16 January 2011

Forget Large Print Books

I received a lovely email from a Canadian reader yesterday. She mentioned it was her 93-year-old father who put her onto Kindle: “His eyesight has not allowed for much relaxing reading in the past few years and let's face it, it won't be improving at his age. He calls it the "Best thing to happen to him in years" and is once more an avid reader.”

A number of my readers (that I know of) have vision impairment or failing eyesight. Yet with all the debate over the pros and cons of ebooks, this is one aspect that is often overlooked. No longer do people with vision problems have to rely on a limited selection of large print books for their reading matter. Ebook technology means that the reader gets to control the font size (and depending on the reader, sometimes the font type). And it’s not like reading text on a computer screen.

Then there’s text-to-speech technology. Don’t want to or can’t read the text, no worries: the ereader will read the book out loud. Isn’t this something we should be shouting from the rooftops? Sharing with those whose love of reading has been hampered through no fault of their own that there is a solution?

I haven’t been able to wear reading glasses for the last few months. All I can say is thank goodness for ebooks.

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