I saw an instructable for a book stand similar to this that used only wood glue to finish. It required a little more skill in cutting / better tools than I have so I decided to adjust the plans to use screws to help hold it together.(
https://www.instructables.com/id/Useful-bookholder/ ) I made two of these out of one plank of oak and gave one to my wife, an English teacher, to display books in her classroom, and the other to my sister who just published her first children's book. Hope you enjoy and I welcome any feedback as this is my first venture into woodworking.
(P.S. You'll notice that there are some rough cuts here, this was my first time learning to adjust a circular saw and by the end I had much cleaner cuts!)
Step 1: Materials
I bought an oak plank that was 36" long 5.5" wide and .5" thick which can be made into two stands. Then I used wood glue, clamps, drill and bits, #4 3/4" wood screws, circular saw, sand paper of various grits (I primarily used a drill attachment for sanding but that is not a necessity), tape measure, some sort of straight edge, Coping saw (optional for creating an angle on the legs), pencil, paint brushes and stain.
Step 2: Plans
From the board I cut four 1"x5.5" peices for the legs, four 1.25"x5.5" pieces for the part that holds the book, and two 13"x5.5" pieces for the upright part. You'll have one 1" piece left over.
As you cut two of the 1.25" pieces, you can first change the angle of your circular saw to 45 degrees and cut the corner off to give it a little nicer look in my opinion but it is optional.
Step 3: Sanding and Preping for Assembly
For the initial sanding I used an circular insert that you put in your drill that you attach pads to that are for circular sanders. I got this at Home Depot for about $7 and it came with a few different grains of paper. The lip that I cut at a 45 degree angle was sanded to almost resemble a curve you could get from a router to make it look a little more polished. I then used a finer paper on the circular bit, then I moved to some very fine finishing sand paper that I used by hand to get everything very smooth.
I also cut the bottom corners off of the legs so that they would lay flush with what ever surface they were sitting on. This is optional but, in my opinion, made it look a little nicer and more polished.
Step 4: Glueing Part 1
At this point I took the ledge and lip that would hold the book and glued them and then glued the legs into place with the bottom of the legs measuring 2" from the bottom. Adjust the height of the legs to the desired tilt of the stand. The higher the legs, the more horizontal the book will lay.
Step 5: Securing the Legs and Glueing Part 2
After the glue had set, I drilled pilot holes for the legs to be reinforced and then drilled a slightly larger hole over the first one that went just deep enough that the screw would be below the surface of the wood and could easily be covered with filler. Then I secured the legs with one screw each.
I then glued the ledge for the book just underneath the screws for the legs (in the second one I glued it directly over to hid them without having to use filler). After it was set, I then did the same with two screws for the ledge.
Step 6: Stain and Enjoy!
After all of the wood filler and glue had set, I sanded the joints where the filler was put in before I stained it.
I applied two coats of stain lightly sanding with a very fine grain after the first one had set. I used minwax polyshades which has the polyethylene in it. Read the application instructions as some stains shouldn't be sanded between coats.
Then all you need to do is find a book or picture to display with it!