Monday, December 10, 2012

eBooks, great for the sight impaired, too!

Ever since I was a little girl and saw my first rerun of Star Trek, I wanted a tablet that would store all kinds of books and other stuff. When hubby bought me a Nook a few years ago, I felt like I was in one of those episodes. It was awesome! No more driving to bookstores and wading through the usually skimpy fantasy/sci-fi sections. No ordering online and waiting for books to be shipped, not to mention shipping costs that some places charge.  I love the convenience and instant gratification of eBooks. It's also a great way to discover new writers and I've added several to my reading lists over the past few years. When I find a book I want to read, I can pay and download it in minutes from either my eReader or my computer. Many times I can find a book I want for under $5 and can store hundreds of them on my devices. Hubby and I loved the Nook so much that we bought a Kindle so we wouldn't have to take turns reading. Not only can we read eBooks on our Kindle but we can also surf the web, play games, watch videos and listen to music. We also have the free apps on our phones so we can read anywhere, like waiting at the dentist or the airport.

But there's another bonus I've found with eReaders. One that I think outweighs all the others. My mother, an avid reader, began losing her sight a few years ago due to complications from a childhood disease and is now permanently sight-impaired. In order to read paperbacks, she has to use a magnifying glass, which is awkward and tedious, or spend extra money on large print books, which sometimes cost double the paperback price, or buy whatever limited stock the local library has on sale. She can't read on her computer because of the eye strain it causes her. So last year, we bought my parents a Kindle. I can still remember the elation on my mom's face when she realized she could read any book she wanted just by making the font size larger. I was thrilled to see her so excited about reading again. Not only can she read any eBook, she can now read mine, something she wasn't able to do before she got her Kindle.

eBooks and readers have opened up a whole new world for readers, but I'm especially excited for those with visual problems, like my mother. I'm also excited that she finally gets to read my work, something I thought she would never get a chance to do.

5 comments:

Valerie B Kaiser said...

I always felt that a lot of eBooks were quick and not so hot pieces of work, but I guess i confuse them with Google Books? I do not know. But I think it is great that this is now available. It means that almost any book can be an eBook is that not right? The reason I ask is that Dyslexics used to have to pay thousands for a special reader, and the big part was the well, eBook part. It has an attachment to track eye movements, and helps readers keep pace and will even have an audio part that I guess is the key to the whole thing. From 10,000 per student to affordable is amazing. Thanks Dana, I got it clear now. VAL

Valerie B Kaiser said...

This is really important information too for kids with reading disabilities. Especially Dyslexia, but all Reading disabilities. It has been shown that larger print helps to read faster. And even for kids that get the right type of remediation, still have what is called a problem with eye pursuit. There is a system that has a lazer and tracks eye movements during reading but the big problem has always been getting enough books in electronic format, and it looks like that is not so much a problem from your comment. I think I am going to talk to the people that make this product (maybe you can give me a point where-but I will find out) and I do not want anything, just a cost effective attachment. THE COMPUTER AGE. See what good your blog did?I'll spread this around the ED circles!

Dana Davis said...

I'd be happy to share any info I can on eReaders. Barnes and Noble sell Nook but they're also available at Walmart. http://www.walmart.com/ip/All-New-NOOK-The-Simple-Touch-Reader/16662202

Amazon has lots of Kindle readers. Here's one with 3G for those who don't have wifi access. This is the type I got for my mom - eInk/Paperwhite is easier on the eyes when reading. http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Keyboard-Free-Wi-Fi-Display/dp/B004HZYA6E/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1355159833&sr=8-3&keywords=kindle+3g

Let me know if you need any other info.

Dana Davis said...

That's supposed to be e-Ink. Looks like Blogger doesn't allow any edits.

Dana Davis said...

Oh, and some of these eReaders have audio options for any books that allow that feature.

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