The "roller book" is an idea that has been bouncing
around in my brain and notes for years. It has undoubtedly been
thought of by others, but has not yet been produced, as far as
I know. Take it and run with it, if you want.
How It Works
A book is printed on one continuous plastic sheet, which is
about five inches wide. It is rolled up onto one roller, and
attached to another. Both rollers are in a plastic case, the
size of a paper-back book, at either end, with about six inches
between them. The top of the case is clear plastic, so you can
read the "pages" as you roll them from one roller to
the next, using a simple finger-operated wheel.
The Point of the Roller Book
Primarily, it would be marketed as a novelty. It does have
some distinct advantages over traditional books, though. It is
printed on plastic, for example, and in a plastic case. This
means water won't do any real damage, so it could be used while
floating in the swimming pool, or at the beach.
Another advantage is the fact that you don't have to hold
it open. This is an issue for those who have trouble with their
hands, In fact, it was watching someone try to turn the pages
of her book with one hand that lead to this invention idea. The
wheel that rolls the pages into view can be easily operated with
a finger, and elbow, or even a toe, and the book doesn't try
to close on you as you read it. You also never lose your page
- it stays right there until you return to roll the next one
Other Invention Considerations
One way to market it would be to sell the rolled-up books
and the cartridge that holds them separately. Getting some well-known
author to publish a book in only this format would get
the cartridge into the hands of many people, and then they might
buy more of the books produced in this format.
I did play around with a prototype that used a plastic box
and two pieces of pvc pipe for rollers. It seems it would be
very inexpensive to produce this invention. Printing smaller
type on plastic doesn't present any major problems given the
amount of plastic bags out there with small printing on them.
Note: This page was first written in 2005 or so, and
since then the Kindle and other e-book readers make something
like the roller book entirely unnecessary. I'm leaving the page
up because it is a quait reminder of past times.