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Roller Book

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 into view.

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.

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Roller Book