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The custom is to unroll the m'gila and fold it over, 'page' over 'page', before reading it in public on Purim, then to roll it up again before reciting the b'racha after the reading. Suppose there's no one at hand to help you hold it in place on a lectern or table while you read it. You will want to fold it in such a way that

  • the 'page breaks' are between columns of text,
  • the m'gila will not roll up
    • even while you're 'turning the page',
  • it's easy to 'turn the page', and,
  • preferably, it's fast and easy to roll it up as soon as you've finished reading.

I haven't found such a folding method, and I struggle with my m'gila every time I read it.

Can you recommend a folding method, preferably (though not necessarily) one that

  • has worked in practice, and
  • works even if the m'gila is being held (there's no lectern or table)?

Bear in mind that (at least in my m'gila) not all columns are the same width, so not all 'pages' will be the same width if the 'page breaks' are between columns.

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I can tell you what I do with my own Megillah, although it's relatively small - 11" tall and 48" wide - so YMMV if you have a large one.

It has ten columns (all the same width except for the last, which is a little narrower). I fold it 3-4-3 (there's no requirement that each fold be the same width), and crease the folds a little so that it naturally bends in those places in the future. Sometimes I fold it in an S shape (the second and third pages facing each other), other times as a G (the third page inside the first two). With the first way, I can tuck the fold between the first and second pages into the curl at the end of the Megillah, and then I don't need to hold both ends; on the other hand, the second way makes it easier to transition from the first page to the second. (By the time I reach the third page, though, I almost always have it in a Z shape, and can tuck the fold to the right of that page into the opening curl.) Either way, though, it's easy enough to handle whether I'm reading at a lectern or not, although again that might just be because it's smaller than the typical one.

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How many rows per column does it have? – Double AA Mar 12 '12 at 19:42
@DoubleAA: 42. – Alex Mar 12 '12 at 20:33
42 lines on 11" tall?! That's really small. Is that 11" of klaf or ksav? – Double AA Mar 13 '12 at 6:12
@DoubleAA: 11" of klaf. The ksav takes up 7.5", so about six lines per inch. I guess I never realized that it is relatively small, then; it feels comfortable enough when I'm reading it. – Alex Mar 13 '12 at 15:04

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