Quasimodem, that is great that you’re hunting for that for her. I just wanted to mention the Talking books program, in case she’s eligible. She may prefer having the book in her hands though, or she may not be visually impaired enough to qualify. Good luck with your search!
This product does indeed exist. Just do a search for neck magnifier on google. I found a bunch of listings, though none from companies I recognized, which is why I’m not simply posting a link. Lighthouse probably carries one, though they don’t make it easy for an individual to use their product index. You may also be able to find one in a craft store, as even not so old people find them helpful for sewing and needlepoint. My grandma has one, and it really used to make a difference. Actually, I don’t think she uses it anymore, and I might even be able to send it to you if you’d consider a used one. I’ll check in a few days when I’m at my parents’ house.
Handy: The paperbacks I give her are not old. They are new ones off the shelf, which I give to her as soon as I finish with them. She, in turn, passes them along to other patients. She is in a semi-private room with not a lot of space to stash things.
As for your question about glasses. She already has them. I don’t know why she cannot see the small print in the books. Perhaps one of our other Doper friends can explain this. I see her for respiratory needs, and am only trying to help with her reading.
Also ask your library about volunteers who read to the blind. Many libraries are involved with such programs. If they’re not I’m sure they can help you get in contact with such an organization. Or contact the local highschool: many highschools nowadays require their students to do so many semester hours of volunteer work, and reading to the blind is often one of the jobs these volunteers choose.
As space thus storage of bulky items is limited, there are two other possibilities worth considering: a Fresnel lens and a line magnifier.
Small Fresnal lenses are available as a sheet of thick plastic, either page or bookmark sized, so are easy to store and can be used as placekeepers. In America the Nature Stores have them and in Australia the Australian Geographic Stores also carry them, so they are reasonably easy to find. Depending on the quality of the item, the visual discrimination a Fresnal lens provides may or may not be adequate for your patient’s needs, so I’d suggest you run any you find over some fine print before buying.
A line magnifier is usually the length and width of a bookmark, but semicircular in cross section, about 1 cm high (so not so useful as a placekeeper!). They are used in sewing/knitting to magnify a couple of lines of (tiny) type in the sewing/knitting instructions. Any good haberdashery or craft store should have one - though the name may be different in different countries. They look like this line magnifiers