Owner's Manual

Ergonomic Book Holder and Copy Holder
With Adjustable Page Clamps 
For Anyone Who Reads Books or Papers

With Directions How To 
Eliminate Neck, Back and Shoulder Pain
When Reading or Typing

		• Use Just to Read, or Type Notes as You Read 
		• Sit Back and Read and Work in Comfort for Hours 
		• Proofread, Edit and Enter Data & Never Turn Your Head
		• Improve Concentration, Enjoyment and Output Instantly

P.O. Box 335, Beverly, MA 01915
Phone (978) 927-9234

Table of Contents

Key Features
Assembly and Adjustments
	Unpacking your ship
		Adding the lectern to the mahogany desk stand
		Adjusting height of legs 
		Switching to Book Stand 
         Adjusting the angle of the lectern  
		Swinging down the side-arms for storage 
Operation and Principles of Use: 
	Understanding the clamps 
	Removing an existing book 
	Setting up a new book 
Proper clamp operation - two key principles 
	Squeezing the clamp without using the thumb or forefinger
		Never sliding the clamps off the page
	Advanced page turning 
	Sitting with the right leg height 
	Sitting back with proper neck, shoulder and upper back support 
	Do not bend your head down to read 
Do not raise your elbows when typing 
Wrist position 
Do not type with your forearms below your armrests 
Lumbar support 
	In-Line reading and typing 
	Dealing with Drooping Pages in Large Books 
	Self-Adjusting clamps 
Range of Uses (modes of operation)


Thank-you for purchasing E-Tool. E-Tool will provide you with many years of enjoyable reading and more enjoyable typing. Please read the following pages carefully. Reading this manual will help you get the most out of your new companion. There are many features of this unit that are not self-evident. Taking a few minutes now to learn how to use E-Tool properly will reward you many times over.

As you read this manual you will also learn the ergonomic principles for avoiding neck, shoulder and back pain as you read and type. Share this knowledge with others; they will be very grateful.

For the record, the "E" in E-Tool stands for "ergonomic". The "E" also stands for "enjoyable" and "easy-to-use".

Key Features

Sit back and read comfortably, without aching muscles or eyestrain. Easily hold large and heavy books. Sit back in a swivel chair, armchair, desk chair, wheelchair or sofa and read your book at just the right height and distance and with hands free. Height of unit and angle of lectern adjust. The back of your chair can now properly support your neck and shoulders as you read for hours. Instantly reduce fatigue, neck and back pain, chance of injury and discomfort. Increase your reading time and enjoyment within minutes. 


Adjustable clamps hold book pages down and keep book in place. You can turn pages just as quickly as before.


Type notes, as you read hands-free. Typing notes as you read is easy. You can effortlessly read your notes on your laptop screen as you read and type. Use an extended keyboard, if you wish. Choose what works best for you. Capture your insights instantly as you read, before these thoughts get lost. Increase your concentration and comprehension and your output immediately. Create papers from original typed notes by cut and paste. No need to transcribe illegible or hard to read handwritten notes. Type much faster than you can write by hand. Save time writing papers.


Proofread, edit papers, transcribe your notes, and enter data from forms without turning your head. Keyboard, work copy and computer screen are all in-line. Reduce neck pain and injury at the office. Easily read two 8.5 X 11" pages, side-by-side, as you view the computer screen and type changes (see photo above). Reduce transcription and data entry errors. Double the time you can work per session. 


Holds Any Size Book: large or small, heavy or light. Unit Stores Easily Behind Screen when not in use.


Unit Compacts Easily for Travel with Laptop


Many Other Uses: 1. Use on desk or table with Plexiglass Riser and flat screen or monitor or 2. Use as speaking lectern, music stand, art easel, cookbook holder, or on rolling bed-table. 3. Straddle hips with E-Tool while sitting on sofa, bed or floor; just remove stabilizer.


4. Use with optional Floor Stand as bookstand, alone with chair or sofa (no desk), or exercising with exercise bicycle or recumbent bicycle, or straddle wide recliner or treadmill with custom-width unit. 

Construction. Lectern is made with 1/4" Plexiglas, hand flame polished. Two clamps slide left and right in tracks and then lock in place. Frame is telescoping, anodized aluminum tubing with mahogany feet. 

Suggested Users: Students, K-12 teachers, college professors, graduate students and researchers who have to read books, take notes and write papers; authors; journalists; copy editors; lawyers and legal secretaries; typing and word processing providers; data entry specialists; public speakers and ministers; school resource rooms and learning centers; singers and musicians; and others with neck, back and/or hand pain, arthritis, spinal injury, stroke recovery, paraplegia, spastic motion, ADD, and/or low vision.

Assembly and Adjustment

When you open your shipping box, you will find a Plexiglass Lectern. You may also have a Mahogany Desk    Stand for this lectern. You may also have a Plexiglass Riser to set your flat screen or monitor or laptop on. You will need to adjust the angle and  height of the lectern for your specific needs. 

Setting up the Mahogany Desk Stand, if you are using it. The two mahogany base legs, each 11” long, are stabilized at the back with two stainless steel rods, secured in the middle.  Insert a 1/4" stainless steel rod into the rear hole in each base leg, line up the two rods, and then slide the brass tube over both rods until the brass tube is centered between the legs. 
In use, you slide the brass tube to one side to remove the rods. Slide the brass tube to the center of the lectern to re-lock the connection of the rods and provide extra stabilization. 

Adding the lectern to the leg extensions. It is easiest to break the stabilizer connection before adding or removing or adjusting the height of the lectern. Just move the brass tube to one side or the other. Doing this means that you can work on just one side of the lectern at a time. The back of the base with the stabilizer is always to the back of the lectern. Swing the lectern arms down, so they are pointing towards the lip of the lectern. Now slip the base-tube from each mahogany foot over each lectern side arm, one side at a time. Depress the snap button when you come to it. After you have connected the lectern to the mahogany base, reconnect the stabilizer.

Adjusting the height of the legs. To change the height of the lectern, just add or remove the same number of spacer tubes on each side. There are two spacer tubes for each side: 2” and 1”. This gives you four height settings (no spacers, the short spacer, the long spacer or both spacers). Make sure you do the same thing on each side-arm. 

Switching to Book Stand legs. If you want to use the optional Book Stand legs to change your lectern into a Book Stand (optional), simply add these legs to the sides of the lectern, instead of the mahogany base tubes.
Adjusting the angle of the lectern. As you change your position, you may want to adjust the angle of the lectern. Just swing the lectern up or down as much as you wish.

Storing your E-Tool. When you want to compact E-Tool for travel with your attache, you will want to swing the side arms up completely against the lectern. When the side arms of the lectern are folded in, a laptop case can easily rest on the top of the lectern. This makes very compact storage for travel. The mahogany legs, leg extensions and stabilizer fit inside the attaché with the laptop. 

Your lectern will also easily store in a drawer. In addition, it will also easily store completely assembled, against the foot of a bookcase, or the end of a sofa, even straddling the base of a lamp at the same time. Just adjust the lectern so that it is vertical.

Operation and Principles of Use

Understanding the clamps. The clamps are meant to grab about 20-30 pages or more on each side of the book. The clamps slide in and out in two slots, one on each side of the lectern, and then lock into place. The clamps hold the book covers down and keep the book in place. 

Removing a book that is already on the unit. If there is a book already on the unit and you want to read a different book, loosen each clamp by turning the black knob behind it clockwise. Then press one clamp at a time to loosen that side of the book; and slide the clamp off the book. Repeat this process for the other side and remove the book from the stand.


Setting up a new book. Loosen the two clamps and move each clamp to its side. Open the new book to the middle and place it on the lectern. This will show you how far the book extends to each side. Most regular hard cover books and all small and medium size paperbacks will fit on the lectern. To loosen either of the clamps, turn the knob under the clamp clockwise to loosen. Slide the clamp along the slit in the plastic lectern until the clamps get to the edges of the open pages. Now slip the top few pages on each side of the book in the respective clamp. Readjust the clamp positions if necessary. Now tighten down each clamp by turning the associated black knob under the plexiglass lectern counter-clockwise to tighten. 


If the book is large, the edges of the book covers will extend near to the far edges of the lectern, or beyond. When this happens the respective clamps will protrude off the lectern. 

Notes: Three-ring notebooks and spiral-bound books will stay open on their own and do not need any clamping. In such cases you can slide the clamps off the unit, facing down. You never need to remove the clamps, unless you want to. The same thing applies to two pieces of paper side by side.


Proper clamp operation - two key principles: First, you never use your thumb and index finger to squeeze a clamp. This is completely wrong and takes much more strength than necessary. The proper approach is to squeeze the clamp in the palm of your hand with two or three fingers grabbing the other side of the clamp. This takes almost no effort. You clamp (or unclamp) just one side of the book at a time. The clamps have been fitted with special springs to make them easy to use for book pages.


Secondly, you never move the clamp on and off the page. Instead, you just open the clamp 1/4" and slide the edge of the current page out or in. The clamp stays in position over all the other pages. In normal operation as you proceed through the book, squeeze the right clamp with your right hand as you use your left index finger to loosen and grab the top of the right page to turn. Move your left hand down the right edge of the right page and then slide the page out of the clamp. 


Press down the right pages if necessary and then release the right clamp. Then reverse the process on the left side. You will quickly realize that you can turn pages just as fast as before. With just a little practice you will become very good at this activity.

Advanced page turning. There is a second and much faster way to turn the pages. In this approach you start to turn the right page with your right hand just as you would normally. You can continue to read as you grab the page and slide your fingers down the side. When you have almost finished reading the page, you swing your left hand under the lip of the lectern over to the right clamp and grab it, with your thumb pointing right. Squeeze the clamp just a little to release the page. Then swing the page over to the left, as you move your left hand back to the left clamp and grab it. With this approach your hands never get in the way of your reading. Turning the pages is also extremely fast.


Sitting with the right leg height. When you sit in a chair for a long period of time, it is important that blood circulation to your legs continues. To this end, you should sit so that your thighs are parallel to the floor when your lower legs are perpendicular to the floor. In other words, the front of your seat should not cut off the blood supply in your legs. You can always add a little foot platform, if you need to have your seat higher than otherwise permissible. 

Sitting back with proper neck, shoulder and upper back support. It is very important to support your neck and shoulders as you read. Hunching forward is almost guaranteed to cause neck and back pain and reduce your focus, concentration and the amount of time you can read. The proper approach is to sit back with your neck and shoulders supported. This means you are sitting against support just past the vertical position. You will note that your relaxed line of vision rises up when you do this. This is why E-Tool has the book raised up, so as to match your new, relaxed line of vision, now that you are sitting with proper neck and back support. Your seat and the back of your chair should be cushioned.

Do not bend your head down to read. You should not lower your head to read. This causes a lot of neck stress. Set the height of E-Tool properly for your seat, which you may be able to raise or lower. 

Do not raise your elbows awkwardly to type. You should not have to raise your elbows to an awkward position to type. Doing so will cause a lot of stress on your shoulders. Ideally, you should rest your elbows on side rests or side arms, adjusted so that the weight of the arms is off the shoulders. 

Wrist position. Ideally, when you type, your forearms and the back of your hands should be all on one flat line. Your laptop can be in your lap, or you can use an extended keyboard if necessary, placed in a comfortable position, like on a lower keyboard tray or on a pillow in your lap. With an extended keyboard, your laptop can be on a table and at some distance from the extended keyboard. If you need to raise your hands and forearms substantially, tilt the back of the keyboard up to compensate, so that the flat line discussed above is maintained. 

Do not type with your forearms below your armrests. This is also very awkward. If you are sitting in an armchair, place your extended keyboard or laptop on a small pillow or attaché on your lap. This will allow you to use the armrests and type with level forearms. Your mouse can rest on a small side table. You can quickly place the keyboard or laptop on this side table or main table if you need to get up.

Lumbar support. Make sure your lumbar area is supported by a small pillow or bend in the back of your chair. Otherwise, you are going to have pain.

In-Line reading and typing. As you work you should not have to turn your head from left to right. The centers of your keyboard, screen and workspace (for books or papers) should all line up on the same centerline. Turning your head repeatedly is a sure way to hurt yourself and loose concentration and accuracy, especially when editing, transcribing or entering data or taking notes from reading. E-Tool makes possible in-line work. Make sure you line up your work elements properly.

Note: As you read and type notes, it is not necessary to see the whole computer screen. Just the bottom section of the screen is all you need because you will add notes to the bottom of the window. This means the book does not have to be very high on the table. Add hard returns at the beginning of notes to get to the bottom of the typing window. Remember to size the window as you wish. Temporarily changing the print set up to horizontal allows you to type many more characters on a line.

Dealing with Drooping Pages in Large Books. All books of 500 to 1000 or more pages will have a tendency to droop chunks of pages. The wide lip on the bottom of the E-Tool prevents this from happening.

Self-Adjusting Clamps. Your clamps are specially designed to keep both pages flat in the same plane. One side of the book does not bend back more then the other, when you begin or end the book.

Also, you can swing the clamps up the sides of the book to suit your individual taste.

Range of Uses

E-Tool is designed to work four main ways:
1. On a desk or table (using the short legs):
a. Holding a book or papers, by itself, or straddling and raised above your laptop.
b. On the table in front of your laptop, with your extended keyboard and mouse in front of the E-Tool.
c. On the table with your laptop in your lap, or on a pillow or attaché in your lap.
d. In front of a flat screen or monitor with your extended keyboard and mouse in front of the E-Tool.
e. Holding a cookbook, raised above your mixing bowl.
f. Holding lecture notes as a lectern, optionally above your laptop as you stand.
g. Standing Desk (temporary alternative to sitting)
h. Standing alone on table, holding music.
i. On a rolling bed table.

2. Straddling your lap (using the short legs): as you sit on a bed, couch or sofa, or sit on the floor. Note: stabilizer is not used now.

3. Standing on the floor at eye level (using the optional Book Stand extensions) as you sit back, with the extended legs on either side of your legs, in your: armchair, swivel chair, wheel chair, straight back chair or sofa. No desk or table required.

4. Straddling either your standing exercise bicycle or your recumbent exercise bicycle.

Note: Custom-width units are available to straddle wide recliners and exercise treadmills.


Ordering: E-Tool without any stand and clamp ready: $99.00 each.
Optional set of sliding clamps: $50.00
Mahogany Desk Stand: $25.00
Plexiglass Riser for Laptop, Flat Screen or Monitor: $25.00.
Optional Floor Stand for E-Tool: $100.00.
Custom width unit that straddles large recliner, treadmill or exercise bicycle: $295.00.
E-Tool is shipped anywhere in the U.S.A. for $15.00 per unit. We accept Visa, Master Card and American Express. Call today. We also provide software and training for reading improvement. Visit our web site.

Proportional Reading
P.O. Box 335, Beverly, MA 01915; Phone (978) 927-9234
Contact Person: John F. Adams;;

Go To Our Free Training Manual on how to set up your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac (laptop or desktop), or PC to  read text with adjustable-speed, computer-voice and text. This manual is ideal for self-instruction. Learn More.