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Publication numberUS20080105811 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/593,304
Publication dateMay 8, 2008
Filing dateNov 6, 2006
Priority dateNov 6, 2006
Publication number11593304, 593304, US 2008/0105811 A1, US 2008/105811 A1, US 20080105811 A1, US 20080105811A1, US 2008105811 A1, US 2008105811A1, US-A1-20080105811, US-A1-2008105811, US2008/0105811A1, US2008/105811A1, US20080105811 A1, US20080105811A1, US2008105811 A1, US2008105811A1
InventorsJonathan Corbin Denby
Original AssigneeJonathan Corbin Denby
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Adjustable reading bookstand
US 20080105811 A1
Abstract
A collapsible bookstand which is easily used by individuals with limited or no dexterity in one of the hands/arms. The apparatus includes a spine member defining a longitudinal axis and having a proximal section and distal section that may be interconnected by an intermediate section. The distal section defines a first thickness region of attachment for a pair of independently pivotable book trays, while the proximal section defines second regions of attachment for ends of a pair of two member linkages. The thicknesses of the attachment regions and link members permit respective link members to remain in common planes regardless of book tray orientation. Each book tray has a page retention clip having a hand graspable region dimensioned and arranged such that an individual with impaired dexterity may slip one hand underneath each page retention clip without first moving the page retention clip relative to the book tray.
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Claims(17)
1. A collapsible bookstand apparatus, comprising:
a spine member defining a central, longitudinal axis and having a proximal section, and a distal section, said distal section having a first attachment region characterized by a first thickness, and said proximal section having a second attachment region characterized by a second thickness greater than said first thickness;
a first book tray and a second book tray, each of said first and second book trays being pivotably secured to said second attachment region of said central spine member along an axis transverse to said longitudinal axis,
wherein said first book tray defines a first book support surface and wherein said second book tray defines a second book support surface, and
wherein said each respective book tray is dimensioned and arranged for independent angular movement between an orientation in which a corresponding book support surface is substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said spine member and a second orientation in which a corresponding book support surface is substantially parallel to and aligned with the longitudinal axis of said spine member;
a first two-member linkage, said first two-member linkage having a first link member pivotably secured at one end to said first attachment region of said spine member and a second link member pivotably secured at one end to said first book tray; and
a second two-member linkage, said second two-member linkage having a first link member pivotably secured at one end to said first attachment region of said spine member and a second link member pivotably secured at one end to said second book tray,
wherein each second link member of said first and second two-member linkages is dimensioned and arranged to remain within a first common plane during angular movement of one or both of said first and second book trays are and wherein each first link member of said first and second two-member linkages is dimensioned and arranged to remain within a second common plane substantially parallel to said first common plane during angular movement of one or both of said first and second book trays.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein each of said first and second book trays has a first tray section defining a surface for pivotable attachment of a corresponding two-member linkage and a second tray section defining a surface for supporting a book edge.
3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein each respective first tray section is perpendicular to a corresponding second tray section.
4. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein each of said first and second book trays further includes a spring-biased page retention clip pivotably secured to a respective first tray section.
5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein each page retention clip defines a page engaging surface separated from a point of pivotable connection to a corresponding said first tray section by a hand graspable region dimensioned and arranged such that an individual with impaired dexterity may slip one hand underneath each page retention clip without first moving the page retention clip relative to the book tray.
6. The apparatus of claim 1, further including first and second spring-biased page retention clips pivotably secured to said first and second book trays, respectively.
7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein each page retention clip defines a page engaging surface separated from a point of pivotable connection to a corresponding book tray by a hand graspable region dimensioned and arranged such that an individual with impaired dexterity may slip one hand underneath each page retention clip without first moving the page retention clip relative to the book tray.
8. The apparatus of claim 1, further including first and second adjustable legs pivotably secured to the distal section of the spine member, said adjustable legs being manipulable into a desired angular orientation relative to the longitudinal axis of the spine member so as to support a retained book at a desired angular orientation.
9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein said first and second adjustable legs are further manipulable into a folded condition, said adjustable legs being substantially parallel to said longitudinal axis while in said folded condition.
10. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein surfaces of said adjustable legs and said book trays define high friction regions to aid in stability while on smooth, planar surfaces.
11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the spine member further defines an intermediate section interconnecting said proximal section and said distal section, said intermediate section having a region characterized by a third thickness greater than said first thickness and less than said second thickness.
12. A collapsible bookstand apparatus, comprising:
a spine member defining a central, longitudinal axis and having a proximal section, and a distal section, said distal section having a first attachment region characterized by a first thickness, and said proximal section having a second attachment region characterized by a second thickness greater than said first thickness; and
a first book tray and a second book tray, each of said first and second book trays being pivotably secured to said second attachment region of said central spine member along an axis transverse to said longitudinal axis,
wherein said first book tray defines a first book support surface and wherein said second book tray defines a second book support surface, and
wherein said each respective book tray is dimensioned and arranged for independent angular movement between an orientation in which a corresponding book support surface is substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said spine member and a second orientation in which a corresponding book support surface is substantially parallel to and aligned with the longitudinal axis of said spine member.
13. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the spine member further defines an intermediate section interconnecting said proximal section and said distal section, said intermediate section having a region characterized by a third thickness greater than said first thickness and less than said second thickness.
14. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein each of said first and second book trays further includes a spring-biased page retention clip pivotably secured to a respective book tray.
15. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein each page retention clip defines a page engaging surface separated from a point of pivotable connection to a corresponding book tray by a hand graspable region dimensioned and arranged such that an individual with impaired dexterity may slip one hand underneath each page retention clip without first moving the page retention clip relative to the book tray.
16. A collapsible bookstand apparatus, comprising:
a spine member defining a central, longitudinal axis and a first attachment region;
a first book tray and a second book tray, each of said first and second book trays being pivotably secured to said first attachment region of said central spine member along an axis transverse to said longitudinal axis,
wherein said first book tray defines a first book support surface and wherein said second book tray defines a second book support surface, a spring-biased page retention clip being pivotably secured to each of said first and second book trays;
wherein said each respective book tray is dimensioned and arranged for independent angular movement between an orientation in which a corresponding book support surface is substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said spine member and a second orientation in which a corresponding book support surface is substantially parallel to and aligned with the longitudinal axis of said spine member; and
wherein each page retention clip defines a page engaging surface separated from a point of pivotable connection to a corresponding book tray by a hand graspable region dimensioned and arranged such that an individual with impaired dexterity may slip one hand underneath each page retention clip without first moving the page retention clip relative to the book tray.
17. The apparatus of claim 16, further including first and second adjustable legs pivotably secured to the spine member, said adjustable legs being manipulable into a desired angular orientation relative to the longitudinal axis of the spine member so as to support a retained book at a desired angular orientation.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present disclosure relates generally to improved adjustable stands and holders for books and, more particularly, to reading stands specifically adapted to accommodate individuals with physical conditions which make it difficult for them to position reading materials without assistance.

2. Description of the Related Art

When the inventor herein attempted to purchase a bookstand which would allow a stroke victim to read books with one arm paralyzed, no such apparatus could be located so an effort was made to construct one. The initial incarnation was a fixed (non-foldable) version which occupied too much of the surface upon which it was to be placed to be convenient, was too unwieldy to be easily transported and conveniently stored. Prior art stands are characterized by similar limitations and deficiencies, or are not designed with the needs of physically impaired individuals in mind

For example, in published U.S. Patent Application No. 2004/0061037 by Smartt, there are described reclining, table top and wheelchair book stand configurations. These are neither foldable, nor as easily transportable as stands constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention. Moreover, the assembly for holding the book open requires both a main and a sub clip to accommodate books of varying sizes.

In European Patent Application EP1175850, Merghani discloses an adjustable bookstand that is small and compact yet also adjustable to accommodate both small and large books. The page retention mechanism is a sliding U-shaped apparatus that applies a retention force to a page along the entire height dimension of the book. Unfortunately, the manipulation of a page holder constructed in this manner requires two hands: one to hold the page receiving holder open to place the new page under it and the other to transfer the page from one side to the next. As such, it is simply not suitable for an individual who lacks complete dexterity in both hands.

In US Patent Application 2003/0042390, Paton teaches a floating bookstand for use in swimming pools. It employs a page holding apparatus that consists of a clear plastic overlay which covers the bottom portion of the book. As in the case of the Merghani apparatus, though, manipulation of the page holding device utilized by Paton requires the use of both hands.

In U.S. Pat. No. 5,016,852 issued to Herendeen, there is disclosed a portable, foldable bookstand that does not allow the reader to adjust the angle of inclination of the book. That is, the book must remain in a fixed vertical orientation relative to the tabletop or other surface to which it is clipped. For this reason, the Herendeen assembly would not be useful to those who want to read a book propped on their lap while they are sitting in a bed or on a couch. In addition, the only mechanism for retaining the pages open is a U-shaped tray within which the book sits.

European Patent Application EP 1481610 to Iizuka describes a portable bookstand in which the back support is a cross-shaped device with clear plastic members that slide on the horizontal bar to accommodate the retention of the pages in an open position. The angle at which the book is supported is not adjustable nor is it usable for lap-support of a book.

International Patent Application No. WO 2004/077998 of Fung describes a bookstand which retains the book at a 60 degree angle from the flat supporting surface. The page retaining device is not spring loaded to accommodate the uneven distribution of page thickness of the two halves of the book as one reads the book from front to back. This mechanism also requires the unimpaired use of two hands.

International Patent Application No. WO 97/30610 of Kim describes a foldable bookstand that is comprised of two rectangular back panels. The page holding device consists of an arm on a guide rail or vertical adjustment for the size of the page and a slider with stops that can be adjusted as the number of the pages on each half of the book changes while the book is being read. Thus, this stand does not readily (i.e., without adjustment) accommodate the uneven number of pages in the two halves of the book.

Finally, U.S. Pat. No. 6,488,252 to Ibrahim describes a foldable bookstand that, when folded, resembles a single oblong piece. When unfolded, the side view resembles the letter “X”. It contains no mechanism for holding the pages of the book in the open position.

A continuing need therefore exists for a bookstand apparatus which incorporates a page retention system that enables a reader with limited dexterity (e.g., a stroke victim with dexterity in only a single hand/arm) to move each page effortlessly from either right-to-left or left-to-right and, thereafter, to position that page securely while it is being read. A further need exists for a book stand apparatus which allows easy and limitless adjustment of the angle of the retained book so as to be as useful on a table top surface as it is on one's lap. A further need exists for a book stand apparatus which is lightweight and foldable for ease of storage and transportation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The aforementioned need is addressed, and an advance is made in the art, by a book stand which is portable, foldable and easily manipulable during use by users who have limited or no dexterity in one of the hands/arms. A collapsible bookstand apparatus constructed in accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the present invention comprises a spine member defining a central, longitudinal axis and having a proximal section, a distal section and an intermediate section interconnecting the proximal section and the distal section. The distal section has a first attachment region characterized by a first thickness, the intermediate section has a region characterized by a second thickness greater than the first thickness, and the proximal section has a second attachment region characterized by a third thickness greater than the second thickness.

A collapsible bookstand apparatus constructed in accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the present invention further includes a first book tray and a second book tray, each of the first and second book trays being pivotably secured to the proximal section of the central spine member, at the second attachment region and along an axis transverse to the longitudinal axis. Each book tray defines a book support surface and is dimensioned and arranged for independent angular movement between an orientation in which a corresponding book support surface is substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the spine member and a second orientation in which a corresponding book support surface is substantially parallel to and aligned with the longitudinal axis of the spine member.

The exemplary embodiment further includes first and second two-member linkages, with each linkage having a first link member pivotably secured at one end to the first attachment region of the distal section of the spine member and a second link member pivotably secured at one end to a corresponding book tray. The thicknesses of the first and second attachment regions, as well as those of the link members comprising each linkage, are selected such that each second link member of the first and second two-member linkages remains within a first common plane during angular movement of one or both of the first and second book trays and such that each first link member of the first and second two-member linkages remains within a second common plane substantially parallel to the first common plane during angular movement of one or both of the first and second book trays. In an especially preferred embodiment, the second thickness characterizing a region of the intermediate section is selected such that a portion of each two-member linkage is able to swing neatly into and to be supported while in their respective folded positions for storage.

In accordance with an especially preferred embodiment of the present invention, each book tray includes a page retention-clip having a hand graspable region dimensioned and arranged such that an individual with impaired dexterity may slip one hand underneath each page retention clip without first moving the page retention clip relative to the book tray.

Other objects and features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. It is to be understood, however, that the drawings are designed solely for purposes of illustration and not as a definition of the limits of the invention, for which reference should be made to the appended claims. It should be further understood that the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale and that, unless otherwise indicated, they are merely intended to conceptually illustrate the structures and procedures described herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The various features, functions, and advantages of the present invention will be better understood by reference to the detailed description which follows and to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a bookstand constructed in accordance with the present invention, the bookstand being shown in a fully opened condition ready to accept and support a book in at a desired angular orientation;

FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of the exemplary bookstand of FIG. 1, the bookstand being depicted in a partially folded condition;

FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of the exemplary bookstand of FIG. 1, the bookstand being shown in a fully folded condition ideal for storage or transport;

FIG. 4 is a rear perspective view of the fully folded bookstand of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a top perspective view of the exemplary bookstand of FIG. 1, showing extension of a pair of adjustable legs in accordance with a first mode of operation to effect the angular orientation depicted in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a top perspective view of the exemplary bookstand of FIG. 1, showing the extension of a pair of adjustable legs in accordance with a second mode of operation to effect a steeper angular orientation than that depicted in FIGS. 1 and 5. The legs when fully extended also allow a user in a bed or chair to support the bookstand on his or her lap with the fully extended legs reaching down to the bed or chair;

FIG. 7 is a front perspective of the exemplary bookstand of FIG. 1, the page retaining arms of the bookstand having been adjusted to retain a book therein; and

FIG. 8 is a cross sectional side view showing the rotating spring retention clip designed to hold a book in the open position and to adjust for various sizes of books and thicknesses of the left and right side of a book in the open position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With initial reference to FIG. 1, there is shown an illustrative collapsible book stand apparatus constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention. As seen in FIG. 1, the apparatus 10 comprises a central spine member indicated generally at reference numeral 11, the spine member defining three regions of progressively increasing thickness—these being a distal section indicated generally at reference numeral 12, an intermediate section indicated generally at reference numeral 14 and a proximal section indicated generally at reference numeral 16.

With continued reference to FIG. 1, it will be seen that pivotably connected to proximal section 16 are first and second book trays indicated at reference numerals 18 and 20, respectively. Each book tray has a substantially L-shape cross section and includes a book supporting section indicated at 18 a and 20 a, respectively, and, for a purpose which will be described shortly, a vertical attachment section indicated at 18 b and 20 b, respectively. The points at which book trays 18 and 20 are pivotably secured to spine member 11 are disposed along a line that is transverse to the longitudinal axis of spine member 11. In the illustrative embodiment, the longitudinal axis also defines an axis of symmetry of both spine member 11 and apparatus 10.

To accommodate movement between the fully extended positions of book trays 18 and 20 corresponding to a fully opened condition of apparatus 10 depicted in FIG. 1 into the partially folded condition depicted in FIG. 2 and fully folded condition depicted in FIGS. 3 and 4, a pair of two-member linkages—indicated generally at reference numerals 22 and 24, respectively, are provided. As seen in FIG. 1, linkage 22, comprises a first link member 22 a and a second link member 22 b with these being pivotably secured to one another at 23. Similarly, linkage 24 comprises a first link member 24 a to which a second link member 24 b is pivotably secured. One end of each linkage is pivotably attached to a first attachment region of distal section 1 and the end of each linkage is pivotably attached to a corresponding vertical attachment section (i.e., 18 b or 20 b) of a book tray. As will be readily appreciated by those skilled in the art, this construction enables each book tray to be independently moved into any desired orientation, including the fully extended orientation of FIG. 1 and the fully folded orientation of FIGS. 3 and 4.

As best seen in FIGS. 1, 5 and 6, apparatus 10 further includes a pair of laterally adjustable leg assemblies indicated generally at reference numerals 30 and 32. In the illustrative embodiment, these leg assemblies are attached to a hinge structure 34 which allows the legs to swing within any plane passing through spine member 11 over a range of 75 degrees. The legs can swing within the plane of the hinge structure 34 over a range of 60 degrees. Thus, for example, in FIGS. 1 and 5, leg assemblies 30 and 32 are shown diverging from each other and from spine 11 at angles selected to support the bookstand (and corresponding book retained thereon) at a desired angle relative to a supporting surface 50. As best seen in FIG. 6, steeper angles relative to a supporting surface can be achieved by extension of leg member 30 a from leg member 30 b (in the case of leg assembly 30) and leg member 32 b from leg member 32 a (in the case of leg assembly 32). Although the embodiment shown and described herein utilized leg members which are extended as a telescoping extension of one leg member relative to another, it will readily be appreciated by those skilled in the art that other arrangements—such, for example, by pivoting them—may also be employed.

With reference now to FIG. 7, it will be seen that a book can be supported at a variety of angular orientations—with the one depicted in FIG. 7 being merely illustrative. It will be seen in FIG. 7 that a spring biased, page retention member indicated generally at 40 and 42 are pivotably secured to each book tray. An especially advantageous adaptation—which renders the apparatus of the present invention easy to use by stroke victims and the like who have limited or no use of one hand/arm—is the inclusion of a hand graspable region 40 a and 42 a disposed between the point of pivotable attachment 40 b or 42 b and the region at which retention forces are exerted on the page(s), indicated generally at 40 c and 42 c, respectively. This region, which in the illustrative embodiment is defined by an arched contour of the retention member, is dimensioned to allow a hand to enter freely without the use of another hand to first lift the corresponding retention member.

FIG. 8 is a cross sectional side view depicting the point of pivotal attachment between page retention member 40 and book tray 18. Although not shown and described in detail herein, the attachment between page retention member 42 and book tray 20 is implemented in an identical manner, In the illustrative embodiment of FIG. 8, the pivotal attachment includes a ⅜″ coil spring 46 and two bolts 40 b and 40 d which are inserted through opposite ends of spring 46 and which are dimensioned and arranged to threadably engage the interior of spring 46. That is, the threads on bolts 40 b and 40 d match the pitch of spring 46. Bolt 40 d is recessed into vertical attachment section 18 b of book tray 18 so that it does not protrude. This allows book tray 18 to fold flat upon link member 22 b. The length of spring 46 is such that it puts a slight tension on page retention member 40. This spring biasing arrangement ensures that page retention member 40 will work effectively whether there are only a few pages or many pages to be retained. Each spring as spring 46 is dimensioned and arranged to allow easy pivoting of a corresponding page retention member as member 40 and to exert an amount of tension that that permits a page to be easy inserted or removed as the reader proceeds to read from the front to the back of the book. Further, since the page retention members can be rotated from the horizontal position into to any desired angular orientation, they can hold any size book from a small paperback to a large, textbook-sized hard covered book.

Although not shown in FIG. 1, a bottom surface portion of central spine member (12, 14, 16) may be covered with a high friction material such, for example, as a rubber strip (not shown)—much like weather stripping tape—to prevent the bookstand from sliding on a hard surface while pages of a retained book are being turned. The bottom edge of book trays 18 and 20 can also be covered by such a strip of material (not shown). In this case, the strip of material should be wide enough to prevent sliding on a hard supporting surface 39 while narrow enough to allow the bookstand to fully fold. For the same purpose, a similar strip of material may be added to the bottom tips of leg assemblies 30 and 32 as well.

A bookstand constructed in accordance with the present invention should be lightweight, yet sturdy enough to hold heavy books. It may be constructed of wood, metal, plastic, or other durable materials. If desired, a support can be affixed to the back of the center spine to allow it to be attached to a chair arm or other surface. Such a support maybe telescopic to allow adjustment to any height.

While there have shown and described and pointed out fundamental novel features of the invention as applied to a preferred embodiment thereof, it will be understood that various omissions and substitutions and changes in the form and details of the method steps described, the devices illustrated, and the operation thereof, may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention. For example, it is expressly intended that all combinations of those elements and/or method steps which perform substantially the same function in substantially the same way to achieve the same results are within the scope of the invention. Moreover, it should be recognized that structures and/or elements and/or method steps shown and/or described in connection with any disclosed form or embodiment of the invention may be incorporated in any other disclosed or described or suggested form or embodiment as a general matter of design choice. It is the intention, therefore, to be limited only as indicated by the scope of the claims appended hereto.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8540202 *Dec 12, 2011Sep 24, 2013Hong Fu Jin Precision Industry (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd.Support mechanism
US20130001381 *Dec 12, 2011Jan 3, 2013Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.Support mechanism
Classifications
U.S. Classification248/460
International ClassificationA47B97/08
Cooperative ClassificationA47B19/08, A47B23/044
European ClassificationA47B19/08, A47B23/04D2B