Stupid Sideways Printed Books For Bed

If you force a test subject to wear mirrored sunglasses that reverse the polarity of their vision, making it seems as if they are wandering around in an upside-down world, their vision will turn right-side up again in a few days. It seems the brain automatically orientates itself to a ‘proper’ top-down orientation; we’re psychologically asymmetrical.

You can test it for yourself: hold a book in front of you and tilt your head as far to the right as you can. You can probably still read the page without any exertion or mental correction: your brain automatically readjusts. Interestingly, if you hold your head straight and then tilt the book, the brain doesn’t correct its visual orientation, and you can read the book only with difficulty. This seems to imply that your brain only reorientates its vision when the world tilts, not just a single object in isolation.

With that all out of the way, can anyone in holy hell explain the idea behind these Bed Books — sideways-printed editions of all your favorite public domain classics? The product’s slogan is “Now you can really curl up with a good book!” But, if anything, this seems like it would be worse than reading a horizontally printed book, because the Bed Book would effectively be tilted in isolation compared to everything else in your reoriented field of vision. Silly inventors!

Bed Books (via Strange New Products)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Hawkins says:

    I think it’s for readers who are lying on their side, but who are too lazy to hold a normal-fold book open.

    Reminds me of the mirror glasses that bloat-stage Elvis used to wear so that he could watch TV in bed without having to sit up.

  2. Paul D says:

    Sitting up to read in bed hurts my back and neck. I always lay on my side to read.

    However, that does not mean that I’m willing to buy (and likely pay a premium for) a book that’s specifically printed sideways. That’s just frivolous nichery.

  3. droppedD says:

    kinda reminds me of the 2002 reprint of Phillip K. Dick’s “Minority Report” designed by chip kidd. The pages were like a normal book’s (that is, the pages were portrait, not landscape) but it had the binding at the top, so if you held it with the binding on the side like a normal book, the text was sideways. It was meant to be read right-side-up but flipped like a reporter’s (or detective’s) notepad.


  4. lgf says:

    I love this quote from their website: “In our research for the creation of our First Edition Bed Books, we quickly realized that classic literature is classic literature not only because its titles have been reprinted over and over through the years, have been adopted and made into hundreds of theatrical events, radio shows, and motion pictures, but because they are great reads!”

    They forgot” “And because they are public domain and I don’t have to pay royalties!”

    Not that there is anything wrong with using public domain, just don’t try to give a false impression of you product list.

  5. Bubba Barney says:

    I think if you were sitting up in bed, the Bed Book might be easier to read since gravity would keep the sides of the book open better.