A book pillow is a pillow which has been designed to support the weight of a book so that a reader does not have to hold the book up. In contrast with a book tray or book rack, another tool which can be used to hold a book, a book pillow is soft, flexible, and comfortable to use. Several companies manufacture book pillows for avid readers, and people who are disinclined to purchase a specialized pillow can use a generic pillow for the same purpose.
Book pillows are primarily designed for reading in bed. It can be difficult to find a comfortable angle for reading while in bed, since the book needs to be held at the optimal angle and height for reading, and this can lead to sore arms. A book pillow props the book in place, allowing the reader to relax and read. Book pillows can also be used on the lap in a chair or on a couch, or used by readers who like to sprawl out on the floor with a good book. In addition to supporting books, many book pillows can also hold up laptops.
The basic book pillow shape is usually some variation on the wedge, with the angle of the wedge providing a perfect angle for the book. In addition to a basic wedge shape, shapes like pyramids or carefully designed logs can be used. The stuffing is usually a solid piece of foam or a similar material, so that the book pillow will not change shape as the stuffing settles, and a washable cover is typically included for hygienic purposes.
Some book pillows come with added features, like a built-in bookmark, a book light, or a page turner. In most cases, the pillow is designed to be set aside before going to sleep, along with the book it supports. Pillow cases for book pillows come in a range of styles, from basic cotton to textured faux suede, with color and pattern schemes which are designed to accessorize with a variety of types of bedding.
For people who do not want to buy a specialized book pillow, a foam wedge pillow can be used. Soft pillows tend to be less effective, because they warp and change shape with use, and they will not provide firm support. It can also help to use supportive pillows to promote a good posture while sitting and reading in bed, and it is a good idea to arrange reading pillows in a way which will reduce eye strain.