When Reading Hurts

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As a child I always had my face in book, but year by year my ability to continuously hold up a book was decreased. By high school, I could no longer get lost in my books as I was continuously interrupted by numbness and tingling in my hands and a deep headache in the base of my skull.

Not being able to read because of  physical difficulty is pretty ridiculous. It seems like an easy problem to solve, however when it comes down to the logistics, the problem is more complicated. Compounding upon the difficulty with the endurance and stability  of my arms, I also have lazy eye muscles. This means I have trouble with my mid distance vision and need the book fairly close to my face in order to read clearly. Also, I can’t read much off of electronics since the brightness strains my eyes and most often ends with a headache and words that start to move about the screen.

Trying to read
Here’s my first semi-succsesfull attempt at reading. I did manage to get the book into the right position and angle for reading, but turning the pages is was no easy task!
My next attempted solution is easier to make and easier to use. Most importantly, you can turn the pages without risking getting hid in the head with your book!

IMG_7053
The Book Seat with a few simple modifications
This contraption is made out of a product called The Book Seat, with a few simple modifications. If you want to use this book hold while laying down you will also need to purchase a pair of prism glass. The prism glasses flip your vision 90 degrees. I’ve included Amazon links to the bookstand and glasses at the end of this blog post.

How to Modify The Book Seat:

  1. Use a thin rope, hemp, or a durable string to suspend The Book Seat from the ceiling. There is already a loop located at the top of the pillow that you can put the string through. You can hang the string by installing any type of hook that will hold the weight of your book. It’s always better to try and drill the hook into a support beam especially if you have drywall. If you can’t disturb your ceiling or don’t want to mess with a drill you can use damage free Command hooks. Just make sure to buy the heavy duty version and make sure the angle of the hook will be able to keep the string in place. Note that you will want to make sure the string suspension is easily adjustable until you are sure The Book Seat is located in the correct position for reading. Another option is too add in an adjustable buckle so that you can use the rig in several different positions.
  2. Add an additional button to the top of The Book Seat. The extra button is used to hold the book against The Book Seat with the elastic band that’s already attached to the seat. To turn the pages you will need to unbutton and then rebutton the elastic band so you want to make sure you use a button in a shape that you can easily grasp. I have trouble holding onto to smooth circles so I’ve used an thick pin instead of an actual button.
  3. Enjoy easy reading in the seated or reclined positioned! Or, invest in prism glasses to use this rig in a full vertical position.

Amazon links:

The Book Seat

Ultrax Prism Glasses

Disclaimer: This problem is still unresolved. This setup is difficult to position correctly when laying flat on the ground and is not at all practical or easy to use. I will keep you updated if with further solutions.  Please let me know if you have any other thoughts or ideas! 

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