I’m a picky reader.

There. I said it.

My pickiness has not so much to do with what I’m reading and more to do with the process of reading. What I mean is that everything about the reading process has to be just right. There needs to be the right level of light, the right level of noise, and it has to be a comfortable environment that’s not too hot and not too cold.

Another symptom of my pickiness comes from an acute awareness of sitting position, or more specifically how comfortable I am while I’m reading — including whether or not the book I’m holding is properly supported. I thought the advent of ebook reading would solve that problem, but it really didn’t. Sure, a Kindle device is easier to hold than an 800-page book, but support it long enough, and it feels heavier than it really is — which then becomes a huge reading distraction.

I had the opportunity to test a solution to this first-world problem when I was given Dockem’s iProp.

The iProp is billed as a “Universal Bean Bag Stand”. It’s a tetherball-sized bean bag with a lipped, silicone surface that holds your ebook reader, tablet or phone. The nice thing about the iProp is that it works exactly as advertised and neatly solves my comfort problem. My ebook reader sits in the silicone stand and the whole thing can be adjusted to any viewing angle. The “squishiness” if the bean bag is just right; not so tight that it resists adjustment, and not so loose that the device falls over under its own weight. The bottom of the iProp sports a small silicone pad so it doesn’t slip on solid surfaces, but the real value to me is that it conforms to the uneven surface of my lap.

The iProp has other features as well that I haven’t tried, but others may find interesting. For example, there’s a zippered compartment in which you can store things like device cables and ear buds. The mesh part is also washable and only requires that you remove the snap-on silicone shelf and remove the bean bag interior through the zippered compartment. The whole thing weighs less than half a pound and can double as a neck pillow on planes.

I’ve been happily using this thing for over a week now and have no complaints.

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