Monday, June 25

Large Print Please

I’m confident that I conjure up the phrase “easy on the eyes” but you are tougher for me to look at.

Don’t weep, my Quillers. It’s not you...it’s me. I am what you might call “visually impaired” if you are inclined toward political correctness. Though, I am not sure about the validity of that term as there are plenty of politicians who speak nonsense. New York City disallows hedgehogs because we are wild and pointy. You know what’s wild and pointy? Small children with scissors! While scissors may be plotting against your children, I’m all for people not running around with me without my consent.

Where was I? Oh yes, I was imparting wisdom on my “condition.” My eyesight is what you might call sucktastic. Not the best when your passion in life is reading and writing. Unless the text is big I need the assistance of my monocle. Sure, it makes me look mighty snazzy but it’s also one more thing I have to juggle while I read. I have small hands after all and turning pages is no cinch. I am always seeking easier ways to read.

When I lived in Wellington (that’s the capital of New Zealand where the hobbits are holed up) the main branch of the library had an entire section devoted to large print books. It was home to novels such as ‘Chocolat’ by Joanne Harris (taunt me with things I can’t eat why don’t you?) and ‘The Notebook’ by Nicholas Sparks (not my cup of worms) among many other bestselling and obscure titles. The large, clear letters made my reading experience so much easier.

Finding large print books in stores is not so luxurious. I was in a bookstore in New York today (let it be clear to the coppers that I was in New York state) where I came across a single shelf of large print titles. It had a select few bestsellers in paperback but nothing I wanted to read, had not read before (‘The Hunger Games’ trilogy) or listened to on audio (‘Water for Elephants’ and presently ‘The Help’) along with several James Patterson novels in hardback.

Large print books are my lovelies. Why must we be parted? It also appeals that so many of them are printed in paperback. Perhaps this is not such a big deal to humanoids but when you are the size and heftiness of a paperweight, every little bit helps. “Paperweight” would be a good superhero name for me.

There is a reason I like eBooks. They often have those neat little settings where you can make the text as big as you want. While I love listening to audio books (talk about easy on the eyes!) not every narrator can do justice to the titles I’m interested in. The ability to read a book with ease is not something everyone can boast. People can get their cranky on about the digital formats of books but I’m guessing they don’t have less-than-fabulous vision.

Does your local library or bookstore house large print books?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think that large-print books actually paved the way for e-books. Since the 1960s, publishers and readers have gotten used to large print's simplified, easier-to-read designs, such as the replacement of italics with boldface.

I don't see many large-print books, but when I do they're usually traditional-romance or religious titles. Hurray for e-books making so many more subjects and genres easier on the eyes. The church ladies who seem to be most of the large-print market should switch to e-books -- with the Find function, they can quickly get to the steamy parts.

Denise Z said...

My library does have large print books, but at times the books themselves are so heavy that it becomes uncomfortable to hold and read. I love my ebooks! Here's to saving the extra wrinkles in the forehead from squinting to read a good book :)