Farewell to a reader’s friend


This pillow chair, useful for reading in bed, was one of those cheap objects that prove incredibly useful and durable. My parents bought it for me for Christmas when I was about 15 and I used it ever since — until earlier this year, when I decided the poor thing had supported me, or at least my back and my reading habits, long enough.

Mine was purchased by mail order (probably Sears), and in the intervening years I never saw another one until relatively recently, when I found them at Target. Wow, they still make these things! They’re known alternately as chair pillows, pillow chairs, bed rests and reading pillows.

I resisted parting with mine, though, even after sending it through a giant washing machine at a laundromat, which got it clean but also worsened splits in the fabric. Bits of orange foam kept popping out. This thing had stuck with me and I was sticking with it. And, on 90-degree summer nights, to it.

After a couple of years of this, I finally decided to buy a new one.

I did, for a mere $10, at the Target in Pomona, and wondered why I hadn’t done this earlier. The old one went into the trash with little regret. I guess I needed to wait until the time felt right. I like the new one too. It’s a comfortable way to sit up in bed without messing with pillows.

Above is the tattered old one with what I think was the last book I read with it: Neil Young’s “Waging Heavy Peace.” Farewell, old friend, and thanks for the support.

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  • Joanne Dallas

    Coincidentally, I passed by the chair pillows at the Montclair Target just this morning. I haven’t had one for a long time and was tempted, but my trendy Euro style pillows are taking up too much room. Style over substantance. There’s something very appealing about your attachment to favored things and the associations they hold. You can think of this latest item as a sort of Velveteen Pillow Chair.

  • Ramona

    What? You never heard of using duct (duck?) tape to cover up the holes and keep the foam stuffing in place?

    You’re education is seriously lacking, young man.

    But truly, I understand your reluctance to part with something that has sentimental value even though it is tacky looking. My house has a few things that desperately need replacing. But they evoke good memories and so they stay.

  • Bob House

    Your parents, on that Christmas Eve: “This kid will never cause us any trouble.”

  • SAWZ

    Congrats on getting rid of your, “blankee”–all those little things have made up your life. If I were your mother, I would cry.

    I hope you watched the “Tonight Show” last night for the performances of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.

    • Theodore Melendez

      “Neil Young” was played by Jimmy Fallon

      • SAWZ

        He might have been imitating him, but the real Neil Young was there too.

      • SAWZ

        I think I apologize. Was I takin in completely? I know Fallon is talented, but really…………….