Healthy Posture Increases Reading Enjoyment

Rorie Measure

April 2020

When sheltering in place begins to feel like house arrest, books provide a great escape. However, catching up on your reading for long periods of time can lead to back and neck pain. I consulted a chiropractor and searched on-line for the best remedies. These tips are working for me.

Sit straight up in the chair with tailbone snug against the chair’s back while keeping feet flat on the floor or propped so legs maintain a right angle. Be sure that the edge of the chair isn’t cutting off circulation to your legs. Next, support your elbows with pillows to bring the book or screen up to the level of your eyes. This will keep your back straight. Take breaks.

For reading in bed use a pillow under your knees so your legs are slightly bent. To correctly align your spine into a gentle S shape, use several pillows behind your back adding a thin pillow to support your lower back without pushing it out too far. You may need another pillow behind your head to keep your neck straight. Use another pillow on your legs to support your arms. Keep eyes level with the top of your book so you don’t have to look down.

Alternately, if you prefer to be a bit more supine, get comfortable on your back with one or two pillows behind your head and draw your feet up so your legs can serve as a prop for the book. To avoid bending your head too far forward, bring the book closer to your face instead of putting lots of pillows behind your head.

Another alternative is audiobooks. The American Library Association is giving free access to all its on-line content. At a bibliophile’s treasure trove of information includes The ALA book review magazine Booklist, with reviews of eBooks and audiobooks to check out electronically from the library. For even more reading suggestions try their blog, Booklist Reader and its supplement BookLinks. I found some great articles in the January 2020 edition for great family reads that address the topics of overcoming difficult situations, collaboration and resilience, embracing many kinds of diversity.

If ever there was a time that children need something fun to read, the time is now. At Children’s Reading Alliance we are adapting our services to make every book in our inventory available.

Our skeleton staff of two are hastily packing boxes and creating pathways to get books to kids as quickly as possible. We are working with food and relief services to add books to their deliveries.

Unfortunately, this crisis occurs just when our supply of books and our funds are at their lowest.

The good news is that national book distributors are trying to help by offering warehouse prices for children’s books sold in bulk. If we can take advantage of these sales now, we can keep a steady flow of books coming to children with the fewest resources.

Please be generous. A contribution at this time will put books into the hands of children while they are stuck at home and will keep CRA’s mission alive and thriving when our community needs us most. Send checks to Children’s Reading Alliance, 3880 Foothills Road 88011 or use pay pal at

Resources to support educational activities at home are available on-line. The following sites have been suggested by readers.

Scholastic Books Publishing Company is providing several options at various grade levels.

Parent support for explaining how to stay healthy during the pandemic to children at a level appropriate to their age is available at – Teaching our World: The Coronavirus


At twenty days of lessons for grades kindergarten through ninth grade are updated daily.

Find access to activities organized by age for language arts, science and technology, reading and math at

Scholastic has started an online community for Young Adult book lovers at


Several at-home educators are sharing their favorite activities. Teaching Mama is an education blog with hands-on learning activities, sensory play ideas, ways to keep toddlers busy, preschool learning activities, printables, and thoughts on motherhood.

At Play to Learn Preschool teacher Jamie White performs short lessons to entertain preschoolers and provides printable worksheets for parents to run off and on Facebook.

Mary Catherine provides a colorful site at which provides hands-on experiences and science experiments for young children.

Lots of ideas for Do-It-Yourself learning activities are available from Shauna a mother and early childhood educator at