Physical books are one of those sacred objects untouched by technology, unburdened by extras and accessories. They ask no OS upgrades of us in order to function. That said, what if books could be “tricked out” to make them utterly, maximally user-friendly? The following book inventions—satisfying a range of readers, from the lonely reader to the reader who can’t negotiate a coffee cup AND a book at once—could provide utmost comfort while reading.
Book Sleeve: Arm warmer-esque sleeves that attach to the front and back covers of your book so that your arms can stay warm while you read, even though they can’t go underneath the blanket and turn pages at the same time. (You might think a Snuggie solved this problem, but if you think that you didn’t account for the fact that Snuggies get pill-y in record time!! With Book Sleeves you get to use the afghan your mom knit you AND have warm arms!!)
Book Siri: Have you ever been trying to read, but your eyes are tired from a full day of looking at your smartphone? Stroke your book on the spine and your Book Siri will read to you in a soothingly robotic voice.
Book Coffee Holder: Why should we pick out books differently than we pick out cars? I personally would like to evaluate any future book purchases based on how many coffee holders they offer. The ideal number? One. One would mean that I can minimize arm movement from book to coffee mug while reading. 10/10 would buy.
Book Selfie Camera: Become a Bookstagram influencer with ease with this camera built right into your book! The swinging, extendable arm means you can even take a selfie with your book. #AmReading
Book Boyfriend (Customizable): There’s nothing better than lounging on the couch with a good book and a friend or significant other enjoying their own book at the opposite end of the couch. But what about those who live alone? That cozy at home togetherness is all but eliminated! Try a Book Boyfriend (sex, gender, and relationship customizable!). Your Book Boyfriend will snuggle at your feet with a novel of your choosing attaching to his hands. He’ll sigh and say “wow” under his breath every once in awhile as he pages through James Baldwin. Possible upgrade features include coffee delivery, foot massages, and blanket adjustment if you fall asleep while reading.
Anti-Nausea Book: Are you, like me, one of those people who absolutely cannot read in a moving vehicle without feeling like your head has taken a few cycles in the dryer? Anti-Nausea Books would allow you to read in the car by sensing your type and level of nausea through special hand sensors and then feeding you the appropriate medication and dosage to take away all of your car-sickness.
Book Chin Rest: Reading at the beach is, in theory, the best. But trying to read on your stomach always leads to some awkward head and neck maneuvering. The Book Chin Rest extends from the bottom of your book and is made of organic plush neck squish and is tall enough to allow you to see your open book comfortable and ergonomically.
Book Fortune Teller: Do you ever get halfway through a book, muscling through every page even though you hate it, and wonder whether it’s ever going to get better? The Book Fortune Teller synthesizes all of your preferences from a lifetime of reading and tells you whether or not reading to the end is going to be worth your time.
Book Hug: Soft, squeezable arms can pop out of your book’s spine when you read a particularly sad or scary section. Optimally suited to those who prefer to do their reading in solitude. Customizable to provide a pat on the back or a reassuring hand on the arm.
Book Chug: Do you ever sit on the couch all day reading and suddenly realize that you haven’t had a sip of water all day because you’re so engrossed in whether or not you can even trust the girl on the train as a narrator? The Book Chug keeps a small well of water nestled in your book’s spine and if you tap three times on the cover a nozzle will shoot out, allowing you to access the well and hydrate just enough to finish those last 50 pages.
These ten book inventions are open to and seeking funding. And frankly, they are the tip of the iceberg for book invention possibilities. We’ve been so focused on creating “quality literature” that we’ve missed so many opportunities for “modern convenience.” Book inventions are absolutely ripe for development. Look out literary world.