As those of you who still use good ol' books for reference can attest to, "How-to books, cookbooks and sheet music are inconvenient to use while you're in the workshop, kitchen or concert hall," as Christopher Schwarz explains. "That's why bookstands (and music stands) were invented."
"These, however, can be bulky. And so the mechanical minds of the 19th century devised several clever ways to fold up a bookstand so it can fit in your pocket." After studying folding bookstand designs devised by both the British and the Chinese, Schwarz devised the following version, which can be made with a minimum of materials:
Looking for a heftier, more permanent version that can still be folded up for storage? Schwarz co-conspirator and furniture maker Brendan Gaffney built this Roubo Bookstand, based on a design found in "With All the Precision Possible: Roubo on Furniture."