Some children are voracious readers. They look beyond the vast size of the Harry Potter or Twilight series and focus on the stories themselves. They see reading as an adventure, and the bigger the book, the bigger the accomplishment. Other children are reluctant readers. They read what they have to for school and nothing else. They see reading as a chore instead of a pleasure. The Kindle has the ability to change that mentality. Readers see the book one page at a time on the Kindle, instead of a large 500 page book. By breaking the book down into smaller chunks, the book is perceived as less intimidating.
On the Amazon Kindle forums, there is a story written by the mother of a young teenager who does not like to read. But once she tried the Kindle, she was hooked. The post on the forum also pointed out the font adjustment feature on the Kindle. Setting it to a larger font size equates to easier reading. Many posters in the forum alluded to the fact that making the font larger does the trick.
Considering that the Kindle is not a book, but a container for many books, kids can find their niche in reading. They have a large selection to choose from. So, if one kid likes fantasy, they can quickly choose Harry Potter, or if another prefers the Chronicles of Narnia, then it is right there as well. The Kindle has great potential to be incorporated into the classroom. Young readers will have vast libraries of books right at the click of a button.
Since the Kindle was introduced in 2007, it has eased the burden on visually impaired readers considerably by incorporating six font size adjustment options. The font size adjustment on the Kindle is a great feature because it eliminates the need to buy heavy, cumbersome large print books. Large print books are often very expensive and are not readily available. However, more can be done to make reading more pleasurable for this group of readers.
In addition to large print books, visually impaired readers use another device called a CCTV.
A visually impaired user uses a CCTV to enlarge the font on her book.
These devices tend to run in the $4000 price range, which is a pretty hefty price tag. The reader places the book on a platform under a computer screen and adjusts the font size and color schemes to fit their reading needs. If the Kindle can include more font sizes into its options available, just imagine how much easier, less expensive and more portable reading would be for these readers!
The dream takes a closer step towards reality this summer. Amazon plans to make more font size options available during the summer of 2010, according to this WebProNews article . The amount of font size options will increase from six to eleven. The seventh font option, a “super font”, will be double the size of the largest font size currently available on the Kindle. At last, visually impaired users will be able read with comfort and not have to worry about eye strain and muscle soreness from lugging a large book around. The expense of purchasing large equipment such as the CCTV will be drastically cut by purchasing a $259 Kindle.