This is part of a series of gift ideas that you can either make if you have good woodworking and joinery skills or buy for pennies’ worth from a wide range of locations.
A gift that transcends time and needs is the book stand.
Initially they were used to support heavy books that used delicate bindings but they have ended up as a way to angle books so they can be referred to quickly and easily. Similarly, there was the music stand which allows musicians or conductors to easily play from handwritten music manuscript or printed music.
Some of the book stands use a retaining device so one doesn’t have to contend with pages flipping up when you don’t want them to. These range from a recess which the book sinks into to a swing-up piece that you angle up to rest against the page.
The bench-top book stand is still sold in many homewares shops and similar locations as a cookbook stand so that a recipe book can be kept open as something to refer to when you are cooking from it. Even our Swedish friends at IKEA sell them with theirs being referred to as a “tablet stand”. This is while the freestanding varieties are sold as lecterns or music stands in music stores for musicians.
But these book stands still earn their keep with tablets and “2-in-1” computers, especially 11” devices. For example, you could use a cookbook stand for your iPad. Here, you could have it at that convenient angle for following a recipe that you are working from in the kitchen, viewing an online video, or keeping an eye on statistics like sports scores. If you are composing or arranging music using notation software on that 2-in-1, this can work well with the computer on that music stand.
Those bookstands that are very sturdy and have stronger hinges can earn their keep as a laptop stand, especially for ultraportable laptops when you use them with a full-sized monitor and keyboard while working at home or the office.
What you have to look for is something that is sturdy and can handle most tablets or 2-in-1s without it breaking. If you are buying that book stand from a thrift store (op shop), jumble sale, yard sale or similar location, you may have to look over it carefully for anything that is about to break easily or has broken like the hinges, the frame or backing.
This may not be of worry to you for those of you who know your way around the workshop and can fix anything. Here, you could reinforce a weakly-built cookbook stand like the one you picked up from the car-boot sale, or replace hinges and other hardware that has broken or renew some of the woodwork in that old wooden book stand.
Those cookbook stands or music stands still earn their keep with today’s portable computing equipment.