They Are Good for Leaning On!
- Davide Panagia, Impressions of Hume. Excellent surface for younger child to lean on while sitting in back of car drawing cartoons of people farting and defecating. Note: be sure you have the hardback.
- Peter Mendelsund, What We See When We Read. Adequate surface to lean on while sitting on sofa at 8am on a weekday morning writing note excusing elder child from P.E. Note: for this purpose the paperback is just fine.
They Hold Up Screens!
- Samuel Richardson, Clarissa. Handy stand for iPad so kids can watch insufferable Disney show while eating ice cream at same time. Note: I used the Penguin unabridged but I suspect you could obtain similar results with the Broadview abridged (if you try this let me know how it works in the comments!). The iPad should be leant against the volume; if it slides down you may need to use a slimmer volume (any monograph should do the trick) to prop it up at the front and wedge it securely in place. This method should also work with other brands of tablet.
They Can Be Jumped Over Without Injury or Breakage!
- Jesse Molesworth, Chance and the Eighteenth-Century Novel. Grudgingly accepted as substitute for a laptop, younger child’s first choice of object to jump over on sofa. Note: your child will probably only accept the substitution if you are able to maintain the fiction that jumping over the book is an accomplishment. While it would be somewhat impressive for a young child to be able to jump over, say, the Penguin Clarissa (not so much the Broadview), jumping over a monograph is clearly not all that impressive, even for quite a small child, so you may find yourself struggling to maintain the façade. Yet maintain it you must. N.B. This actually connects with Jesse’s argument about how modernity is all about magical thinking. Just go with it.