Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I really enjoy reading, especially before bed, and have a recent goal of collecting many books to make a mini library. In the past few months, I have realised that it has become harder to read books, and I can no longer put the book closer to my face as it is already touching my nose. So I stopped reading and started watching more tv.

Not long later I signed up at my local library and discovered there was a "large print" section. I was so excited I could start reading again without having to strain my eyes. I started browsing through the shelves trying to find something interesting, but everything seemed like an old, romantic novel and nothing I was interested in. All the books seemed to be targeted at an older age group. What about me?! I have poor vision too and want to read! So I was left disappointed. 

I then decided to do some googling to see if I could find anybody selling large font books. I looked up the major websites and found, once again, that almost all the books were aimed at the older generations. I was actually quite surprised I thought that at least the major novels would be printed in large font, but no.

Options to help reading would include reading on the computer where there is adaptive software to enlarge, or a screen reader, but this doesn't enable me to read in bed or lay in the sun and read. I thought possibly I could purchase an iPad and download books on there to enlarge, yet this is an expensive investment considering there are other things that I need as well. 

I hope to find a place or a shop online that sells large text font in books that I'm interested and if anybody has a secret about this please share! 

I am also seriously considering getting an iPad not only to help me read but also so I could play all my favourite games that I'm starting to struggle playing on my iPhone. 

Until then, I will be tuned in to my tv (mind you it's 60 inches and I still can't see the thing properly!!).


  1. I actually just bought an iPad2 for the main purpose of being able to read books. Although you are right, it is expensive, but now that I have it I feel it was well worth it!
    I downloaded the Kindle app and use that rather than the iBooks app because the Kindle one allows you to increase the font-size even larger than the iBooks one. You can also choose to have black text on a white background, black text on an off-white background, or white text on a black background. It does get slightly harder to read while in direct sunlight, but still does the trick.

    I also use my iPad to do all kinds of other things. You can read other material like newspapers and magazines etc, I have a recipe app which I use to read recipes in large print, I downloaded a magnifier app to use for reading small text, I use it for work to bring PDF or Word docs to meetings and increase the font size, and the list goes on and on.
    The accessibility options for the iPad are great as well. You can turn on the zoom funtion so that you can zoom in on any screen (in the case that the font size can't be increased in some apps or on some websites), and for people who have extremely low vision, you can turn on the voice-over feature, which will read any text or paragraph that you tap.

    Anyway, i would strongly recommend getting one if you can afford it. It has turned out to be quite the amazing low-vision aid for me.

    Take Care :)

  2. Thanks Mike you have definately sold the iPad to me! I am looking into getting one at the moment and can't wait!

    Thanks for your advice.


  3. have you read this :

  4. Hi Stefnan
    I had a look at it. I'm following the advanced cell stuff too. The thing that stood out the most was when it said they can't fix central vision. That's a big let down!!!

  5. Hi. I was just recently diagnosed with SD, and I'm 48 years old. However, I'm not too old to learn new tricks. First of all, I think people like us should go ahead and give up on reading books with large fonts. Listening to books is the way to go. I download e-books from Bookshare.org, and turn them into mp3 files using the open mary TTS text to speech system, using the cmu-rms-hsmm voice (full disclosure: I built the cmu voice, and the speech speed up software used in Astro player). I listen to these mp3 files at 3 times to 4 times speed up, and I can't tell you how awesome it is. Forget sticking your eyeball up to the screen and reading at a painfully slow speed. Instead, I leave most people I know in the dust as I read ayt 700 to 800 words per minute. I've never enjoyed reading more. I read two or three books a week now, about 50 times more than I used to read before SD.

    I want to help to bring together people with SD and other vision impairments to write all the software we need. Reading books at high speed is just the beginning.