Homeaccommodative technologyWhy Book Format Matters

I’ve always loved books. Sure, it’s tiring for me to read, and I’ll need a break if I do it for too long, but it’s still simultaneously interesting and soothing.

Lately, I’ve been wrestling with this book, A Mind At A Time, by Mel Levine. It tackles the issue of neurodiversity by spotting different ways of thinking, rather than neurology or psychology. It’s pretty interesting, and there’s lots of great information in it.

I’m still having a very hard time reading it, though. The vocabulary and writing style aren’t too bad, but the formatting?

Huge blocks of text with relatively narrow margins and small fonts are not good at all. I end up re-reading lines to the point of frustration, at which point I just end up putting the book down. The font size constantly triggers my dyslexia, so I can’t make sense of what I’m reading.

The old bookmark trick helps to a degree, but not enough to allow me to fully appreciate what the author’s saying.

This is a library book, and I’d requested it online, so I didn’t get the chance to actually look at the pages beforehand. If I had been able to do that, I probably would have tried to find ebook or audio book options instead.

However, I have read other books written by him, and this seems to be the publisher’s default format. I think I’ll keep that in mind the next time I request one of his books.

Anyway, it would be nice if the online resources could take screen shots of the pages to display next to the book descriptions. That would save so much frustration, from a dyslexic reader’s point of view.

That said, there are also resources out there. I haven’t checked my phone just yet, but it may already have a reader function. I know those apps exist, though I don’t know how cumbersome they are. A magnifying glass might even help, but it might also just annoy me to the point of giving up on it.

There’s also this FingerReader Ring, originally developed for the blind. It looks really cool, too.

The ring is over sized to hold a little camera and circuitry that allows the data picked up from the camera to go to a program which will then read the text aloud. Tiny motors turn on when your finger strays, and vibrate until it’s back on track, too.

This sort of thing can be a massive help for dyslexics, too.

It looks like it still has a ways to go, yet, but if the bugs can be fixed, this thing could be a huge help to many people.

As for now? I think I’m just going to play around with my phone and see if I can figure something out with what I have at my disposal.

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