And so we’ve joined the growing ranks of dyslexic Kindlers

Juli Kearns Everyday Stories Leave a Comment

I wrote the following to post in the comment area of a home educator who had recently gone Kindle. But then I couldn’t get the board to accept my comment so I decided to just post it here. Why couldn’t I get my comment to post? Because I got caught up talking with H.o.p. about all kinds of things and then I also did my yoga. I had the comment ready to post all that time but, being dyslexic, I tend to take a while to sculpt a comment and I like to write it and return to it to make sure it reads as I want and that I haven’t left out words or mixed them up, which I will often times do when commenting (though I rarely comment anywhere). So, when I finally had the comment ready to post…well, the page said I had timed out and refreshing didn’t help.

So, we finally went Kindle. Of course, there are a variety of e-readers out there and we looked at Nook readers but ultimately went Kindle. Tit for tat in way. I saw many reasons to go with the Nook as well.

H.o.p. is a very visual kind of guy, and I’ve posted here before that we’re dyslexic around here. H.o.p. is. His dad isn’t. I am. Our dyslexia works in some very similar but also different ways. As of yet, H.o.p. doesn’t get as much out of long selections of text (like books) if he reads them on his own, and he doesn’t get as much out of a book if I simply read it to him. I’m not saying he won’t enjoy and get the story–he will–but I want him to see the text in conjunction with hearing it.

If we’re both reading the book at the same time, to each other, we have rewarding discussions, and I like using novels etc. as a launch pad for learning, exploring a number of different subjects in a linking manner.

With each of us having our own Kindle tablets we are able to share books that we purchase on it, not to mention also share all those books we get for free that are out of copyright. There are many, many titles out of copyright I’m hoping to cover over the next few years, and that these are free for e-book was attractive. We could also read them on the computer–which I’ve done many times–but that would mean being tied to the computer and the Kindle is a friendlier experience. I did not want to have to go through the trouble and expense of purchasing two of each book at a used book store.

With a physical book my son would have to go to the dictionary to look up words he didn’t understand, which he wouldn’t do on his own, and which meant breaking flow. With a Kindle, you tap on a word and the definition comes up right there on the screen, then you tap the definition away and go right back to reading. Less break in the flow. Much less break in the flow for him as a dyslexic reader.

I have the Kindle Fire version (he has the touch screen e-ink model) and when we have questions about things the writer is referencing that we don’t understand (which can happen regularly with pre twentieth century lit, many references that are peculiar to the day, more peculiar terms and people mentioned that 19th century readers would get and we may not) then I can tap to go to Wikipedia or Google and look up the subject and then tap my back button and go right back to the book.

It was a major financial investment for us to get two Kindle tablets, but I went with the Fire and got my son the touch screen e-ink version. Two Fires were just too expensive for us. Also, I didn’t want my son to get into the gaming aspect on it. He has other platforms that he uses for games, and I would prefer, right now, to keep the Kindle distinct as a reading experience for him. And he is fine with that. He loves the look of his Kindle and finds it very easy to read.

Which is another reason I decided it was time to go Kindle–my son has an easier time reading off a screen. Reading on the Kindle is easier for him, being able to work with the text to suit him, and I noticed immediately that he doesn’t lose his place near as often, and when he does lose his place it is easier for him to find where he was. When he needs to, when reading on his own, he sometimes uses text-to-speech. He used to use text-to-speech when reading on his computer, but he has over the past two years moved past that and now uses it rarely, though he is always information harvesting on his computer. But reading on the computer, such as on Wikipedia, is in shorter bursts. The Kindle has text-to-speech capability, so when I’m not reading with him, and he feels he needs it the capability is at least there.

Seeing how he likes reading off the Kindle, I’m feeling rather bad I didn’t make the move to Kindle before now, because I have long been aware that he has an easier time reading on the computer screen. But I wasn’t aware that Kindle did text-to speech. And wasn’t aware that an e-ink reader would be that comfortable for him to read on. And I wasn’t aware of some other features.

We’ve read “The Time Machine” and are now reading “A Christmas Carole”. Ironically, we will be tying ourselves to the computer as well as our Kindles tomorrow. Why? Well, sometimes reading out loud isn’t very easy with my dyslexia. What I can read silently I can have a difficult time translating to speech. And I’m admittedly having trouble with reading “A Christmas Carole” aloud while H.o.p. follows along. I looked up audio books on Youtube and found a nice series of “A Christmas Carole” as an audio book. So we will be reading while listening to Youtube, and will be stopping to look up words and discuss.

I may write something on “The Time Machine”, which we greatly enjoyed.

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