Book Manipulation Aid

Project  / Project number: DB-21-041  /  Status:

Book Manipulation Aid

The challenge

The client has suffered motor-impairment of her hands and fingers and can no longer hold and manipulate a book. She does, however, have limited control of her right index finger.

A device had to be made to hold an adult paperback book of any of the current popular sizes with up to 500 pages and which enabled the client to easily turn each page, either backwards or forwards, without loosing control of the book.

The solution

An aid has been made which will cope with paperback books of all sizes up to Trade / C Format books which are of nominal size 135 X 216 mm and up to about 500 pages thick.

The solution comprises an aluminium chassis supporting two adjacent horizontal aluminium platforms, one supporting the underside of the left cover and the other supporting the right cover of the open book.

The book covers are held on to their respective platforms by black mild steel plates attracted to each platform by neodymium magnets. These magnets are self adhesive and attached permanently on the underside of each aluminium platform.

The platforms can move up and down in a see-saw fashion but are constrained to remain horizontal as they rise and fall. This allows the entire surface of the open book to remain level and at a constant height regardless of how many pages have been turned to the left or right. The pages are held down in the open position by two curved arms, each carrying a ball bearing at its page end which presses lightly on to its page and reduces friction when moved. These arms run transversely along horizontal guide rails set at the rear of the book.

The client can move these arms to any lateral position on top of the book or completely to either side of the book, so freeing up a page to be turned. Turning the page is aided by use of a standard commercial rubber finger cone placed on the client’s right index finger. The horizontal rail and arm assembly is adjustable vertically to cope with books of different thicknesses and the whole assembly has been powder-coated white to give it a professional finish.

A foldaway handle has been included to enable the client to lift and relocate the device by hooking her right arm under the handle when in the deployed position.

The benefit

Once the chosen book has been installed on the aid by her husband, the client is then able to read the book, unaided and sitting at a table or in an armchair.

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