Manga Ergonomics

Disclaimer: I may be a old man with bad joints and no one else has this problem.

Do you have trouble… holding manga?

I work on the computer all day, so soreness in my elbows / wrists / forearms is common. When I try to hold manga open for an extended period of time, my hands get a bit cramped. Small volumes tend to have pretty stiff bindings and require a constant moderate pressure to keep them open.
Does anyone else deal with this? Any suggestions?

If I’m one handing it, I usually go with something like this:


I think it might help a little bit if you used your pinky instead of your ring finger + pinky. I have similar chronic soreness to what you’re describing, but I find that holding the manga with one hand isn’t too bad if I use my thumb and pinky. I do go back and forth between one and two hands though. It’s not like I can turn pages with one hand, so I often need to use two hands anyway.


I hold my manga like this… I think. It’s hard to do it on purpose.


I probably hold it from underneath too, but yeah, I use my pinky as well. Part of the issue with using your ring finger is that the tendon which moves that finger is connected to the one in your middle finger - to demonstrate, if you place your hand palm-down on a table, then fold your middle finger under, you’ll be unable to lift your ring finger from the table.

That said, the problem may be less in how you hold your manga, and more in how you type. Is your keyboard in a awkward position? Is your desk/chair at the wrong height?


I’ll give the thumb + pinky tactic a go!
@Belthazar I’ve been trying to improve my computer ergonomics as well. I have everything setup at the right height. I just fail to hold the correct posture all day and inevitably slump my back / rest my wrists on my desk.
Thanks for the tips all!


You can buy some posture correctors. I bought a cheap one and it pulls my shoulders back, but doesn’t stop me from slouching forward, which is my main problem, but it helps slightly nonetheless. Also I think I just constantly change my manga reading hand positions to help.

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I also use the pinky and thumb method:

My hands may be a little larger than some though. If you’re able to put your fingers further apart, you have more leverage and don’t have to apply as much effort to hold the book open.


I’ve literally resorted to just reading everything on phone/tablet because of the annoyance of this holding the book open, bad light and tiny text fonts. I know its ridiculous but I’ve even started just downloading books/manga that I actually already own physical copies of and just read them off my tablet instead of the physical book. This is mainly for comics/manga though I find I am able to read twice as fast when holding a physical (English language) novel in my hands must be something about the physical sensation of turning real pages.