Why i love my dyslexia friendly kindle E-reader


As a dyslexic reading book has always been an issue, i love books and reading, but i struggled for years, some books were tiny print so i could read them at all others were too thick so i was put off by the idea of never finishing such a big book, you will probably have your own fears and issues you could add to my list.

However i was given a kindle with and e-ink display which transformed my relationship with books. It was great to be able to simply change the font size when i was tired and needed it. And no more carrying round a massive book or limiting myself to quicker reads.

I'm on my second kindle now it's the base model e-ink but it's a touch screen which is not an improvement on buttons but i'm getting used to it.
The eink is important to me not because it only needs charging every few weeks but the contrast works well for me and as a dyslexic that's an important feature.
Kindle do paper white versions and backlit ones too but for me they are too bright and the text seems to move, so e-ink is king no backlight and a grayish screen

The other feature that i love is the fonts i have the dyslexia font ** on it which my older kindle did not have, and while to took a while to get used to (less than 3 chapters) i now couldn't imagine being without it on my ereader. I can also change margin size and line spacing all add to the reading experience, making it a joy.
It also have a bookmark feature which in the touch version i've had to learn how to use as my touchscreen kindle does skip pages sometimes. (yes this is deeply annoying)

Other features are the word lookup lots of authors add strange words and bizarre references (sometime to look clever) with the kindle i can highlight the word and find the meaning without having to look it up on my phone or tablet. So i'm less likely to put the book down and do something else while i'm distracted. If you want to can make notes or share sections on social media or email. There is also a vocabulary builder which is a list of random words from your books and definitions, it can be quite fun to learn a new word or get a definition that differs from how you use the word.

One often overlooked feature of the kindle is emailing documents to it. You can find the email on the setting in your kindle account online then simply attach a book or document to an email and send it, no need for a subject or content, just the attachment, it will show up on your kindle once you sync it.

You can get books from other online stores although you will often have to convert the format but this is simple just search for ebook converter ( epub to mobi, is a common search) it take a minute or so but you can email the resulting doc to the kindle. It accepts a few formats including PDF DOC Mobi and others

Another feature i love is the goodreads integration, not surprising since amazon own it too. Goodreads is a great social network think facebook for books. It has author pages, groups to share ideas and interests and a reading challenge which is a great way of measuring how many books you can read in a year.
I have a bunch of books listed in my want to read section and they appear on the kindle so if i do run out of things i've downloaded i can easily get a new book from that list.

I also like to review books on Goodreads that i have particularly enjoyed which has led to a few authors emailing me and sending me review copies of there latest book. Some have asked for a review others have just sent it to my kindle happy that they may get a new fan.
I have reviewed all the books sent to me that i liked and have bought others in the series, those books that i didn't like i gave private feedback to encourage the writer.

one book i did love is The order by Antal Kovacs a Penzance based author and friend http://amzn.to/2aHtwbT
Having the kindle has opened up a whole new world of books to me from the free books on amazon and gifts from authors to epic 5 volume stories i would have shyed away from prior to having the font and formatting options that help me cope with the dyslexia in a way printed books just can't do.

There are other e-readers around Kobo touch is e-ink and it's great, has the dyslexia font too. Onyx boox is an android e-ink tablet which is just too cool, the nook, and other readers. They all have similar functions so if you have a friend with one ask to borrow it over coffee and see if you like it.

*you can jailbreak ereaders to add fonts, screen savers and other features. Do a search for jailbreak kindle or kobo
** there is another dyslexia font
also you can get openDyslexic for browsers, android linux and windows

Ian Hurst - Dyslexic Writer and Community Activist
youthworker.org and ian.hurst.org.uk
August 2016 Creative Commons Licence
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