Title:
Vertical support for books and other items
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is a vertical support for books and other items enabling support of single books without the need for additional lateral support, also enabling the maintenance of books and other items arranged neatly with items kept evenly along the front edge of the shelf. The device is preferably mounted to the spine of the book or other item to be supported and can bear labeling indicating information about the book or item supported or other indicia.



Inventors:
Cristofaro, Claudio (Hilario de la Quintana, AR)
Application Number:
11/366935
Publication Date:
09/06/2007
Filing Date:
03/02/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B65/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MOONEY, MATTHEW B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MANUEL VALCACEL (MIAMI, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A device for vertically supporting a shelvable item on a shelf comprising an “L”-shaped member having a vertical portion affixed to an outer surface of said shelvable item and a horizontal portion disposed against the underside of said shelf.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein said vertical portion is affixed to said shelvable item by adhesive.

3. The device of claim 1, wherein said vertical portion is affixed to said shelvable item by one or more fasteners.

4. The device of claim 3, wherein said fasteners comprise one or more rivets.

5. The device of claim 3, wherein said fasteners comprise hook and loop-type fasteners.

6. The device of claim 1, wherein said shelvable item includes a spine portion having an inner surface and an outer surface, and said vertical portion of said device is affixed to said spine portion.

7. The device of claim 6, wherein said vertical portion of said device is affixed to said spine portion at said inner surface of said spine portion.

8. The device of claim 6, wherein said vertical portion of said device is affixed to said spine portion at said outer surface of said spine portion.

9. The device of claim 6, wherein said vertical portion of said device is integral to said spine portion.

10. The device of claim 1, wherein said vertical portion is integral to said shelvable item.

11. The device of claim 1, wherein said horizontal portion has an outer edge that is bent downwardly with reference to said underside of said shelf.

12. The device of claim 1, wherein the angle between said vertical portion and said horizontal portion is less than or equal to ninety degrees.

13. The device of claim 1, wherein said vertical portion is longer than said horizontal portion.

14. The device of claim 1, wherein said vertical portion and said horizontal portion are two separate parts connected to each other at one end.

15. The device of claim 1, wherein said vertical portion and said horizontal portion are connected to each other by a dovetail joint formed by joining one end of said vertical portion and one end of said horizontal portion.

16. A device for vertically supporting a shelvable item on a shelf comprising an “L”-shaped member having a vertical portion disposed internally with respect to said shelvable item and a horizontal portion disposed against the underside of said shelf.

17. The device of claim 16, wherein said shelvable item includes a spine portion having an inner surface and an outer surface and a channel formed between said inner surface of said spine portion and the body of said shelvable item, and said vertical portion is disposed in said channel.

18. The device of claim 17, wherein said channel of said shelvable item is lined with a sleeve for receiving said vertical portion.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

The field of this invention is vertical supports for shelvable items such as books, binders, note books and the like. More specifically, the present invention is a vertical support for books and other shelvable items enabling vertical support of a single book, binder or other shelvable item without needing other vertical or lateral support.

2. Background

It is a common experience for those that have books, binders and other shelvable items to have vertically shelved items lean to one side or fall unless supported in a vertical position, especially when shelving single books, soft bound books and flexible notebooks and binders. The leaning causes the binding of books to warp and weaken, eventually causing damage to the binding. When multiple books are shelved in an upright vertical position next to each other, their front and back covers provide vertical and lateral support and to the books, but the books on the edges need additional vertical support and the inner books lose their support when adjacent books are removed from the shelf.

Various vertical support devices have been developed to permit books to be shelved in a vertical position without damaging the binding. For example, devices consisting of vertical supports placed at book ends provide support at the end book positions, with the covers of adjacent books providing vertical and lateral support to the other books. Such devices require repeated placement and adjustment as books are added and removed from the shelf. When they are moved, the books often immediately lean or fall to one side, resulting in damage to the book binding. The cost of replacing damaged books is considerable, particularly in large institutional library settings where books are heavily circulated on and off shelves.

While efforts have been made to improve vertical support devices for books and other shelvable items, the above described deficiencies continue to exist. What is needed is a device that provides support to individual books, so that even when a book is added or removed from a shelf the book remains supported in an upright vertical position, which does not require repeated placement and removal and which is simple and easy to use with minimal parts that can be lost over time. The present invention overcomes these deficiencies and provides an effective and easy use vertical support for single books and other items.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a device for maintaining books, binders, notebooks and other shelvable items in a vertical position to prevent damage to the item covered by the item leaning or falling to one side. The present invention allows books to be maintained in an upright vertical position without having lateral support. With the present invention single books and flexible binders, which tend to fall or lean to one side when placed in an upright vertical position on a shelf, can be supported in a vertical position without the need for additional lateral or other support. The device can be configured as an “L” shaped single part or as two interlocking parts, with a portion or part affixed, fastened or otherwise mounted to (or forming an integral portion of) the spine of book, binder or other item to be supported, and another portion or part mounted to the horizontal underside surface of the shelf. The device has a vertical surface suitable for affixing labels, stickers and other indicia such as for library call number, category, topic or other labeling. The device is preferably made of a rigid material although it can have flexibility. The device's configuration and manner of use also allows users to keep all books, binders and other shelvable items neatly aligned with the front edge of the shelf, making library organizational functions much easier to accomplish and maintain.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Each of the figures depicts the device as used with a book, but the device is not limited to use with books and can be used with notebooks, binders and multiple other shelvable items.

FIG. 1 depicts a sample front right side perspective view of a sample single book vertically supported on a shelf by the device comprising the present invention in a preferred embodiment.

FIG. 2 depicts a side perspective view of the vertical support of the present invention in a preferred embodiment, wherein the support is disposed on the outer surface of the book or other shelvable item.

FIG. 3 depicts an underside right perspective view of the vertical support of the present invention in a preferred embodiment.

FIG. 4 depicts a side perspective view of a book supported by the vertical support of the present invention in a preferred embodiment, wherein the support is disposed inwardly from the outer surface of the book or other shelvable item.

FIG. 5 depicts an underside right perspective view of the vertical support of the present invention in an alternate embodiment comprising two pieces.

FIG. 6 depicts a side perspective view of the vertical support of the present invention in an alternate two-piece embodiment.

FIG. 7 depicts a side perspective view of the vertical support of the present invention, in a preferred embodiment, apart from the book and shelf.

FIG. 8 depicts multiple books each supported by a separate vertical support device of the present invention showing how the books are maintained aligned with the outer edge of the shelf.

FIG. 9 depicts an underside right perspective view of the device mounted to the outer surface of a book spine, showing placement of labels or other indicia on the device's outer vertical surface.

FIG. 10 depicts an underside right perspective view of the device showing how the device wraps around the outer edge and bottom surface of the shelf.

FIG. 11 depicts another view showing how the shorter horizontal portion rests against the underside of the shelf.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a vertical support device for books, binders and other shelvable items which enables the vertical support of single items without the need for additional lateral or support and which does not necessitate repeated placement and removal as books or other items are added and removed from the shelf, and which maintains the shelvable items neatly aligned with the outer edge of the shelf. The device is preferably incorporated into, affixed, fastened or otherwise mounted (collectively, “affixed”) to the inner or outer vertical spine surface of the item to be supported and comprises a single flat piece configured in an “L” shape, with the first portion of the “L” disposed vertically and affixed to the spine of the book or other item, said portion extending past the bottom of the book or item and vertically down to the bottom surface of the shelf, which is where the bend of the “L” is disposed. The second portion of the “L” is disposed horizontally, and inwardly from the outer edge of the bottom surface of the shelf. The second portion of the “L” rests against the underside surface of the shelf, thereby providing vertical support. The end of the second portion is preferably curved or bent outwardly (downward by with reference to the underside surface of the shelf) to allow for easy removal and installation of the device. The user can pull down on the downwardly bent end to loosen the device from the shelf. The angle created between the “short” second and “long” first “L” portion is preferably acute (i.e., less than 90°) such that when the device is installed on the book and placed on a shelf the shorter second “L” portion rests against the underside surface of the shelf with some tension. The bottom edge having a portion angled downwardly is used to pull to loosen and position the device over the shelf underside support surface. The two portions of the support can be of equal length or one can be longer than the other, and either portion can be the longer portion. References to “shorter” and “longer” are not to be interpreted as limitations as to the scope of the invention.

As noted above, the “L” shaped support's corner portion is placed adjacent to the outer edge of the shelf and the horizontal portion bends around the underside surface of the shelf. The vertical portion is disposed upwardly adjacent to the book spine, and is preferably affixed to the spine (which can be the inner or outer spine surface) via adhesive, hook and loop fasteners, rivets or other fasteners, or other fixation means or combinations thereof, or can be formed on the shelvable item surface and/or otherwise be made integral to the shelvable item. The device provides vertical support to individual books without the need for lateral support from adjacent book faces, which eliminates abrasive rubbing of book surfaces, thereby preventing wearing of books. Referring now to FIG. 1, which depicts a front right side perspective view of a sample single book vertically supported on a shelf by the device comprising the present invention in a preferred embodiment, which is the “L” shaped device mounted to the spine of the book with the lower portion extending below the shelf and resting against the underside surface of the shelf. FIG. 2 depicts a side perspective view of a book A vertically supported by the device of the present invention on shelf 6; the overall device is labeled 1 and comprises an “L” shaped member having a vertical portion 2 and a horizontal portion 4. The end of the horizontal portion 5 is preferably bent downward. The vertical portion 2 is affixed to the spine B of Book A. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 2, the vertical portion 2 is affixed to the outer surface of the book spine. As noted above, the fastening, mounting or affixing means can be various, including, without limitation, by adhesives, rivets or other mechanical fastening, hook and loop fastening such as the type marketed under the VELCRO® brand, or other means or combinations thereof. The outer edge 3 of Book A is maintained even with the outer edge of shelf 6. FIG. 3 depicts an underside right perspective view showing how the device extends from the bottom edge of the book spine down along the outer edge of the shelf and the horizontal “L” portion 4 rests against the underside of shelf 6. FIG. 4 depicts a side perspective view of a book supported vertically by the device 1 of the present invention, in an embodiment wherein the vertical portion 2 is mounted on the inner surface of the book spine B. In this alternate embodiment, the vertical portion 2 can also be disposed internally with respect to the shelvable item, such as by being slid into the channel formed by the space between the inner surface of the spine and the body of the shelvable item such as the space between the outer spine and the inner binding of books, or said space can be fitted with a sleeve to receive the vertical portion 2, thereby eliminating the need for mounting, fastening, or other affixation. In such embodiment, the device is easily installable and removable from shelvable items such as books. FIG. 5 depicts an underside right perspective view of the device in an alternate embodiment, wherein the vertical portion 2 and the horizontal portion 4 are two separate parts that are connected by suitable means, such as the horizontal “dovetail” joint combination shown. In this embodiment, the point of connection of the two portions 2 and 4 can vary. In FIG. 5 the horizontal portion includes a vertical portion that is roughly the length of the shelf thickness, and the point of connection of the vertical portion 2 and the shorter portion 4 is near the bottom edge of the book spine. The dovetail connection point is preferably disposed horizontally, such that they can be disconnected by sliding either or portions horizontally. FIG. 6 depicts a side perspective view of a book supported vertically on a shelf by the device of the present invention in the alternate embodiment wherein the vertical portion and the horizontal portion are separate parts joined via a single horizontally disposed dovetail joint. The connecting point location and type of connection can vary and is not limited to the embodiment shown. Other variations can include hinged connections, tongue and groove joints or other known suitable joint connection means. FIG. 7 depicts the device of the present invention apart from the book or other item to be supported and apart from the shelf, showing the overall “L” shaped configuration, with 7-A showing the alternate two-piece embodiment and 7-B showing the single piece embodiment. FIG. 8 depicts multiple books vertically supported on a shelf each by an individual vertical support device of the present invention, showing how additional lateral or other support is not needed and showing how the device maintains the books aligned along the outer edge of the shelf. FIG. 9 depicts an underside right perspective view of the device mounted to the outer surface of the spine of a book, showing the placement of labels on the outer surface of the longer vertical portion 2. FIG. 10 depicts an underside right perspective view showing how the device wraps around the outer edge and bottom surface of the shelf. The device is configured so that the space between the bottom of the book spine and the horizontal portion 4 approximates the thickness of the shelf. The device can be constructed in a “one size fits all” configuration and can also be configured in multiple sizes to work with varying shelf thicknesses, and the angle of the center of the “L”-shaped device is preferably acute so as to cause the horizontal portion 4 to push against the underside of the shelf when installed to create tension which results in vertical support for the book. FIG. 11 depicts another view showing how the horizontal portion 4 rests against the underside of the shelf. The device can be made of various materials, such as, without limitation, metal, alloys, plastic, wood or other suitable rigid materials and can be made by injection or other molding, casting, forming and cutting of material to create the device, or other known manufacturing means. The materials used and methods of making the device are not limited and can encompass materials and techniques both known and comprising the state of the art.

While the present invention has been shown and described herein in what are considered to be the preferred embodiments thereof, illustrating the results and advantages over the prior art obtained through the present invention, the invention is not limited to those specific embodiments. Thus, the forms of the invention shown and described herein are to be taken as illustrative and other embodiments may be selected without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.





 
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