If you’re an avid reader, you’ll know the neck pain that immersing in a fascinating read can cause. Whether you like to read on the sofa, in your study, in bed, or elsewhere, a book holder can help look after your posture while you’re reading. With so many options, we had to bring you the best book holders just to cover all the types you might need.
A book holder is also a great idea if you do a lot of cooking with recipe books – prop your cookbook up on a book stand in the kitchen and prevent the pages from folding over mid-recipe, meaning you won’t get sauce or cake batter all over the pages (or even do a Rachel from Friends and make a trifle with beef mince in the middle).
As an avid reader myself, it was easy to pull together a list of the best book holders as they're a product I frequently use to prevent me from experiencing arm aches. However, it was knowing when to stop finding bookholder stands that seemed to be the problem.
There are various types of book holders you can buy, from comfy cushion types that are great for reading on your lap or in bed to stands that are heavy-duty options for serious studying and stylish wooden versions that look great on your kitchen worktop.
What is a book holder?
Quite often these days, with our busy lives, we can be reading a book while doing various other things, such as:
• Having a bath
• Washing up
If you’re taking part in any activity where you need to read simultaneously as concentrating on something else, multitasking is a must, and you need your hands free. A book reading stand can keep your reading material at the ideal distance from you without needing your hands to hold it.
This can be particularly useful if you’re following instructions from a manual – such as following sewing instructions while you’re using the sewing machine, reading music while you play an instrument, or mulling over a question while working through your favourite puzzle book.
We’ve browsed the shops to find our favourite bookholders available to buy today, whatever your requirements. Here are the best bookholders on the market below.
Here are 13 of the best bookholders:
Best book holders
1. H&S Book Stand Bamboo
If your goal is to make cooking easier, a recipe book holder like the H&S Book Stand Bamboo is a great fit. It looks fantastic in any kitchen, is adjustable and keeps your page in place so you can just get on with the cooking. Bamboo is all the rage these days (check out our sustainable bamboo products here), and this bamboo book rest stand is an eco-friendly addition to your kitchen or study for when you want to read hands-free. There are six adjustment angles, so it fits all kinds of books, from lightweight novels to heavyweight hardback recipe books. It's easy to fold up and store, and the springed page holders keep your place easily.
Features: Made from sustainable bamboo, easy to clean, folds flat and has adjustable angles
2. MoneRiffi Upgrade Tablet Stand
It's sold as a tablet holder but is equally useful for a book and is great for when you're reading in bed and want a soft book holder. It doesn't have any page holders, however, but is great for sturdy books or magazines. Comfy to use when you're on the sofa or in bed, helping to prevent neck strain while you're reading; you can rotate it for different angles. It features a pocket on the side for holding your phone or glasses, too.
Features: Pocket for belongings, rotate for different angles, soft and comfy
3. Apollo Book Holder, Chrome
One of the simplest book holders on our list, this is easy to use but doesn't feature any adjustability. It's easy to prop your book upon while you're reading in your study or kitchen, but it wouldn't be great in bed or on the sofa. It also doesn't fold flat, so it is bulky to store. It is great value for money, however.
Features: Chrome finish, portable and durable, value for money
4. Adjustable Book Stand
This ergonomic, collapsible book stand is made from very durable aluminium alloy, with a wide range of adjustability, meaning you can use it in all sorts of positions and rooms. Whether you want to use it as a recipe book, stand in the kitchen while you're cooking, on the sofa as you relax, or even in bed, the dial on the side is easy to use to change the position to your liking. It's not the prettiest book holder, it has to be said, but it's extremely practical and totally versatile. It collapses easily to store away while not in use.
Features: Adjustable book stand for reading, multiple stand heights and angles, lightweight and portable
5. Best book chair reading stand: The Book Seat Book Holder
Rest your book on this cushion book holder for a comfortable way to read wherever you're sitting. You can find this in a range of different colours. There's a Perspex page holder which keeps your book open while you read, meaning you're totally hands-free. There's also a handy pocket to put your phone or glasses in while you read. It also makes a great kids' book holder for when the grandchildren want to find a comfy spot to read.
Features: Soft and comfy, made from faux-suede, perspex page holder and pocket for belongings
6. Deckchair Bookchair
Super cute, this book holder looks like a mini deckchair, and why not? We love it for the funny factor, plus it's a practical way of holding your place in your book with two wooden clips at the bottom that extend out. It folds flat, so it's great to take on holiday with you. It's not adjustable, however. Maybe one for use with a bath caddy, perhaps?
Features: Fun designs, retractable page holders, fold flat and lightweight
7. Cast Iron Cook Recipe Book Stand
A decorative cast iron book holder that's not a portable option by any means, as it's certainly not lightweight, but it'll look fabulous on show in your kitchen even when not in use. One idea is to choose a beautiful cookbook to keep on the stand when you're not using it, to make a talking point. The cast iron design means it's really durable and can hold even your heaviest hardback recipe books, with the dangly weighted cords holding your pages open.
Features: Made from cast iron, extremely durable, weighted cord page holders, antique design
8. John Lewis & Partners Acacia Wood Cookbook/Tablet Stand and Board
Made from acacia wood, this book holder will look beautiful when not in use, whether you keep it in your kitchen for recipe books or in your study as a book holder for desk reading. It's easy to clean with a damp cloth, and the board easily lifts out of the base block when you want to store it away. It's not adjustable, though.
Features: Made from acacia wood, hard-wearing, easy to store and durable
9. SourceOne COMPACT Reading Rack
Do you mostly read when you're exercising? It's a great way to pass the time and get in those extra miles. This acrylic reading rack is perfectly suited to fit onto most exercising equipment, including treadmills, stationary bikes, step machines, ellipticals and more. All you need is a flat screen to hang it from. Plus, it's lightweight, so you can take it anywhere with you.
Features: Clear acrylic, compact and lightweight, ideal for treadmills, exercise bikes and more.
10. TILISMA Book Page Holder
A page holder, rather than a book holder, but it's so handy we had to include it. It looks interesting and is great when you need a hand free while you're reading. Useful when you're propped up in bed. Available in small, medium and large sizes. A hands-free book page holder is the device we just didn't know we needed.
Features: Available in small, medium or large, lightweight, premium construction
11. Harcas Premium Bamboo Bath Tray
Relaxing with a book in the bath is one of life's finest pleasures. Investing in a bath caddy with a book holder will make your life easier and stop your book from getting wet! We love this number with its flip-up book or tablet holder. It not only looks stylish, but it has multiple uses and is made from a lovely, durable material. This bath book holder not only holds a drink, your toiletries or your phone but has a flip-up stand for your latest novel or tablet.
Features: Pull-out extending arms, movable soap tray and 365-day warranty
Personalised Recipe Book Or Tablet Stand
Best personalised book stand
This bamboo recipe book stand can be personalised with any name and text, making a great gift for aspiring chefs, bakers and foodies. The stand is laser-engraved with the personalised name/s followed by "Kitchen" and then any text, a truly unique gift with a high-quality finish. The bamboo recipe book stand is also eco-friendly as the main components are made from sustainable materials.
Which book holder is right for you?
The first thing you should make a note of is what you'll be using your book stand for, i.e for recipe books, while reading a novel in the bath, or catching up on some reading in bed. Look for a stand that fits what you need.
What book stand is best for reading in bed?
Cushioned book holders are more comfortable in bed as they allow you to get comfy without any hard edges digging into you. Book holder stands for reading in bed are pretty much an oddly shaped pillow.
What book stand is best for reading in the bath?
Reading in the bath can be a little risky; after all, you don't want your favourite novel to be getting wet or damaged. The best option for bath reading is to use an over-the-bath tray, which has a book holder built in. Not only will this keep your page open so you can read it without touching the pages, there is also plenty of room for a drink and a calming candle.
Benefits of using a book holder stand
First and foremost, using a book holder is ideal for better posture. Sitting puts a lot of stress on the back, which, if we're not careful, can lead to slouching. A book holder helps you to sit up straight, taking the strain out of your arms, neck and back, allowing you to sit comfortably and without pain.
Those who experience neck pain or back pain may also find they can reduce this discomfort by using a reclining chair, an orthopaedic pillow or lumbar support cushion, or even something as simple as getting up and moving around every now and again rather than sitting still for too long.
Particularly if you suffer from arthritis, you may notice you get joint pain in your wrists when holding books for a long period of time. This can be alleviated by using a book holder.
You'll definitely notice that any pain you have in your neck or back is eased after starting to use a book holder. It's a simple swap, but it can make such a difference to your wellbeing. Even if you don't read that often, it's a no brainer to stop strain and stress on your body.
The angle of a book holder means that not only can you see what you're reading clearly, but that you won't be susceptible to eye strain as quickly. That means you can get stuck into your favourite book and enjoy your reading session for longer.
DIY book holder
If you want to have a go at making your own DIY book stand, you don't have to spend hours in the DIY shop, or sanding down wood in the garage to do so.
This simple book stand can be made using cardboard, paint, paper, glue and some household stationary. It's a great eco-friendly option as you're reusing a piece of old cardboard.
If that looks like a bit too much work, you can also make a book stand out of a coat hanger, if you'd prefer. All you need is a wire coat hanger and some pliers. Sure, it doesn't look as nice as the ones you can purchase, but it does get the job done.