How to Read a Book in Bed

Reading in bed is practically a national pastime. Many people read before going to sleep, while others love to curl up with a good novel and while away the weekend. Still others read in bed while hospitalized or recuperating from illness. Reading in bed is a bit different, however, than sitting at a desk or in an armchair. Creating the right conditions can make your overall experience much more comfortable and pleasurable.

Turn off your television, radio or stereo so you'll have few interruptions and can focus on reading. Close your bedroom door to minimize background noise from other family members.

Make your reading conditions pleasant. Set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature and grab a beverage or snack so you won't have to get up if you get hungry or thirsty while you're reading. Prop up your head and back with plenty of pillows and keep an extra blanket handy in case you get cold.

Use a lamp that emits minimal glare and provides enough light for you to read. Ideally, you should position a reading lamp behind your right shoulder if you're right-handed or behind your left-shoulder if you're left handed so your hand won't cast shadows as you read. If this isn't possible, just make sure you have enough light to read and supplement your lighting by attaching a clip-on reading light to your book.

Set a small mirror on the page and check to see whether any strong light reflects into your eyes. If it does, rearrange your position or lamp so that the light bounces away. Doing so can help you avoid fatiguing glare.

Hold your book about 15 inches away from your eyes (approximately the distance from your elbow to your wrist), recommends The University of Alabama Center for Teaching and Learning.

Things You'll Need

  • Lamps
  • Book lamp
  • Pillows
  • Blanket
  • Food and drink
  • Small mirror