hoopla.”

Photo credit: Amazon, Image Link

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

This Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is easy on the eyes!  I love reading in bed and this way I can stay up late and read without having a big reading light on.

Website: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

GoodReads (website and available as an app)
Image Source:, Image Link

I set a yearly challenge on this website of how many books I want to read in the year.  I also get recommendations and find new authors that I like.  I keep track of all of the books I’ve read, along with ratings.


Libby, By Overdrive (Paired with the Kindle App)
Image Source: Libby, By Overdrive Marketing Materials – Brand Guidelines, Image Link

The Smithton Public Library District now offers patrons access to the Libby app. If you love to read with the Kindle app, but don’t like paying for Amazon Kindle e-books, this set-up is for you. Patrons can use the Libby app to download Kindle titles and read them either on the Libby app itself or through the Kindle app or on an actual Kindle e-reader. I enjoy using the scroll feature (like you’re reading a webpage) of the Kindle app. I read so much faster and I can take the Kindle app with me anywhere that I have to wait.

Search for the Libby, By Overdrive app on your favorite app store. Click here for more information about the Libby, By Overdrive on the website.

Search for the Kindle App on your favorite app store.

Bluetooth Remote Control Page Turner (ring)
Image source:, Image Link

OK – full disclosure – I do not own this item, but it’s on my wish list! This item connects to the included ring.  You put the device on your Kindle, and you can turn the pages by clicking a button on the ring.  You can read in bed with your arms and hands nice and toasty under the covers!

Website: Find it on Amazon.

Project Gutenberg (website)
Image Source: Project Gutenberg, Image Link

A free public domain ebook site, where you can find Classic literature and a whole lot more.   Really helpful for when your high schooler suddenly announces:  “I’ve got to read ‘Treasure Island’ by Sunday!”


Image Source: Wikipedia, Image Link

Librarything is primarily a site where you can catalog your own books.  However, I find it really useful for its users’ book recommendations.  If you type in the title of a book you really liked, you can pop up recommendations for other titles which readers found to be similar.  Really great for finding new authors/titles you might enjoy.


A daylight-spectrum lamp
Image Credit:, Screenshot from this Amazon link.

This type of lamp provides great lighting for reading or doing crafts.  The link shows a few of the different lamps available on Amazon.  This is a more expensive investment, but might be something you want to investigate.

Website: Find it on Amazon.

A battery-powered book light

Image Credit:, Screenshot from this Amazon link.

Most of the time, I have access to a spot with good lighting for reading.  However, I am really ecstatic that I have a battery-powered book light on those long evenings when there’s been a power outage!  This article suggests some good book lights to check out.


Book Darts

Image Credit:, Screenshot from this Amazon link.

If you really have a hard time remembering where you left off in your book, these might help.  They are a small arrow-shaped type of bookmark that slips over a page like a paper clip.  You can line it up on the page edge at the exact sentence where you stopped reading.  You can also use them to mark lines you want to remember later.   I received these as a gift once and they are pretty nifty. (Note:  you may also find them by searching for “Page Points” or “Page Nibs”.)

Website: Find it on Amazon.

Homemade Bookmarks

I love making my own bookmarks from maps or photos, or anything flat like stickers, posters, preprinted unique quotes or even four leaf clovers.  I use leftover Kapco plastic, but also have used lamination or even packing tape.

Special Book Bag

I keep a special shoulder strap bag at the ready with notebook paper, a few notecards and pens.  I just add a book as I’m out the door to be prepared for any downtime on my outing or appointment. 

Hoopla here, Hoopla there, Hoopla everywhere

Hoopla in the Car:  I love to travel and have found downloading titles from Hoopla to be a great way to pass the miles.  By downloading the book in advance, there is no need to access wifi – the book is there at the ready when you are.

Hoopla at the Gym:  If your book is downloaded from Hoopla to your device, it is easy to listen while exercising at the gym.  Personally, I am not an avid gym person, so having an audiobook on my device helps the time fly.  I’ll often workout a little longer to get to a stopping point in my audiobook.

Hoopla for Kids Books:  I’ve enjoyed finding children books that are also available in short videos on Hoopla.  My grandchildren and I enjoy watching and listening, while following along with the Library hard copy of the book we checked out together.

Website: Click here to find more information about Hoopla on our website.

Find Hoopla on your favorite app store!

You can now search the new library card catalog to see all of our digital offerings, including Hoopla titles!

About the author

Smithton Public Library

The Smithton Public Library District is located in southern Illinois, near St. Louis, MO. The library serves nearly 5,000 residents. We hope you visit us soon!