Okay, I’ve got to be honest. When I came up with this idea, I thought that five sounded like a great number. Then I sat down to write it and couldn’t even come up with five big purchases. It took almost two weeks of thinking to get the number up there. I’m not sure what that says about me, but I’m sure there’s something.
I have a hard time allowing myself to spend money. If I want something, I hold off on buying it for anywhere between a few weeks to several months. Even things I need get “rationalized” so I don’t have to spend the money immediately. It’s unhealthy, it’s a problem, I’m trying to get better at not guilting myself for wanting things.
What better way to do that than to give people on the Internet a look at things I want?
Kindle Signature Edition
I’ve been thinking about getting one for awhile. Early this year, I started borrowing more books from my local library and re-discovered that I loved it. More than half of those were ebooks. They aren’t my favorite way of reading, but I have to admit that they’re really convenient. The idea of being able to carry hundreds of books with me everywhere is the biggest draw I have to the device. That, and I’ve seen a lot of my Bookstagram friends raving about their Kindles and how convenient it is when they travel or commute.
I’ll admit that part of it is the FOMO. Most people I know have a Kindle or had one in the past, and I feel a little left out. In previous years, I was very adamant that I’d never get a Kindle because I had an iPad Mini that I read on very often. But that Mini now six years old and doesn’t always charge when I plug it in. It’s also getting really slow because Apple products just aren’t designed to last that long (no shade, I love Apple but it’s true). I think it’s also throwing a tantrum because it heard me saying I want a Kindle, so last week, it shut down unexpectedly and spent a few hours retrieving its own data.
Seeing so many bookish friends take cute pictures with their Kindle leaves me feeling like I’m one of the last people to get on the bandwagon. If my Mini decides to un-alive itself, then I’ll be stuck reading on my phone, which I’m not the biggest fan of. And yes, I also want it because it makes for a cute prop in photos.
The lower price of e-books is also a major plus. New releases aside, most e-books tend to be a lot cheaper than physical books. While I’m a strong proponent of always having physical books, sometimes e-books are the way to go. Especially when I’m not sure if I’d like the book, I’m less willing to spend money on it. In those cases, I’d rather buy the e-book or be able to borrow it from the library to read. And it also makes it easier for me to keep up with the NetGalley ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) that I’m chronically behind on.
Another reason I’m justifying this purchase is Bookly. I use the app on my phone to track my reading speed/time, and I’m not a fan of having to switch between the Kindle app and Bookly every time I start or stop reading on my phone. It’s such a dumb thing to say, but I feel like I waste precious reading time just because I’m trying to pause my reading session on Bookly or want to add a quote. The fact that Kindle highlights are automatically connected to my Goodreads makes it super convenient too.
I know that the Kindle is currently back-ordered because it sold out really quickly after being released at the end of October. I’m also trying to look for a place in Singapore that might sell them at the same price Amazon US is selling them, which hasn’t been successful so far. Most likely, this will be my Christmas present to myself that arrives after Christmas because of international shipping.
Qwerky TYPEWRITER KEYBOARD
V.E. Schwab has one, so I want one too. That’s the whole reason.
Okay, that’s not entirely the reason, but it’s a very big part of why I want one. I’ve seen several people with modern typewriters and the more I see them, the more I want one. But knowing me, I won’t have much use for a functioning typewriter, so the next closest thing is a typewriter keyboard.
I’ve played with old typewriters a couple of times at interactive museums and once at a store that randomly had one sitting out (maybe shouldn't haven't done that...). It’s so interesting to feel the way the keys work and how different their clicking sound is. I’m convinced that there are few things as satisfactory as the sound of a typewriter moving. While I’d have to give up the amazing ding and swish of the paper reaching the end of the machine and pushing it back to the beginning, I’m happy enough with all the other features to know that it would be worth my money.
The one I’ve been eyeing is expensive, but the details are so gorgeous. I love the gold edges and how elegant it looks. Just look at it! Tell me that's not one of the most beautiful keyboards you've ever seen.
Both the black and white ones are stunning, so I haven’t quite decided which one I want, but that’s for future me. It’s not an important purchase because I don’t necessarily need it. Rather, I’m saving it as a reward for myself when I accomplish something big.
Also, I’m lowkey convincing myself that having this keyboard will make me feel more like a “real writer.” I don’t know why, but I feel like it would boost my confidence and consistency with writing. AND it makes for a great prop in photos, so it’ll really be worth the money for how much I’m going to utilize it.
JBL LIVE 650BTNC HEADPHONES
My last pair of headphones had a rather unfortunate ending. I put them aside one night and a few days later, they were dead. Wouldn’t charge, wouldn’t play any audio when it was plugged in, nothing. Trying to get them to work was a frustrating half hour before I finally gave up and let them go. They were a cheaper pair off Amazon that I didn’t expect to last very long, but I was sad that they barely even hit the 6 month mark before giving out.
After quite a bit of research, I’ve settled on replacing the old pair with these JBLs. The battery life is great, lasting 30 hours without ANC and 20 hours with. And since I don’t like having to charge my headphones every day, that makes a big difference for me. It also has something called multi-point connection, meaning that I can switch between my laptop and phone if I’m listening to music and need to leave the house or answer a call.
I'm not the most audio-savy person and won't pretend to understand all the things about hearing a clear bass or wanting crisp high-hats (is that a thing?). I leave all that to my best friend. Jemi has a pair of JBL earbuds that she's sworn by ever since I've known her. I've tried them and I know how amazing they sound, so I'm basing this entire decision around knowing that she loves the quality of those earbuds. Not that these are the same. I'm just trusting her taste in electronics, which hasn't failed me so far.
I love that these headphones work with and without a wire so I can use it with my phone and with my laptop. With my old pair, I used the wire constantly with my laptop because it saved the battery. But I do love being able to use wireless headphones so I don't do that awkward walk-away-and-get-dragged-back-by-the-wire thing. Plus, if I get the Kindle, it could also wirelessly connect to that for audiobooks.
These aren’t super high up on my list since I do have another pair of earbuds that are still working quite well despite being almost three years old. But the battery life is capped at 6.5 hours and slowly diminishing as time goes on. Still, they’ll be fine for several more months while I save up for these.
SOME KIND OF EXTERNAL MIC
If I keep up with YouTube, I’d like to have an external mic for sit-down videos. All my broadcasting classes have taught me the importance of using something to capture audio separately so I can ensure that they’re all clear and of the highest quality.
I don’t know a ton about mics outside of what I’ve learned from my broadcasting classes, and to be honest, I wasn’t really paying attention in those because I “wasn’t gonna go into broadcast.” Past me didn’t have the foresight to think of what future me might want to do with YouTube. Sigh. But I do remember enough to have a vague idea of what to look for. Online reviews will be doing a lot to help me pick the right one when the time comes.
What I do know is that I want a standing mic, not one that clips to a table or computer monitors. For some reason, I don’t really like the look of those that clip to tables. It almost reminds me of being in a recording studio but without it actually being a recording studio. Plus, the small standing mics that fit on desks are much easier to travel with if I wanted to bring it with me to film sit-down videos when I’m not home.
I’ve looked online at a few different ones to see what size most mics are and what the price range is for a quality one. It also means I kind of have an eye on a model I like. The color is nice, the size works, and I like the specs too. But, I’ll keep looking around for other models that might suit my needs more and hurt my wallet a little less.
A GOOD HAIRDRYER
Long story short, my last hair dryer had something melt inside and started spitting burnt plastic at me while I was trying to diffuse my hair. I arranged for it to be returned to Amazon immediately.
The problem with finding a good hair dryer is that I don’t just want a good hair dryer, I want one with a diffuser. The diffuser is more important to me than the hair dryer, in all honesty. Most diffuser bowls are pretty small, which sucks because I have long hair and a lot of it. There’s always the ability to buy a good diffuser separately, but making sure it fits the diameter of whatever hair dryer I get is the tricky part.
Ideally, I’d be able to afford the Dyson hair dryer. But do I have $600 laying around for it? Absolutely not. Even if I wanted to save for it, I’m not sure I can justify a purchase of that price tag just for the hair dryer and diffuser, knowing that I’d never use the other attachments. Of course, I’d be paying for the brand name and the power of the little thing, but unless it’s going to magically dry all my hair in less than 30 minutes, I can’t bring myself to say that it’s worth the money.
One of the most important things is that I need the hair dryer to have a variety of temperature and speed settings. It’s part of following the Curly Girl Method - cutting out heat - and also a personal preference because I don’t like hot air blowing at my head all the time. If it were up to me, I wouldn’t use a hair dryer at all, but since I’m still transitioning my hair from straight to its natural waves, having a hair dryer and diffuser helps my hair learn how to hold shape and dry faster (air-dry time is currently around 6 hours).
My goal is to find a powerful hair dryer that won’t break the bank, and then order the Xtava Black Orchid Diffuser so that my hair can fit into the massive bowl and I can avoid standing for an hour as I diffuse my hair. It’s a famous diffuser for a reason and I think it’s one of the few out there that could hold the amount of hair I have. I’ve seen people with more hair than me use it comfortably, so I know it’ll work for my purposes.
It’s nice to have the room to want and save for things again. I’d almost forgotten what it was like to be employed and receive a paycheck, but it’s a good feeling.
Of all the things on this list, the hair dryer and Kindle are at the very top. I know they’ll be put to good use if I got them. Both will last me a long time and will make me a very happy girl.