I’ve been lucky. I’ve made it my entire life without needing corrective lenses of any kind. Until now.

Since I turned 44 last year, small print has decided to become harder for me to read than the terms and conditions of an Apple software upgrade and may need to use computer reading glasses. After a little bit of denial, a lot of squinting and ultimate acceptance, I decided to march over to the CVS across the street and investigate the reading glasses situation.

When I got to CVS, my heart sank as I perused an ugly tree of uninspired eyewear design. It’s come to this, I thought. My only relief was that this was a pair of glasses I would only need to wear when reading small text. Once I figured out the strength I needed (+1.0), I picked the least offensive $20 pair from the ugly tree.

A few nights later, while having dinner with some old co-workers from my days waiting tables at Asia de Cuba, my friend Brendan pulled out a pair of really handsome readers to look at the menu. They looked expensive, but I had to ask. “I got them at Ricky’s. Fifteen bucks,” he said. Wow.

The next day, I headed over to Ricky’s to observe a not-so-ugly tree of reading glasses. When I settled on a great looking pair of horn rims in my strength, I noticed that mine and the other nice frames came from a company called A.J. Morgan. They were all, indeed, $15.

I took a look at the A.J. Morgan website and found a whole new world of reading glasses that did the job affordably and with style. They feature modern designs, simple options as well as retro-inspired classics.

I initially considered going the Warby Parker route, knowing that all their great looking frames are available with reading lenses. But I wasn’t quite ready to spend $95 for part-time / on-and-off eyewear that has a greater chance of getting lost. The A.J. Morgan readers range from $10 (on sale) to $55 on their website. Quite doable. So doable, in fact, that I bought a second pair. I was talking to a friend and they told me they got their glasses from just glasses reading glasses store. I’m glad there are a variety of good options out there for reading glasses.


  1. Malaquias Alfaro

    Thanks for the post! I work at an optical retail store so I get major discounts but I still don’t want to spend a close to $100 on the frame alone. Now that I think about it, I never checked if my insurance covered my eyewear…

  2. I can claim a couple of pairs of A.J. Morgans–one of them is a spankin’ pair of aviator sunglasses with a 1.5 reader built in. Got those a couple of years back, and have never seen them at Ricky’s since. Must go online to investigate!

  3. Long time lurker, first time poster. I just discovered I need reading glasses. I usually wear black and wanted black frames, but I ended up opting for a very dark tortoise with a bit of brown peeking through. As a more experienced eyeglasses user, what are your thoughts on black v. tortoise? I am afraid I may regret my choice? Love your blog.

    • Thank you! Re: black vs. tortoise… The darker your coloring (hair/skin), the darker you can go with frames. If your complexion is lighter, go with tortoise.

      • Thanks for the reply, George! I am in between, so hopefully my frames work. Do you think tortoise has an preppy/old man vibe? I love your stuff, especially your YouTube videos. I always look forward to your stuff. It’s weird to feel toward you what you feel for a friend but the internet makes it possible.

  4. Great post, George! And thank you for turning me on to A.J. Morgan! I too had been in the market for new glasses, but I no longer need distance correction (my eyeballs have improved, my doc tells me!). And so I no longer needed to spend the big bucks for bifocal lenses in my go-to big-bucks Oliver Peoples frames. Around the same time, I read your post and decided to give this a try–and what do you know! Perfect. I love them! And I bought four of them! So much for ever losing my glasses around the house anymore–in theory, at least.