Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Thumb Thing: Why didn't someone invent this earlier?

Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools features a $3-4 fancy schmancy piece of plastic to keep books open with your thumb. If they're anything like guitar picks, I'll be ordering a gross of them.
When I was a teenager I remember reading a science-fiction story which predicted that by the 21st century, information would be piped directly into the brain. In this story, a character encountered that most archaic object, an old-fashioned book, and felt appalled that people in the 20th century had been forced to endure so much physical discomfort, holding books and turning their pages manually--or trying to prevent the pages from turning if there was a breeze.

Well, here we are in 2006, and yet another science-fiction prediction has failed to pan out. While we're waiting for wetware implants, we'll just have to make do with a stopgap solution: A plastic thumb aid.
I'll be damned.

Link (via Boing Boing)

20 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally read that book too! "The Last Book in the Universe" - most excellent. But I think this thing is useless because we, um, already have thumbs.

Mon Jan 26, 11:02:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought a couple of these but they only work somewhat imperfectly. The reason is that the horizontal part, that sticks out from your thumb, is so thin. They would work so much better if they were flat!

Thu Feb 26, 01:09:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...are you serious?

Is it really that hard for you to hold a book?

Seems highly unnecessary to me.

Thu Feb 26, 01:54:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Victor said...

This seems practical if you're required to hold a book with one hand...assuming that the book isn't huge. I could totally use this at work when I standing around...doing nothing...holding a book with one hand, and my other arm folded against my chest, supporting the arm the holds up the book...so...this is a very good invention.

Fri Mar 06, 06:16:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No thanks. I can actually hold a book with my thumb. Useless.

Anyone who needs this is either an invalid or too stupid to read.

Sun Mar 08, 11:44:00 AM PDT  
Blogger brad77 said...

You're probably right, Anonymous. Thank you for your input.

Sun Mar 08, 12:32:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually can't hold a book open with my thumb for too long - muscle disease makes it weak. Something like this would be fantastic for me, and I'm not an invalid or too stupid to read. Anyone who would classify a whole world of people into two categories is a bit too immature to be posting with the big people.

Sun Mar 08, 07:24:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you, I have joint problems and this would be wonderful for when I'm reading. I don't like breaking the spins of my books so the pressure put on my thumb and pinky from holding a book causes horrible pain, not good when your reading a page turner. While i'm only 20 and have this problem; for those of you who think this is useless wait till you're older and have arthritis you will be praying for this gadget.

Sun Mar 08, 11:21:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Josh said...

That's not very practical. How often do you read a book and hold it that way the whole time? Plus, what if the book is big or hardback? That item will not sell much, unless brilliantly marketed (in other words it has to become trendy).

I like the idea of addressing the issue of pages turning, but how about a simple clamping system build into every cover? That way when you turn the page you can just slide it under the 'clamp'? Seems much easier because it can be easily added to every book, and you don't even have to hold it if you don't want to.

Mon Mar 09, 01:06:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I own one. Its pretty useful, though not comfortable to use for too long.

The most practical use for it is reading in bed. You can hold the book entirely upside down and the pages dont budge.

Mon Mar 09, 02:41:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they look really uncomfortable, i can see thumb cramp being a serious problemo here. nice idea though

Tue Mar 10, 12:31:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow what a world we live in soon the cure to cancer bound to be here just get the guy who made this worthless invention on the case

Fri Mar 13, 11:38:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have they made any of these for the Kindle 2 yet?

Wed Mar 25, 08:20:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Stripy Socks said...

That's fantastic.

Mon Mar 30, 08:36:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BUY A KINDLE 2!! NO MORE BOOK HOLDING PROBS

Sun Apr 05, 09:55:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

useful for small books, but i seriously doubt they can actually hold larger ones

Sat Apr 11, 11:53:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous katieq said...

boo to kindles. theres just something about a book that makes a story better..... this is a neat doohickey but you can just use your thumb and pinky..... oh well. at least somebody is trying to help the masses :)

Thu Oct 22, 04:07:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems like a book-light - useful for some people, but not necessary. I personally think it's great :D

Wed Dec 02, 10:23:00 PM PST  
Blogger Matt said...

was that the story where he wasn't passed for the brain information program and instead tapped to be part of a think tank because of his ability to learn math by reading.

Tue Dec 08, 07:24:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone consider the possibility to ask publishers to design books in a way that we don't have to use things like this in, say, paperback editions?

Thu Oct 14, 08:58:00 AM PDT  

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