Why It’s Better to Read Large Print Books

stack of large print booksDid you know that the average mass-market paperback book is printed using a 10-point font? Chances are, the print on your computer or tablet monitor is set slightly larger than this. The text on your phone could appear even smaller! There’s a solution though: large print!

I’m barely in my forties, but I’ve already began to feel the strain of reading small type. Though most people think that it’s the elderly who need larger print publications, this isn’t necessarily so. Literally millions of Americans regularly struggle with seeing words and distinguishing letters in regular newsprint. Some of those affected are under the age of fourteen.

Though most of us just “live with” the challenge of reading small print, there are actually alternatives out there.  If you have low vision disability, visual impairment or even dyslexia, then you’ll benefit from finding larger print alternatives.

Reading larger print allows the eyes to relax more as they read, reducing eye strain. Eye strain can be linked to symptoms such as headaches, red eyes and dry eye, so keeping those eyes relaxed and healthy is an important goal. Here are a few ways to get more large print into your life:

Large Print Books

Many popular book titles are available in large print formats. The large print formats feature 16-point fonts that are much easier to see and read for children and adults alike.

Publishers are savvy in the way they produce these books too. Often the cover of the book and size of the books remain the same as the regular editions so that readers of the large print versions don’t have to announce to the world they are reading something in big print.

The bad news? If the book you’d like to read wasn’t on the bestseller list, then you may have a difficult time finding the large-print format. According to a 2010 study by the Royal National Institute of Blind People, only 15% of the top 1,000 books of 2009 were available in a large print, Braille or audio version. There is a silver lining though, that’s the next format . . .

Electronic Formats

Though reading on your e-reader or tablet may not be as easy as reading in print—especially if you have any type of visual impairment—the good news is that on a Kindle tablet or iPad you can adjust the print size of any book up to 56 points! This flexibility can make reading a whole lot more enjoyable for the visually impaired.  And, you can read newspapers, books, or magazines all in this convenient format.

Don’t make your eyes settle for fine print. Talk to your Eyeglass World optometrist about other options to keep your eyes comfortable while reading.