Title:
Portable book holder apparatus and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A book holder comprising a generally planar back frame that defines a support surface against which the cover of the book rests. The support surface is disposed between opposing left and right edges defined by the back frame. The back frame extends substantially upward from a lower support base. The support base extends outward and upward from the back frame to define a receiving surface for supporting a book thereon. The pages of a book being received between the receiving surface and the support surface of the back frame such that the downward weight of the book wedges the pages between the receiving surface and the support surface. Opposing the support base is a page restraint arm. The page restraint arm is spaced-apart from the support base, and extends outward and downward from the support surface of the back frame, to define a restraining surface that opposes the support surface. A channel is formed between the restraining surface and the support surface. The channel is arranged to receive and maintain the pages of the book in the open position between the restraining surface and the support surface. In another aspect, the book holder comprises a removable insert disposed between the page restraint arm and the support base for holding books of smaller dimensions such as paper back books.



Inventors:
Goretti, Alicia G. (Tacoma, WA, US)
Application Number:
10/150390
Publication Date:
11/21/2002
Filing Date:
05/17/2002
Assignee:
GORETTI ALICIA G.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B23/04; (IPC1-7): A47G1/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
STERLING, AMY JO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Law Offices (Sumner, WA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A book holder for receiving and maintaining a book with its cover and pages in an open position, to a particular page, while permitting a user to turn the pages without removing the book from the book holder, the book holder comprising: a generally planar back frame that defines a support surface against which a cover of a book rests; a support base from which the back frame extends substantially upward, wherein portions of the support base extend upward and outward from the back frame to define a receiving surface for supporting a book thereon, the book being received between the receiving surface and the support surface of the back frame such that the downward weight of the book wedges the pages its cover, in an open position; and a page restraint arm spaced substantially upward from the support base, wherein portions of the page restraint arm extend outward and downward from the support surface of the back frame to define a restraining surface that opposes the support surface, wherein a channel is formed between the restraining surface and the support surface to receive and maintain the pages of a book in the open position between the restraining surface and the support surface.

2. A book holder as recited in claim 1 further comprising a removable insert disposed between the page restraint arm and the support base for holding a small book, the removable insert comprising: a lower biasing element extending along the support base disposed to impart a biasing pressure toward the back frame upon pages of a book disposed between the lower biasing element and the back frame; and an upper biasing element extending along the channel between the back frame and the page restraint arm, wherein the upper biasing element is disposed to impart a biasing pressure toward the back frame upon the pages of a book disposed between the upper biasing element and the back frame.

3. A book holder as recited in claim 2 further comprising a connecting member that extends from the lower biasing element upward to the upper biasing element to join the lower biasing element to the upper biasing element so that the lower biasing element is maintained adjacent the support base, and the upper biasing element is maintained adjacent the page restraint arm, wherein the pages of a book are biased in an open position within the book holder.

4. A book holder as recited in claim 1 wherein the support base defines a left outside corner which is turned upward to form a projection which further maintains the pages of a book in the open position.

5. A book holder as recited in claim 1 wherein the page restraint arm is arranged to define a centrally disposed notch, the notch being provided to create a void in the restraining surface thereby enabling the user more easily turn the pages of a book.

6. A book holder as recited in claim 1 further comprising a brace that extends rearward from the back frame to support the book holder from a flat surface.

7. A method of making a book holder for receiving and maintaining a book with its cover and pages in an open position, to a particular page, while permitting a user to turn the pages without removing the book from the book holder, the method comprising the steps of: providing a generally planar back frame that defines a support surface against which a cover of a book rests; providing a support base from which the back frame extends substantially upward, wherein portions of the support base are formed to extend upward and outward from the back frame to define a receiving surface for supporting a book thereon, the book being received between the receiving surface and the support surface of the back frame such that the downward weight of the book wedges the pages its cover, in an open position; and forming a page restraint arm spaced substantially upward from the support base, wherein portions of the page restraint arm extend outward and downward from the support surface of the back frame to define a restraining surface that opposes the support surface, wherein a channel is formed between the restraining surface and the support surface to receive and maintain the pages of a book in the open position between the restraining surface and the support surface.

8. A method of making a book holder as recited in claim 7 further comprising the step of providing a removable insert disposed between the page restraint arm and the support base for holding a small book, the removable insert comprising: a lower biasing element extending along the support base disposed to impart a biasing pressure toward the back frame upon pages of a book disposed between the lower biasing element and the back frame; and an upper biasing element extending along the channel between the back frame and the page restraint arm, wherein the upper biasing element is disposed to impart a biasing pressure toward the back frame upon the pages of a book disposed between the upper biasing element and the back frame.

9. A method of making a book holder as recited in claim 8 further comprising the step of providing a connecting member that extends from the lower biasing element upward to the upper biasing element to join the lower biasing element to the upper biasing element so that the lower biasing element is maintained adjacent the support base, and the upper biasing element is maintained adjacent the page restraint arm, wherein the pages of a book are biased in an open position within the book holder.

10. A method of making a book holder as recited in claim 7 wherein the support base defines a left outside corner and the method further comprises the step of forming a projection on the left outside corner which further maintains the pages of a book in the open position.

11. A method of making a book holder as recited in claim 7 further comprising the step of forming a notch in the page restraint arm, wherein the notch is formed to create a void in the restraining surface thereby enabling the user more easily turn the pages of a book.

12. A book holder for receiving and maintaining a book with its cover and pages in an open position, to a particular page, while permitting a user to turn the pages without removing the book from the book holder, the book holder comprising: a generally planar back frame that defines a support surface against which a cover of a book rests; a support base from which the back frame extends substantially upward, wherein portions of the support base extend upward and outward from the back frame to define a receiving surface for supporting a book thereon, the book being received between the receiving surface and the support surface of the back frame such that the downward weight of the book wedges the pages its cover, in an open position; a page restraint arm spaced substantially upward from the support base, wherein portions of the page restraint arm extend outward and downward from the support surface of the back frame to define a restraining surface that opposes the support surface, wherein a channel is formed between the restraining surface and the support surface to receive and maintain the pages of a book in the open position between the restraining surface and the support surface; and a removable insert disposed between the page restraint arm and the support base, the removable insert comprising: a lower biasing element extending along the support base disposed to impart a biasing pressure toward the back frame upon pages of a book disposed between the lower biasing element and the back frame; and an upper biasing element extending along the channel between the back frame and the page restraint arm, wherein the upper biasing element is disposed to impart a biasing pressure toward the back frame upon the pages of a book disposed between the upper biasing element and the back frame.

13. A book holder as recited in claim 12 further comprising a connecting member that extends from the lower biasing element upward to the upper biasing element to join the lower biasing element to the upper biasing element so that the lower biasing element is maintained adjacent the support base, and the upper biasing element is maintained adjacent the page restraint arm, wherein the pages of a book are biased in an open position within the book holder.

14. A book holder as recited in claim 12 wherein the support base defines a left outside corner which is turned upward to form a projection which further maintains the pages of a book in the open position.

15. A book holder as recited in claim 12 wherein the page restraint arm is arranged to define a centrally disposed notch, the notch being provided to create a void in the restraining surface thereby enabling the user more easily turn the pages of a book.

16. A book holder as recited in claim 12 further comprising a brace that extends rearward from the back frame to support the book holder from a flat surface.

17. A book holder as recited in claim 12 wherein the page restraint arm defines a left outside corner which is turned downward to form a projection which further maintains the pages of a book in the open position.

Description:

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/291,869 filed May 18, 2001.

BACKGROUND

[0002] This invention relates generally to accessories for books, and more particularly to a method and apparatus for supporting a book, and securing the book open to a predetermined page, while being read by the user or temporarily stored.

[0003] Book holders have been available for many years to provide means to support a book in an open condition on a desk thereby aiding the reader for hands-free or one hand reading. Typically such book holders comprise a lower support and a structure extending upward therefrom to hold or prevent the pages of the book from freely turning.

[0004] For example U.S. Pat. No. 3,809,352 issued in 1974 teaches a book holder having a base with a translucent planar structure extending upward disposed in front of the pages of a book to hold them in place. Similarly, U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,897,037; 3,991,967; 4,407,523 and 4,436,271 each disclose a structure extending upward from a base, in front of the book to secure the pages thereof.

[0005] In contrast, U.S. Pat. No. 4,496,127 issued in 1985 illustrates an adjustable back support which can be adjusted rearward from a translucent planar front member to secure a book between the same. This invention, however is bulky and makes it difficult for the reader to turn the pages. Several later designs including U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,610,416; 4,739,960; 4,817,139; 4,880,327 and 5,029,798 disclose a base structure supporting an upward extending backrest for leaning a book against wherein the base support includes a retaining member located to prevent pages from freely turning. These designs, however only secure the bottom portion of a book and thus the top of the pages tend to move away from the book holder.

[0006] In addition, other designs such as U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,067,682; 5,639,053 and 5,755,423 show similar book holding features but are somewhat more complicated in their construction thereby making them more expensive to produce and more difficult to use. Also, these designs can only accommodate books of similar size. Accordingly, a need remains for a book holder that employs a simple design, is easy to use, and can secure books of varying size.

SUMMARY

[0007] One object is to provide a book holder to secure the pages of a book in the open position thereby freeing the hands of the reader.

[0008] A second object is to produce a book holder that can accommodate book of widely varying size.

[0009] Another object is to enable a reader to easily turn pages in sequence but stop at any point and have the pages remain secured in position.

[0010] Yet another object is to produce a book holder that is simple to use and inexpensive to produce.

[0011] A further object is to enhance the reading enjoyment of the user by reducing the effort required during the reading process.

[0012] Still another object is to enable a reader to deal with distractions by keeping the book open for long periods to a predetermined page.

[0013] The invention is a book holder for receiving and maintaining a book in an open position, to a particular page, while permitting a user to turn the pages without removing the book from the book holder. The book holder comprises a generally planar back frame that defines a support surface against which the cover of the book rests. The support surface is disposed between opposing left and right edges defined by the back frame. In the present invention, the back frame extends substantially upward from a lower support base. In addition, the support base extends outward and upward from the back frame to define a receiving surface for supporting a book thereon. In this way the pages are received between the receiving surface and the support surface of the back frame such that the downward weight of the book wedges the pages between the receiving surface and the support surface. Accordingly, the pages of the book are urged toward the cover thereof, maintaining the book in an open position.

[0014] Importantly, a page restraint arm is provided. Specifically, the page restraint arm is spaced-apart from the support base, and extends outward and downward from the support surface of the back frame, to define a restraining surface that opposes the support surface. With this construction, a channel is formed between the restraining surface and the support surface. The channel is arranged to receive and maintain the pages of the book in the open position between the restraining surface and the support surface. In this way, the restraining surface prevents the pages of the book from freely turning without assistance from the reader.

[0015] In another aspect of the invention, the book holder further comprises a removable insert disposed between the page restraint arm and the support base for holding books of smaller dimensions such as paper back books. In the present invention, the removable insert comprises a lower biasing element that extends horizontally along the support base. Accordingly, the lower biasing element is disposed to impart a biasing pressure, toward the back frame, upon pages of a book disposed between the lower biasing element and the back frame. In addition, the removable insert comprises an upper biasing element that extends horizontally along and through the channel formed between the back frame and the page restraint arm. Similar to the lower biasing element, the upper biasing element is disposed to impart a biasing pressure toward the back frame upon pages of a book disposed between the upper biasing element and the back frame.

[0016] The foregoing and other objects, features, and advantages of this invention will become more readily apparent from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment which proceeds with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein the preferred embodiment of the invention is shown and described, simply by way of illustration of the best mode contemplated of carrying out the invention. As will be realized, the invention is capable of other and different embodiments, and its several details are capable of modifications in various obvious respects, all without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the drawings and description are to be regarded as illustrative in nature, and not as restrictive.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0017] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a book holder in accordance with the present invention.

[0018] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a book holder in accordance with the present invention wherein a book is being held open by the book holder to a particular page.

[0019] FIG. 3 is an elevational view of a book holder in accordance with the present invention with a brace supporting the book holder on a surface.

[0020] FIG. 4 is an elevational view of an alternate embodiment book holder having a removable insert disposed to receive and hold small books.

[0021] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment book holder having a removable insert disposed to receive and hold a small book.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0022] FIGS. 1 through 5 illustrate a book holder 20 in accordance with the present invention. The book holder 20 is provided for receiving and maintaining a book 22 in an open position, to a particular page 24, while permitting a user (not illustrated) to turn the pages 26 without removing the book 22 from the book holder 20. The book holder 20 comprises a generally planar back frame 28 that defines a support surface 30 against which the cover 32 of the book 22 rests. The support surface 30 is disposed between opposing left and right edges 34, 36 defined by the back frame 28. In the present invention, the back frame 28 extends substantially upward from a lower support base 38. In addition, portions of the support base 38 extend outward and upward from the back frame 28 to define a receiving surface 40 for supporting a book 22 thereon. In this way, the pages 26 are received between the receiving surface 40 and the support surface 30 of the back frame 28 such that the downward weight of the book 22 wedges the pages 26 between the receiving surface 40 and the support surface 30. Accordingly, the pages of the book 22 are urged toward the cover 32 thereof, maintaining the book 22 in an open position. It should also be noted that the support base 38 defines a left outside corner 39 which is formed to turn upward to form a projection 70 which further maintains the pages of a book 22 in the open position.

[0023] Importantly, a page restraint arm 44 is provided. Specifically, the page restraint arm 44 is spaced-apart from the support base 38, wherein portions of the support base 38 extend outward and downward from the support surface 30 of the back frame 28, to define a restraining surface 46 that opposes the support surface 30. With this construction, a channel 48 is formed between the restraining surface 46 and the support surface 30. The channel 48 is arranged to receive and maintain the pages 26 of the book 22 in the open position, as illustrated in FIG. 2, between the restraining surface 46 and the support surface 30. In this way, the restraining surface 46 prevents the pages 26 of the book 22 from freely turning without assistance from the reader. In addition, as with the support base 38, the page restraint arm 44 defines a left outside corner 45 which is formed to turn downward to form a projection 68 which further maintains the pages of a book 22 in the open position.

[0024] In another embodiment of the invention, the book holder 20 further comprises a removable insert 50 disposed between the page restraint arm 44 and the support base 38 for holding books of smaller dimensions such as a paper back book 52. In the present invention, the removable insert 50 comprises a lower biasing element 54 that extends horizontally along the support base 38. In addition, the lower biasing element 54 defines a biasing surface 55 which contacts the pages of a book as illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5. Accordingly, the lower biasing element 54 is disposed to impart a biasing pressure, toward the back frame 28, upon pages 26 of a paper back book 52 disposed between the lower biasing element 54 and the back frame 28. In addition, the removable insert 50 comprises an upper biasing element 56 that extends horizontally along and through the channel 48 formed between the back frame 28 and the page restraint arm 44. Similar to the lower biasing element 54, the upper biasing element 56 defines a biasing surface 57 which is disposed to impart a biasing pressure toward the back frame 28 upon pages 26 of a book 22 disposed between the upper biasing element 56 and the back frame 28. Further, it should be noted that the removable insert 50 could be made from a variety of resilient materials formed to hold a desired shape, including paper, and that the material could be translucent or opaque.

[0025] Considering now in more detail, the structure of the components from which the present invention is constructed, the book holder 20 is typically constructed of clear or transparent resilient material such as Plexiglas® or some other similar resilient material. Moreover, the book holder 20 is primarily molded or shaped in one-piece, however, as will be more fully discussed below, certain accessories are separate, i.e., a removable insert 50, for small books, and a brace 62 for standing the book holder 20 on a flat surface 64 such as a table or the like.

[0026] Turning now to FIGS. 1 through 3, and particularly, FIG. 2, a book 22, positioned within a book holder 20, is illustrated showing a page restraint arm 44 holding the upper portion of the book 22, and its pages 26, and a support base 38 supporting the weight of the book. As illustrated, the support base 38 and the restraint arm 44 each extend from the back frame 28 and are sloped back over the support surface 30 of the back frame 28. Typically, the page restraint arm 44 is sloped approximately 30 degrees in relation to the support surface 30. Likewise, the support base 38 is sloped approximately 70 degrees in relation to the support surface 30. In this way, the weight of the book has a tendency to wedge the pages thereof between the receiving surface 40, of support base 38, and the support surface 30 thereby preventing the bottom of the pages 26 from freely turning without the reader's control.

[0027] Moreover, the page restraint arm 44 is disposed to prevent the upper portion of the pages 26 from freely turning without the reader's control as noted above. To this end, the page restraint arm 44 is formed to include a centrally disposed notch 66 that is provided to create a void which assists in the reader's advancement of successive pages 26. Specifically, as one page 24 is turned, the notch 66 provides relief from the page restraint arm 44 as the turned page is midway through the transition of turning the same.

[0028] Additionally, it should be noted that in the present invention, the width of the book holder 20 is substantially constant and is equal to the width of the back frame 28, which extends from a left edge 34 to a right edge 36. Accordingly, the page restraint arm 44, as well as the support base 38 are approximately the same width as the back frame 28 which simplifies the process of integral construction of the above noted parts, e.g., one-piece construction of the primary components.

[0029] Turning again to FIGS. 1 and 2, an extra measure for maintaining a turned page properly on the left side of the book holder 20 is provided by projections 68 and 70 which are disposed respectively on the left outside corner 39 of the support base 38 and on the left outside corner 45 of the page restraint arm 44. In the present invention, the projections 68-70 are formed by forming the same with turned up edges. In this way, the projections 68-70 an additional barrier that a page encounters to prevent the same from returning to the right side of the book 22.

[0030] Directing attention now to FIGS. 4 and 5, a removable insert 50 is illustrated demonstrating a method of securing a small book, such as a paper back book 52 within the book holder 20. As noted above, the removable insert 50 is disposed between the page restraint arm 44 and the support base 38 and includes a lower biasing element 54 that extends horizontally along the support base 38. The lower biasing element 54 defines a biasing surface 55 which contacts the pages of the book 22. The lower biasing element 54 is disposed to impart a biasing pressure, toward the back frame 28, upon pages 26 of a paper back book 52 disposed between the lower biasing element 54 and the back frame 28. Similarly, the removable insert 50 comprises an upper biasing element 56 that extends horizontally along and through the channel 48 formed between the back frame 28 and the page restraint arm 44. Similar to the lower biasing element 54, the upper biasing element 56 defines a biasing surface 57 which contacts the pages of the book 22. Likewise, the upper biasing element 56 is disposed to impart a biasing pressure toward the back frame 28 upon pages 26 of a book 22 disposed between the upper biasing element 56 and the back frame 28.

[0031] As noted above, in the present invention, the removable insert 50 is constructed of a flexible clear material such as plastic or the like, that can be molded, formed, or shaped as best illustrated in FIG. 4. Alternately, the removable insert could be constructed of a paper product such as cardboard fashioned or bent as noted below. As can be seen, the upper and lower biasing elements 54-56 are similarly formed or shaped by producing a roll of plastic (or other material) that rolls over upon itself, wherein the material is processed to hold the desired shape. Additionally, the width of the removable insert is approximately equal to the width of the back frame 28 of the book holder 20.

[0032] Importantly the material of the upper biasing element rolls counter-clockwise, and in contrast, the material of the lower biasing element 56 rolls clockwise. In this way, a paper back book 52 can be lodged against or under the roll of the upper and lower biasing elements 54-56 as illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5. It should be noted that there are many types of materials, and methods of forming the same to the above noted shapes. Accordingly, it is beyond the scope of this disclosure to explore all the various ways of producing a removable insert 50.

[0033] Finally, the configuration noted above allows the reader to hold the book holder in one hand while reading the book 22. However, if the reader desires to place the book holder 20 on a flat surface 76, a brace 76 is provided. Such a brace 76 could be made from the materials noted above, and shaped as illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 5. For example, one embodiment comprises a brace 76 shaped in the form of a triangle with one leg 80 disposed to lie on a flat surface 64. Moreover, the upper apex 82 of triangular shaped brace 62 is formed with a transition crease 84 to allow attachment of the apex 82 to the back side 86 of back frame 28 by welding or by other means. Alternately, the transition crease 84 could be made to hinge by removing some material at the transition crease 84, or by providing a mechanical hinge (not illustrated). With this arrangement, the book holder 20 rests on edge 88 formed at the transition between the support base 38 and the back frame 28: the bookholder being held upright by brace 62.

[0034] Having illustrated and described the principles of my invention in a preferred embodiment thereof, it should be readily apparent to those skilled in the art that the invention can be modified in arrangement and detail without departing from such principles. I claim all modifications coming within the spirit and scope of the accompanying claims.