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Gadget for reading while lying down

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Sasha, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I spend a lot of my time having to lie down (I aim for 15 mins/hour, which is about four hours a day at least) but find myself putting it off and resting less than I need because it's so boring! I'd like to be able to read a book while lying flat in bed with my head on the pillow and the book directly above my head. I've tried lying on my side and holding the book in my hand but it's not possible to do it and be fully relaxed; plus I wear glasses and they get squashed sideways so I can't see properly. I really do need to be flat on my back.

    I've found this bookstand by Levo, which stands on the floor and has an arm and rotable book-holding bit that would be great. It's very expensive, though: US$190 on that site and 142 at the cheapest in the UK here (note that that's the price when you declare that as a disabled person you're VAT exempt for it, UK people!).

    I'm loath to spend such a lot of money and to have something so clunky in my small bedroom. Has anyone seen something that does the same job but cheaper? Or can anyone suggest how to cobble something together out of cheap stuff to make something that does the same job? I don't have a headboard on my bed or anything to clamp something to (but other people might so don't let that stop you putting ideas forward for everybody!).
     
  2. serenity

    serenity Senior Member

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    Austin
    i have this, & have not found it to work very well. you can't really fix the problem of gravity. the pages are not held well & are difficult to turn if they are held well. so far for me it doesn't work, but i haven't tried that hard. havent had it that long & have a hard time using it - you know, admitting i need it. so, yeh, i haven't tried lying on the couch in a semi upright position. all i did was try it in bed & no go. my husband & friend tried to help me figure it out & neither of them got much of it etiher. my mom got it for me in an attempt to help me read again, & i appreciate it, but so far no go.
     
  3. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Thanks, danib - that saves me worrying about whether to shell out such a huge amount!

    That's a good point about gravity. It made me wonder about maybe trying to find a sort of perspex arch, maybe like a short version of this coffee table (well not this exact one, it's 200!). I could put the book on top and read it from underneath! In fact, just a perspex sheet on legs would do it. A perspex sheet on folding legs, even better.

    Will look on Google and report back!
     
  4. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Quick look on Ebay searching on "perspex table" and it has come up with lots of coffee tables that would be perfect such as this one (not sure if the pic will disappear tomorrow after the auction) which is much more like what I was talking about!
     
  5. serenity

    serenity Senior Member

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    Austin
    that is a really interesting idea Sasha! humn....
    yeh i wish i had thought of the gravity thing without having to try it out.
    other than that it is a good product, fairly easy to tote around & stuff. but you just cant' keep those darn pages from falling.
     
  6. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Oooh, all excited now! I did another Ebay search and accidentally found these things: perspex cabinet risers. I could have one including delivery for less than 10! I found similar things on US Ebay by searching on "acrylic riser", also around that price.

    Now just have to find one the right size...
     
  7. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Oh! The cabinet risers are all quite low (the tallest I found was about 12" whereas we need something as tall as the distance from the back of our heads to the surface of a page where we would hold it to be readable, which in my case is something like 18". And the coffee tables are expensive.

    But!!! Just getting acrylic sheet cut to size on Ebay is possible. People are selling ready-cut sheets for crafts etc. but it's so cheap I think you might as well go bespoke. For example, a pre-cut A3 (30 x 40 cm) sheet 6mm thick (it will need to be sturdy enough for the weight of a book) is about 7 including delivery. I will order a sheet to my spec, wider than my pillow, and stand a couple of boxes either side of my pillow in bed, and put the acrylic sheet on top, and try reading that way.

    I think that will work and it will be very cheap! Thanks again, danib, for telling me about your experience with the Levo and pointing out the gravity issue - I'd have been down the wrong track and would never have thought of trying this new way.:D:D:D
     
  8. serenity

    serenity Senior Member

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    Austin
    great i am so glad i could help! let me know how your way works, tho i would think it would work pretty well. :)
    cant' see why not !
     
  9. serenity

    serenity Senior Member

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    oh wait, how do you turn the page?
     
  10. Sunday

    Sunday Senior Member

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    I bet if you can figure out how to use the perspex riser you can come up with a way to turn the pages. Do you think it would be possible to engineer it so you can just reach up, lift up the book, and do it? A bit of a pain, but it could be part of your exercise program...
     
  11. caledonia

    caledonia

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    How about books on tape (or CD)?
     
  12. serenity

    serenity Senior Member

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    i just haven't gotten used to the books on tape idea yet but i guess i'm gonna have to :)
     
  13. Anika

    Anika Senior Member

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    Love the Levo! Also note about reading glasses

    I use the Levo bookholder and find it works quite well for me. Probably some of my best-spent money over the years, though not cheap.

    I'm not sure what problem danib is having with it. Most of the time I don't use it parallel to the ground, it's not straight over my face, but a bit in front at an angle. The page holders may need a bit of tightening now and then, but they work well. With new paperbacks, as for any type of holder, you need to flatten out the spine a bit. I've also used it with fairly large and heavy books, also, and haven't had any problems.

    I keep it by my bed, but on occasion have rolled it to a chair or recliner and it works well there, too. It's possible to adjust height and angle so that it can be viewed comfortably while maintaining a proper posture.

    Speaking of glasses - my regular glasses are now progressive lens, where only the lower part is usable for reading. I got dedicated reading lenses for a spare eyeglasses frame, that I use instead when reading in bed or for any long period of time. When I mentioned the reading in bed to my optometrist, he suggested getting a type of flexible eyeglasses frame that bends a bit, very lightweight. So when I next needed to replace my reading lenses, I splurged on those frames, and they were well worth the extra cost.

    I think things like this help us keep better posture and prevent some back and muscle problems from developing or getting worse. I made it a priority when I started to get some back pain - it was really important not to add chronic back pain to my list!
     
  14. serenity

    serenity Senior Member

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    Austin
    very severe back pain is at the top of my list, perhaps this is the difference we are having. i am guessin you are able to sit upright longer than i am.
     
  15. Anika

    Anika Senior Member

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    danib,

    When I first got the Levo, my sitting up time was quite limited. Much less so now, though I need the lay-downs, during the day still. And, much of my sitting up time is more reclining time. It is definitely easier on the lifestyle when you don't have to lay down as much. I hope you also experience an increase over time in your sitting-up tolerance.

    I don't understand the issues you are having with the Levo - almost all of my use of it is while I am laying down, either flat or slightly inclined. Can you or someone check the tension of the page holders, and any other adjustments? If the pages aren't held back properly, then, it would definitely not work well in any position, but especially laying down. My page holders are fine, but as I mentioned, I have had to tighten them from time to time - easy with the right screwdriver.

    Anika
     
  16. Mithriel

    Mithriel Senior Member

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    I can only read a book easily by lying on my side in bed.

    I have 2 buckwheat pillows. The most expensive one I sleep on to help my neck but it is like lying on sand and I can make a hollow for my ear so my specs sit flat. I have the book sitting on the other one which I can squash into place to support it completely. Then I just need my hand to make a fist to hold the page open.

    I can't follow the plot in tape books. They aren't like proper ones where I can keep going back and checking what happened and who people are.

    Mithriel
     
  17. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Mithriel (and anyone who wants to hold a book open with no effort) - you might be interested in the Gimble book holder which I bought from UK Amazon. You get two in a pack and they're about 5. Unfortunately I couldn't find it on US Amazon but maybe you can still import it cheaply. I bought a pack a while ago and it's really good! I find my hand gets tired holding a book open and sometimes I want to read a paperback hands-free (if I'm eating a meal at the same time, for example). I'll try that with my pillow - I'd forgotten about it.

    Caledonia - I think books on tape are great and I've listened to loads but when it comes to non-fiction that I want to read, my library doesn't carry it - it's mostly fiction and especially the sort that librarians think appeal to the elderly (who they assume are their main customers for talking books). I also want to not have to stop reading whatever I was reading when I lie down - I'm hoping an arrangement for holding a book will let me do that.

    It will be a bit awkward to reach up and turn the page but I think it will be OK! I've ordered a sheet of perspex which I expect to arrive by next weekend so once it's here and I've built my gadget (I'm thinking legs out of corrugated cardboard) I'll report back and post a photo if I can manage.
     
  18. Min

    Min Senior Member

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  19. Sunday

    Sunday Senior Member

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    I was thinking of that, too, but concluded it would make page-turning even more difficult.

    Btw, if your library doesn't have a good audio book section, check out some of the "favorite book" threads for free online sources of audio books. I also listen to a lot of the audio books in the children's section; a good book is a good book is a good book.

    But I know what it is to miss real from-the-book reading. Until recently, I just couldn't do much of it, and even though my brain is still full of snakes and ladders, it's such a pleasure to lie down and READ A BOOK. All the way through. Still, listening to books can also add a dimension you don't get in reading. I have often both listened to and read a book; I get different things out of each experience.
     
  20. serenity

    serenity Senior Member

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    Austin
    some good ideas here, i am with Mithriel - i read mainly non-fiction & can't go back & re-read my facts on a tape book which is why i haven't tried them.
    the Levo just isn't working for me, it would never occur to me to tighten or untighten anything - thanks. mabye. mainly i've given it up for now & as i stated from the get go i didn't try very hard & have trouble admitting i need it at all. i'd almost rather not read, & frankly as much as i'm sleeping right now & as much time as i have to dedicate to my gentle work outs just to keep going ... well, i have no time to read. so i didn't mean to get into it all but my reasons are as much personal as they are practical or having to do with the stand itself. i was just lettin Sasha know it didn't work for me. now she has some other responses sayin it did work for some others so she can choose for herself :)
     

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