I have been writing for most of my life. Short stories. False starts on novels. Three different newspapers and two radio stations. Heck, even as a lawyer I spend most of my day writing and editing. And, of course, here at Gear Diary and Just Another Mobile Monday. And let me tell you, I have suffered for my art. I have spend countless hours hunched over my desk in positions which would probably make a chiropractor insane, editing documents from early in the day until late at night. I know this can’t be good. And the fine folks at Levenger’s, who are well known for their tools for readers and writers, agree. With my semi-permanently curved spine, and dozens of others just like it, in mind, they designed the Editor’s Desk. Now, some of you may be shocked to find such a low tech “device” on a site like Gear Diary. But really, as a writer, there are few things I can think of that would be more useful than the four pieces of wood included in this box.
I was a little surprised when it arrived to find that it had shipped with some assembly required. Somehow, I had it in my head that it would simply fold flat.
No problem, though. The instructions were easy to follow, and I quickly assembled the four pieces of wood into my new Editor’s Desk in just shy of five minutes.
One nice touch was the parts box. This includes the small plastic bag filled with the screws, dowels, nuts, and other small pieces you will need for assembly.
Heck, even the Phillip’s Head Screwdriver, which is the only tool you will need, was included. Typically, this bag is left floating around in the larger box, destined to get lost among the Styrofoam shipping blocks. Of course, Levenger’s has thought of this.
They contained the parts bag in a small box. And rather than leave this box to float around, it was secured to the upper flap of the main box by a red ribbon. This ensures that you will not miss it or lose it in the large outer packaging. A perfect touch.
The assembled desk was considerably larger than I expected. Measuring in at 25×23×11, the main section is wide enough to comfortably hold two stacks of 8 1/2 by 11 sheets (or three stacks if you really cram them on there). I was extremely impressed by this. Still, it did require over half of my desk once assembled. It would be nice if it could fold flat for storage when I am not using it. The lip on the bottom is even raised higher near the middle, meaning that the Editor’s Desk can handle even the most unwieldy stack of papers with ease.
In the front there is a recessed pen shelf which runs the entire length of the desk. This means all of your editing tools (I prefer red pens and hi-lighters) will always be at your fingertips. This is perfect for someone like me who is always hunting for the preferred pen when I sit down to edit a document.
Finally, the back ledge is designed to hold a commonly used referenced book. The idea here is that it can be held open by the shape of the ledge, meaning you do not have to try to hold a book and edit a document at the same time. Not only is it held open, though, it is also secured at an ideal height and angle for glancing at the pages. This is a great addition, and my reference books have found a permanent home on this desk.
Of course, all of this is secondary to the main attraction, which is the incline of the desk. As I mentioned, editing for me usually involves sitting at a funny angle, hunched over a stack of papers at my desk. The Levenger’s Editor’s Desk mimics the same angled surface used by monks and scribes for centuries. In fact, the flat writing surface is a relatively recent innovation (if you can call it that). Upon using the Editor’s Desk to work on a document, I immediately noticed a change in my work posture. Instead of hunching over my desk, drawing my nose closer to the papers, I was able to sit straight, the angle brought the papers closer to me. The only downside I can see is that I am about to become even more of a writing snob than I already am. Editing on a flat surface seems almost barbaric now. I only wish that there was a “mobile” version of the Editor’s Desk which I could bring with me to meetings.
The Levenger’s Editor’s Desk comes in two finished, and I will have to borrow images from their website to share them with you:
I opted for the Natural Cherry, and I think it looks fantastic. Of course, if the Editor’s Desk sounds like it might be a bit much for your space (it does take up a significant portion of my desk, but is very much wroth it); you might want to check out the collegiate version.
The collegiate version offers exactly the same features as the Editor’s Desk, but it is considerably smaller at 18×21×10 (again borrowing the image from Levenger’s).
Both the collegiate and standard versions of the Editor’s Desk offer a transparent writing surface, which is a thin plastic sheet which lies on top of the Editor’s Desk, and practically disappears when used (it is shown wrapped in the shipping materials). This offers two advantages. First, you can slide pictures or important documents under the overlay as decorative displays or helpful reminders. Second, not only does it provide a more comfortable writing surface, but it also significantly protects the surface of the desk from scratches and other damage.
What I Liked: This is one of the few writing tools I have used which is truly good for my health. Every feature is fantastic.
What Needs Improvement: It would be nice if it could fold out of the way for storage when I am not using it.
Where to Buy: Levenger’s
$98 (collegiate version)
$24 (transparent writing surface)