Large Print Books Aren't Just for Grandma Anymore
In 1998 the late Dorothy Palmer generated a $500 donation from the
Antelope Valley Senior Workshop Inc. in Walker to buy adult large
print books for the bookmobile. Now a summary of studies published
by educational and scientific journals, supplemented by research
conducted by teachers, records many benefits for struggling or
reluctant readers using large print material. In the current
testing frenzy, some teachers have posted higher scores by
enlarging the print of tests - both standardized and those that
They point out that large print tests ensure that academic
abilities are tested, not the students' visual abilities.
Regardless of the reason, younger readers benefit from larger font
sizes - 14 point or 16 point - not because they have visual
difficulties, but because they are still struggling with the
process of reading.
Larger fonts force the eye to move more slowly, allowing students
to track their reading more easily. A larger survey of 708 general
education teachers at both elementary and high school levels
confirmed that large-print tests gave favorable results.
Serif fonts (in contrast to
"san [sic] serif" fonts) aid struggling readers by making the words more
legible.. This finding also explains why some older readers have
struggled with the highly advertised Large Print Book clubs, often
coping with 500 pages of text using the san serif fonts.
It is customary in publishing to reserve them for captions and
titles. Another advantage is the corresponding amount of white
space between lines, known as leading. Teachers found that the
leading helps children keep their place more effectively and
eliminates the distraction of skipping lines. Thorndike Publishers
and the Readers Digest were popular pioneers in this expanding
"Love Your Library Month" may be a good time to add large print
books to the wish lists of Mono County's library outlets and
From the "Record-Courier", Feb 9, 2005.
http://recordcourier.com/ located in Gardnerville, NV