Help me find an iPhone or book holder to read in bed
October 27, 2010 9:27 AM   Subscribe

My wife and I love to read books in bed, just before going to sleep. I usually use my iPhone 4 Kindle app. Lately, however, the biomechanics of semi sitting up in bed have been taking there toll on my already somewhat debilitated spine (mild degeneration). I would like to be able to lie flat and read by staring straight up (or at least give this a try). Unless you've tried it, you may not know that simply holding the device or book overhead with your arms simply doesn't work. Some kind of holder is needed. I am looking for anyone's suggestions on what might work, perhaps those who are, or know someone who is, quadriplegic, or otherwise disabled might have some good ideas.I'm not so much looking for something I could kludge together, but more interested in something that is already available; I'm not firm on this, however. All suggestions are welcome, though!
posted by Rad_Boy to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
From the other end of the problem, they sell glasses/clipons with prisms in them so that you can lie flat on your back and stare at your feet. You'd look like a pillock, but it would be small and unobtrusive compared to any book holding arrangement.
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 9:30 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Like these, in fact... [amazon]
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 9:32 AM on October 27, 2010

This floor stand looks like it will do it.
posted by Ery at 9:33 AM on October 27, 2010

If you have a headboard you might be able to clip this thing to it. But, neck is only 8 inches, so you'd have to improvise a bit.
posted by beagle at 9:38 AM on October 27, 2010

What's your tradeoff between kludging and $? A head-mounted display or vertically-mounted projector would address this with zero kludging. (Looking forward to the day I can afford one.)
posted by foursentences at 10:08 AM on October 27, 2010

Not a direct answer to your question, but it's worth looking into audiobooks. The iPhone is great for that, and there's a good chance you can borrow audiobooks for free from a public library system. (e.g. Via OverDrive.)

This has become my preferred form of "reading" in bed now.
posted by philipy at 10:27 AM on October 27, 2010

Could you find a local woodworker or metal fabrication shop to custom make one for you? I totally understand your discomfort with reading in bed positions and think it would be worth it.
posted by WeekendJen at 10:37 AM on October 27, 2010

Like a custom variation of something like this except for holding books, magazines, and devices.
posted by WeekendJen at 10:42 AM on October 27, 2010

Why couldn't you just stick a hook in the ceiling, run a fish line down to your desired height, get a case with a clip for your iPhone and tie the line to it? Totally DIY, but I think it would work fine. You might have use some fishing weights on the back of the case or something to get the balance right.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:04 AM on October 27, 2010

Response by poster: Wow. Great ideas all, and giving me plenty of thoughts. Looks like "kludging" of some sort is becoming more of an option. Thanks as well for understanding my dilema.
posted by Rad_Boy at 11:27 AM on October 27, 2010

I usually lay on my side and rest my book on the bed in front of me. I think this could probably be done with an electronic device, too, possibly even easier with some sort of stand (since you don't need to keep moving the book to see the opposite page). Since I need to shift about every 20 minutes or my back gets stiff, this lets me lay facing left, then facing right, then shift again. Occasionally I lay on my back with book braced against my knees (it's a ways away, but easier than trying to hold it above my face) for a few minutes, then shift again. Sometimes I lay on my stomach with the book propped against the headboard, but this tends to put more stress on my back, so that's only occasional.
posted by galadriel at 12:30 PM on October 27, 2010

Like galadriel, I lie on my side to read on my Sony Clie PDA (ancient technology now, but available on eBay for not much money.) The Clie has the advantage of being a folding device, so when it's open at 90 degrees it acts as its own prop. The other advantage is that its self-illumination is less annoying than a reading light would be when there's company in the bed. The snag to the Clie is that the screen is pretty small, though for me that becomes an advantage because I can remove my specs and put the thing close to my face.

Side-lying would probably work just as well with an ebook reader, but it might need some kind of prop cobbled together - maybe a beanbag or similar?
posted by anadem at 12:47 PM on October 27, 2010

attach it to an anglepoise lamp
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 9:45 PM on October 27, 2010

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