A Beginners Guide To Readers


So it’s time; you begin to have trouble reading the fine print in front of you. We’ve been there; coming to the realization that it’s time to wear reading glasses can be a troubling feeling at first. Don’t worry; we are here to help you see how easy it can be. 

Our teams’ goal is to provide you with the roadmap to your new path, to prevent you from making any wrong turns along the way. We hope to offer information about reading glasses in general, with some small pieces of advice that we found helpful. We also understand that everyone is different. Therefore we offer different tips tailored to match different lifestyles. Please, allow us to help you bring your life into focus.

Each section provides an assortment of advice that helps you incorporate readers into your life:

-What Is My Lens Power

-Which Frame Works Best For Me

-Making My Readers Last

What Is My Lens Power:

The first step we recommend taking when you begin to notice a cloud of fog is obscuring the text in front of you is to see an eye doctor. While online tests and other methods can be helpful in determining what power you need, they will be even more accurate if you have some basis of what your true eye prescription is. An eye doctor will provide you with the precise information you need so you can make the best judgment on where to start. Be aware that the glasses sold at the doctors can be pricier than other options. You can find specialized readers online for the same quality, but lower price.

As you age, your eyes age with you. We recommend doing an online exam to determine if you need to move up or change powers. Remember, if you decide to take the test – always refer to the lower power, meaning if you can see +2.5 and +2.25 clearly, use the +2.25 power

Be aware that wearing readers does not weaken or strengthen your eyes in the long run. Choosing to not wear readers can only cause temporary headaches or eyestrain. If you are experiencing these symptoms while wearing readers, it might be due to an incorrect power or fit, be sure to consult your doctor and the company you bought from to ensure you have the right fit for your eyes.

Lastly, if you are in need of a powerful strength and are worried that your eyes will be blown up through the lens magnification, consider wearing aspheric lenses. Using the same technology as cameras, aspheric lenses weigh less and reduce distortion without compromising optical quality.

Which Frame Works Best For Me:

While there are numerous different frames and styles, we recommend starting off with something simple such as either full frames or half frames.

Full Frames 

  • Full frame black readers Entire lens is magnified.
  • Typically worn only for a short period.
  • Most common pair with the widest variety of colors, designs, and shapes.

Pro: Provide a full clear vision when working on detailed tasks or single focused projects. 

Con: Frequently having to take glasses on and off when switching between near and far-sighted views.

Half Frames

  • Half Frame Semi-Rimless Bronze Reading GlassesEnhance nearsighted vision while giving you an unobstructed view of the distance.
  • Lightweight and easy to store.
  • Common styles include the pocket readers and foldable readers.

Pro: Provides ease as you shift focus between two different tasks.

Con: Some of the smaller designs tend to be more fragile and delicate than other styles.  

Once you become accustomed to your readers and want to try another type of style, see if bifocals are something that works for you.  


  • Full Frame Bifocals black and brownClear lens with a magnified portion on the bottom that focuses on nearsighted items.
  • Common to wear for long periods throughout the day.
  • Popular styles include sun readers which allow you to use your readers outdoors and still have protection from the sun.

Pro: A solution for those who find it tiresome having to take their glasses on and off throughout the day.

Con: Can be difficult adjusting to the different magnifications for those wearing readers for the first time.

Something that I am sure you will learn in the coming months is the frustration of misplacing your readers. As you settle into bed, turn your lamp on, and open up your summer book, you realize you cannot remember where you last placed your readers (unfortunately, our eyesight isn’t the only thing that fades as we grow older). If you are not prepared this will happen to you and trust me, no one wants to get out of bed to search for a pair of glasses. When you purchase your first pair of readers, be sure to buy more than one pair. You’ll thank us later.

Take a second and go over your daily routine. Think about when and where you’d need readers throughout the day and prepare ahead. For those of you who like to read the morning paper, keep a pair of half frames in a kitchen drawer, while having another pair at work or in your room. Blue Readers Case Check out all the different cases and accessories that you can store your readers in so you don’t have to search around each time you need to read.

If you need help finding a pair that matches your face, check out our face shape guide. Once you know what power and frame you want, go to Readers.com where you can find a wide selection of options and styles. If you are still stumped, call our customer happiness team, and they will help you find the perfect pair that matches not only your facial texture but your lifestyle in general.

Computer Readers

Silver Computer ReadersIf your job entails looking at a computer screen for a multitude of hours, then be sure to check out computer readers. These glasses are designed to protect your eyes from the glare of the screen to prevent eye strain. The lens also has a modified magnification to adjust for the typical distance between your eyes and the computer. Check out this post to learn more about the benefits of computer readers.

Making My Readers Last

Now I am sure you are wise enough to understand basic concepts behind taking care of something as fragile as glasses, the goal in this section is not to repeat common rules, but to provide you with handy tips to ensure that the quality glasses remains the same as the day you bought them.

  • Blue Microfiber ClothMicrofiber cloths are your new best friend. We strongly suggest having a couple of different ones placed in your car, workspace, kitchen, and bedroom.
  • When dirt, sand, or dust get on your readers, run the lenses under water, add a touch of dish soap and then use your fingers to wipe away any remnants.
  • Do not use paper towels, tissues, or other household rags to clean or dry your glasses. The texture can cause scratches on the lenses. Use the microfiber cloths that you now have handy all over the house!
  • To avoid your glasses from stretching, be sure to use both hands when putting your glasses. Never put your glasses on top of your head for that same reason.
  • Taking your glasses on and off is even more frustrating when you have to search for a safe place to set them down. One way to get around this is to wear a cord or chain attached to the frames. With a wide selection, find one that matches your style and taste.

For more detailed specific information, learn more on our maintenance and cleaning page.

In the construction of this piece, our team kept two main points in mind:

  1. To provide information and tips that can be viewed and shared by new members of the readers community.
  2. To understand that everyone is different in how they go about their daily lives in regards to reading glasses.

We hope that you find guidance in this piece and that you pass this information to those around you because eyesight is a pivotal aspect of our lives that we often take for granted. It is not until that ability starts to fade that we realize the challenges we must now face each day.

If you have any personal stories, advice, or tips you would like to share, please feel free add comments or suggestions so we can continue to update our information so that no runs into trouble as they bring their life back into focus.

The 5 Best Books of Fall 2015

Books for Fall 2015

1. Genre: Fiction

Purity by Jonathan Franzen

Purity by Jonathan Franzen

From the prolific author who brought you The Corrections and Freedom, Jonathan Franzen has returned with another opus full of unique characters and artfully crafted plot.

Set aside the wispy summer beach reads, this is a heavy book (literally and figuratively) that will spark a healthy reflection of self.

2. Genre: Non-Fiction

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic

Best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert delights readers with another inspirational work in Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. By walking us through her own creative process, Gilbert encourages us to live the life we’re meant to live.

A book that combines both practical strategies and motivating insights, Big Magic will move you to finally get started on living your passions.

3. Genre: Memoir

M Train by Patti Smith

M Train by Patti Smith

If you enjoyed Just Kids, you’re sure to love the next piece of work in Patti Smith’s canon, M Train. Described as a “roadmap of her life” Smith takes readers through the cafes, bungalows, beaches, and graves that shaped her journey as an artist.

From a writer whose words we never get sick of reading, this memoir will make you laugh, cry, and feel everything else in between.

4. Genre: Cooking

The Food Lab by J. Kenji López-Alt

The Food Lab by J. Kenji López-Alt

Get behind the science of food with a new cookbook hitting the shelves this fall, The Food Lab. This textbook for home cooking features hundreds of easy-to-follow recipes accompanied by over 1,000 full-color images.

Learn how to transform your everyday basics into culinary creations with Kenji’s latest experiments in the kitchen.

5. Genre: Mystery

The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz

The Girl in the Spider’s Web

Continuing Stieg Larson’s Millenium Series (which you know from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Lisbeth Salander’s story lives on with another installment in the saga: The Girl in the Spider’s Web.

If you’re looking for a thrill-ride of a read this fall, you won’t be disappointed with the plight of your favorite hacker-punk heroine.

Need some reading glasses to go along with your new reads? We can help with that.

Shop Readers Now >

Real Yoga for Real People: Meet Dr. Melissa West

A Page In Your Life

Do you ever wonder what it’s like to do something else for the day? Whether it’s choosing a different career path or stepping out of your comfort zone, this series dives into the crazy-interesting lives of those we’ve always admired. From pilots and chefs to charities making a difference, go ahead and read a page in their life.

Today’s post is all about Dr. Melissa West, a yoga instructor who also has her Ph.D. in communications and cultural studies. Melissa is the creator and instructor of Namaste Yoga TV, a YouTube channel which features a weekly yoga class designed for all skill levels and ages. Read our interview with Melissa below for helpful tips and advice (plus some easy-to-do instructional videos!) for anyone who is curious about yoga!

Dr. Melissa West

To start, tell us a little about yourself and how you started teaching yoga.

Melissa: I started teaching yoga when I was in graduate school. At that time, I realized that becoming a professor, or teaching in the traditional sense, was not going to work for me. I was already teaching fitness classes, and I showed a lot of strength with the mind + body approach. The rest is history!

How has yoga impacted your life?

Melissa: There is probably not one corner of my life that yoga has not impacted. From the food I eat, to the way I live, to my relationships, it has affected all that I do. We recently moved our family across the country from Toronto to Victoria, British Columbia, and I would say that yoga and coming to know my true self more intimately definitely impacted that decision to live on the West Coast as well.

What has kept you motivated to do yoga daily? Do you have any tips or tricks for beginners on how to stay motivated?

Melissa: Yoga helps me deal with the everyday stressors that we all experience. Without it, I don’t know how people stay grounded and free from anxiety. Yoga helps me stay healthy physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. For beginners, what worked for me was to start small and set your goal to practice every day for 20 minutes. When you start to reap the benefits of your daily practice, you won’t want to give it up.

Why would you recommend yoga to men and women in their midlife?

Melissa: For men, as they come into midlife, they may start to deal with issues such as high blood pressure, obesity, lack of flexibility, stressful jobs, and sciatica from sitting for long periods of time at work. The list goes on and on, and yoga can help them with all of these things.

Women are dealing with many of the same issues as men as they come to midlife, yet for them they have the unique issues of peri-menopause and menopause. Yoga can help to ease the hormonal transitions through this challenging time.

As a 41-year-old woman yourself, would you say yoga has kept you healthy?

Melissa: Yes, yoga has kept me healthy. I know that when I have my vitals taken at my medical doctors he looks at my charts with disbelief and wishes that he could get other people my age to look as healthy as I do on paper.

What poses would you recommend to those suffering with knee pain? Back pain? Neck pain? Hip pain?

Melissa: Whenever you are dealing with pain, it is always important to get it checked with a medical doctor first, to find out what you are really dealing with.

Ask your doctor:

  • What exercises will make my condition better?
  • What exercises will make my condition worse?
  • Are there more details about my medical condition that are important for me to know if I am going to start exercising?

Once you have the go-ahead from your doctor, here is a video of mine that can show you how to help ease your knee pain:

Back pain can have many root causes, so here it is particularly important to work with a medical professional to know the root cause of your back pain so that you can treat it correctly. For example, if you’re suffering from sciatica, this video might be helpful:

For neck pain, there are some great neck release techniques demonstrated in this video:

And for hips, this video is great, too:

What advice would you give someone who may be interested in starting yoga, but might not be sure if they’re physically or mentally up for the challenge?

Melissa: My advice for someone starting yoga is to look for a teacher who resonates with you. We love new students! We have created 17 free beginner classes to get our beginners started on the right foot.

The video below goes through some of our most common beginner FAQs:

We hear every day from beginners about how these videos have allowed them to get into yoga in a way that no other videos or classes have allowed them to in the past. Our motto is “real yoga for real people” and it seems that this intention creates a safe and welcoming environment for all people. But if it doesn’t work for you, keep looking — there are so many yoga teachers and different styles of yoga out there. You will definitely find one that works for you.

What would be a good pose for a beginner to work on? Do you have any favorites?

Melissa: I think the best pose for beginner’s to work on is savasana, or corpse pose. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is nothing at all. Letting go, resting, and allowing your body to be nourished and restored is vital in our fast-paced culture.

One of my favorite postures is Goddess Victory Squat. I love the feminine quality and strength in this pose, and who doesn’t love feeling like a goddess?

Thank you so much to Melissa for all of the knowledge, advice, and videos on yoga! We can’t wait to try some of these poses ourselves.

Have you ever tried yoga? What’s your favorite pose? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

Meet Dr. Rose of Foundation Fighting Blindness

A Page In Your Life

Do you ever wonder what it’s like to do something else for the day? Whether it’s choosing a different career path or stepping out of your comfort zone, this series dives into the crazy-interesting lives of those we’ve always admired. From pilots and chefs to charities making a difference, go ahead and read a page in their life.

Today’s A Page In Your Life post is all about Dr. Steve Rose, the Chief Research Officer for Foundation Fighting Blindness. Foundation Fighting Blindness is an organization that strives to find preventions, treatments, and cures for the full spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases that cause blindness and loss of vision. Read on for Dr. Rose’s tips on eye health, preventative care, and his personal connection with the great mission of his foundation! We know you’ll be inspired by his story.

dr rose

To start, could you tell us a little about yourself? What’s your backstory? 

Dr. Rose: I have always been fascinated by science and was without a doubt a “geek” from a very young age. I built my own stereo and had one of those chemistry sets. I collected many animals and brought them home, much to the dismay of my mother. But, she put up with it, and I watched tadpoles grow into frogs and caterpillars turn into butterflies. This curiosity stayed with me and led to my continuing pursuit of science, my undergrad degree in Biology, and my doctorate in Microbiology and Molecular Immunology. Today, I continue to explore all sorts of biological interests and really enjoy wildlife photography, especially birds, including raptors.

What led you to work in the field of retinal research?

Dr. Rose: I have two main reasons for my interest in retinal research. One, is that I have a relative who is blind from X-linked retinitis pigmentosa, and two, is that macular degeneration runs in my family. My ability to bring my knowledge to the Foundation Fighting Blindness’ pursuit of treatments and cures feels personal.

What does a typical day look like for a Chief Research Officer? (Or is there even a “typical day”?)

Dr. Rose: Certainly, like all jobs, there is routine work that has to be done — the typical administrative work just to keep the enterprise running. But every day does bring a new opportunity, whether it is reading about a new scientific finding that could have an impact on our work, or talking with a parent of a newly diagnosed child to answer their questions and ensure there is hope. I always relay to parents that major advances are being made to find the preventions, treatments and cures patients need. I let them know that the Foundation Fighting Blindness, with the researchers and clinicians we support throughout the world, is working day and night to move promising therapies to the clinic as fast and as safely as possible.

What motivates you in your commitment to finding treatments and cures for retinal diseases?

Dr. Rose: As I said, it is personal for me due to a family member who is blind from an inherited rare retinal degeneration disease. But that’s not all, it’s the affected individuals, their families, and my personal mission, as well as the Foundation Fighting Blindness’ mission, to do everything we can to prevent anyone from losing their vision due to these diseases.

What’s your proudest accomplishment from your time at Foundation Fighting Blindness?

Dr. Rose: Even though the Foundation Fighting Blindness’ support for the many years of research leading to the successful Leber’s congenital amaurosis gene therapy clinical trials started before my time, the fact that the clinical trial was supported while I was in charge of the science team here at the Foundation is highly gratifying. A lot of research I did in school was on gene therapy, and to see this approach successfully restore useful vision to so many individuals is the culmination of a dream I have had for many years.

In light of National Healthy Vision Month (May), what advice would you give our readers on how to protect their eyes from vision problems?

Dr. Rose: There are three things that everyone should do to protect their eyes:

  • Eat properly, including leafy green vegetables.  Remember what’s good for your heart is good for your eyes.
  • Wear UVA and UVB blocking sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat in bright light. Unfiltered, very bright sunlight can cause damage to the retina if there is prolonged exposure.
  • Get yearly eye exams. Early detection of retinal degeneration is essential in prevention!

Why should we make our eyes a priority in terms of healthcare?

Dr. Rose: Just think about your daily life and how much you rely on your vision. Try doing your daily routine with a mask on, and then you will understand what it is like to lose your vision.

We are a reading glasses store, so we have to ask: What is your favorite pair of glasses from Readers.com?

Dr. Rose: This is a nostalgic walk in the past, I must say. I still have the picture of my mother in her cat-eye glasses, and it is one of my favorite photos of her. Remember, I am a child of the ‘50s, so while they may not be as popular today, these cat-eye glasses bring back so many wonderful memories.

Browse Dr. Rose’s favorite cat-eye shapes here!

Thank you to Dr. Rose for taking the time to answer our questions! We’re inspired by the positive mission of Foundation Fighting Blindness!

Meet Landscape Architect Billy Goodnick


Do you ever wonder what it’s like to do something else for the day? Whether it’s choosing a different career path or stepping out of your comfort zone, this series dives into the crazy-interesting lives of those we’ve always admired. From pilots and chefs to charities making a difference, go ahead and read a page in their life.

Today’s post features the multi-talented Billy Goodnick, a landscape architect from Santa Barbara who is also an accomplished author, educator, speaker, and musician! With spring in the air, we’ve got gardening on our minds, and Billy is an expert in creating functional, beautiful outdoor spaces. Read his interview with us for some back-to-nature inspiration, and make sure to check out Billy’s website for further reading!

Billy Goodnick - Landscape Architect

To start, could you tell us a little about yourself? What’s your backstory?

Billy: I started life in Brooklyn, New York, when I fell in love with drums at the age of five after listening to some guys jamming under the boardwalk at Coney Island. We moved to Los Angeles when I was eight and I started drum lessons. Drumming was my life into my twenties, doing studio work and touring as an opening act for the Jackson 5 for a year. Now, I live in Santa Barbara.

What made you want to become a landscape architect? Was there a particular event that led you to this passion/career?

Billy: I had what I consider a “premature musical midlife crisis.” I had fallen under the spell of houseplants and bonsai, then discovered the exquisite world of Japanese gardens. I quit music, went back to school, and then worked for a while. Later, I went back to school again for landscape architecture.

What does a typical day look like for you as a landscape architect/educator/writer? (Or is there such a thing?!)

Billy: A typical day for me looks like a Road Runner cartoon with a little Tasmanian Devil thrown in. It’s a constant balancing act to meet writing deadlines while also keeping my clients happy. I teach a college course in the fall, making life crazier. Also, I fly around the country speaking and promoting my book, Yards: Turn Any Outdoor Space into the Garden of Your Dreams.

Is there a certain person, object, or place that you look to for inspiration with your landscape designs?

Billy: My inspiration comes from my clients. Every client is different, each with specific needs, varying site conditions, and different ideas about taste and style. I ask lots of questions to figure out what they need. Then, I wait for my muse to show up. Sometimes her bus runs late!

Do you find it difficult to constantly be thinking of new ideas for your designs?

Billy: I’m not that concerned with every solution being unique or original, as long as it meets my client’s needs. My job is to create a garden that’s a stage for outdoor living. Appearance is secondary. One tactic I use is composing a “concept statement” for each space I plan to work on. For example, a concept statement might go as follows: a cool, secluded retreat where my client can relax and listen to the sound of birds. If I nail the concept statement, the design flows from there.

Yards: Turn Any Outdoor Space into the Garden of Your Dreams

In addition to being a landscape architect, you are author of Yards: Turn Any Outdoor Space into the Garden of Your Dreams. Can the everyday Joe really do what you do?

Billy: Maybe not as well as a professional, but they’ll certainly be better informed and have a good idea of their needs. I’ve figured out how to demystify a very complex process and break it down to understandable, doable steps. I wrote for two audiences: do-it-yourselfers who want to improve their skills, and informed consumers who want to use their knowledge to work with and hire a professional.

If you could give one piece of advice to people who are looking to upgrade their underperforming yards into beautiful gardens, what would it be?

Billy: Form follows function. First, create a landscape that works for your space. Start with a list of needs and desires, and create spaces that supports those. Then, you can deal with the visual enhancements.

You’ve been spreading the mantra of “beautiful, useful, sustainable gardens.” What does it truly mean to have a sustainable garden? 

Billy: “Sustainable” is so overused. To me, it means creating a garden that’s as close to a natural system as possible: not needing a lot of unnecessary inputs like water, fertilizer, labor, and money. In addition, a sustainable garden doesn’t generate negative outputs like polluted run-off, toxic byproducts, green waste, or air pollution.

We are a reading glasses store, so we have to ask: What is your favorite pair from Readers.com?

Billy: I’m an adjunct college professor, so I love The Bookworm!

Thanks to Billy for spending some time chatting with us! You can learn more about Billy’s many talents on his website.