How to Hold a Book While Reading and Why it Matters

How to Hold a Book While Reading

As reading enthusiasts and book lovers, we are generally faced with several issues not many people actually think about. From the general bookworm problems we all know so well, to physical and mental fatigue, there is quite a lot for us to worry about. 

Here at Basmo, we are entirely dedicated to making your reading experience as enjoyable, healthy, and rewarding as possible. That is why we are never afraid to tackle even the most sensitive or seemingly insignificant subjects. Because we know everything matters for a book lover. 

While for the average person, how to hold a book while reading might seem like a no-brainer, we know that a true reading enthusiast wants to make the absolute best of his reading experience. So, we sat down, did the research, and this is what we found out.

Why is it important to hold a book correctly while reading?

The importance of the way you hold your book while reading is generally overlooked by most readers, and that is a mistake. The grip you have on the book can influence many aspects of your reading session.

For starters, if you don’t know how to properly hold a book, you risk ending up with some discomfort after extended reading sessions. You risk putting strain on your wrists, hands, arms, and even your eyes and your back. 

As you know, even the easiest objects can feel extremely heavy if you hold them for a long time or in an unnatural position. Holding a glass of water in front of you with your arm completely extended can become a huge challenge if you are doing it even for just a couple of minutes. This is quite similar to holding a book. If you don’t figure out the correct way to hold it without stressing your body, you can easily experience quite a serious discomfort.

This can lead to shorter reading sessions or even losing the joy of reading altogether, which, as you know, is quite a tragedy. 

On top of the actual position you hold your fingers, wrist, hand, and arm while reading, another important thing to factor in is how far away from your eyes the book is. Holding a book at an inadequate distance or angle from your face can lead to putting strain on your eye muscles

Another thing we book lovers are going to always pay attention to is the condition of our books. We love reading a book in pristine condition and we love knowing that the books we own are worthy of even the most demanding collectors. How we hold the books while we read them can seriously impact how they end up looking after we’re done with them. Holding a book poorly can bend its pages, the covers, or even damage the spine of the book.

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How to hold a book while reading?

Learning how to hold a book while reading starts with understanding how to hold a book comfortably, but things clearly don’t end there. There are quite a lot of factors to take into account whenever you need to decide how you should hold a book while reading it. 

You should take into account your reading position, whether you can do it with just one hand or both, the type of book you are reading, and how heavy it is. While it may seem somewhat overwhelming, the good news is that we did all the necessary research and compiled the most accurate book-holding guide out there.

How to hold a paperback book?

We all know that paperback books are generally the most challenging ones to read without causing them damage. That’s because of the way they are made, a process that is generally focused on cutting costs. They are made with inferior materials when compared to hardcover books, and that generally leads to a tougher mission for those who want to keep them in mint condition.

Whether you read in bed, at a table, or in a comfortable armchair, the most challenging thing with paperback books is keeping them open without damaging their spine. The good news is that they weigh very little and the chances of putting any strain on your hands or wrists are minimal. As long as you hold the book in a position that feels comfortable, either with one or with both hands, and you make sure that you don’t hold it too close or too far from your eyes and at a natural angle, you shouldn’t experience any discomfort, even after long reading sessions.

How to hold a hardcover book?

Hardcover books are considerably heavier than paperback books, but the good news is that they are built much sturdier and with better quality materials. While keeping them open without damaging them is generally not as difficult, the challenge is to find the ideal position to read them in without experiencing fatigue or discomfort.

The ideal way to read hardcover books is either to set them on a table in front of you in order to avoid supporting their weight. Keeping them on a table in front of you also ensures that you are reading in a comfortable and ergonomically correct position and that your eyes are at a good distance from the book.

How to hold a book with one hand?

Holding a book with one hand can be tricky, but sometimes necessary. While it is not exactly recommended to do so, we all know that in reality, it happens quite often. It can lead to some discomfort if you’re not placing your hand and the book on a table, and even though there are quite a lot of reading accessories you can use to make your life easier, you can still end up feeling some discomfort. 

One mention that is worth making is that holding a book with one hand will depend a lot on its format and weight. While paperback books are generally easier to handle, chances are you are going to have quite a hard time reading a thick hardcover book with just one hand. 

How to hold a book open without hands?

Reading a book without using your hands is probably one of the most relaxing things you can enjoy. There are two aspects you should consider: you will need a table to place your book on, and something to keep it open while you read it. 

There are many accessories you can use to keep your book open, and they only cost a couple of dollars. They are the perfect weight to keep any book open without causing it any damage and most of them look really nice. 

All in all, reading a book without using your hands is one of the healthiest habits you can have. That’s because it forces you to keep your book on a table, which generally leads to a good reading position and an adequate distance between your eyes and the reading material. On top of that, the fact that you are not using your hands usually means your book is going to be in top condition even after you finish reading it.

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How to hold a thick book?

Thick books are generally uncomfortable to read, especially if you support their weight entirely with your hands and you don’t place them on a table. If you want to read a thick book without placing it on a table, you are most likely going to need to use both your hands. Holding them with just one hand can lead to some hand or wrist strain and it can also damage the book considering that you are going to support its entire weight from a relatively small contact surface.

How to hold a book in bed?

Reading in bed can be an amazingly relaxing experience if done right. While there are many factors that will influence how good your reading session will be, the way you hold your book is one that people rarely think about.

Depending on the position in which you read in bed, there are several options when it comes to the way you hold your book. If you read lying down, you are likely going to need to use both your hands to hold the book properly without damaging it. This can lead to a certain level of fatigue and discomfort in your hands if you don’t rest the book on your chest to support its weight. 

With the book on your chest, the angle your eyes are going to focus on the book is going to be quite awkward, and this can lead to strain on your eye muscles, leading to fatigue and discomfort. You can use special reading glasses though, as they are going to allow you to see the writing in your book with your head tilted backward and your neck completely extended and relaxed.

The ideal reading position in bed is sitting up with your back resting on a pillow. This allows you to place the book on your knees or upper part of your legs and this will provide you with a comfortable reading position, a decent reading distance, and the benefit of not having to support the weight of the book with your hands.

How far away should you hold a book to read?

Regardless of your reading position or the way you hold your book, one thing remains valid. In order to avoid putting strain on your eye muscles while reading, you should always keep in mind that the distance you are reading at is important.

The ideal distance between your book and your eyes while reading is considered to be 15 inches or 40 cm. Moreover, unless you wear bifocals or have other issues with your vision, you should try to maintain your focus on reading at around 60 degrees.

How to hold a book without bending the cover?

Taking care of our books can be a challenging task. They are our beloved collectibles and caring for them starts with the way we use them. Reading a book without bending the covers or the pages can be difficult, depending on the quality of the edition.

Regardless of whether we’re talking about paperback or hardcover books, the main thing to focus on is the way we hold them while reading. Ideally, you would place them on a table and make sure that they can easily stay open. For that, whenever you start reading a new book, you should first place it on the table, open it from the middle and crease its spine. Afterward, you should do the exact same thing for every 20-30 pages until the book can stay perfectly open when laid on a table, without you having to press on the pages.

Final thoughts

Learning how to hold a book while reading it can have an impact both on the condition your book will be in by the time you are done with it and how enjoyable your reading session is going to be. Use Basmo, our reading tracking app, to keep your reading habits under control and to improve every reading session.

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