How I Started Reading More: All it took was a change of font

I have been wondering how to read more.  It sounds silly, I know.  I have bookshelves of books I would like to read.  They’re all right there.  My nightstand has a few books on it to remind me to read.  But there they sit, unread.

Being a writer means being a reader, right?  Reading is a necessity in honing your craft, seeing what else is out there, and has the side benefit of being immensely enjoyable if it grabs you.  That’s how it’s supposed to be.

But for me, it wasn’t.  It was like pulling teeth.

Graphic novels are another story- those I would devour.  I can spend hours reading graphic novels.  So why was it so hard for me to read books which were text only?

I thought maybe if I switched up the format it would help.  My husband got me an ereader for my birthday, and I was excited to play around with it.  It’s a fantastic piece of technology, and I think its portability, size, and weight, will go a long way to helping me read more.  I can actually hold it in one hand and the thumb of that same hand can turn the page!  This leaves my other hand free to be clamped over my mouth in horror, or languidly propping my head up while I relax and read.  It really lets e sink into the story.

It was all that.  But I still wasn’t really reading as much as I’d like.  It was still hard.

I’ve written dozens of short stories and five novels; it can’t be something to do with reading.  I am editing a novel right now, and I can spend hours at a time focussing on it.  I know, it’s a different mechanism; reading and editing are not the same.  So what gives?

I played around with the text settings on my ereader.  (It’s a Kobo Aura, if you’re wondering- there’s some really great YouTube reviews that compare ereaders if you’re wondering which is right for you!)

Changing the line spacing was a blessed relief.  I write and edit in double-space, so there’s tons of white on the page.  I also write and edit in the full-screen, composition mode of Scrivener, which is nothing but the words on the page (no menus, no sidebars).

Then in the fonts, I was playing around to see what was on offer.  Pretty standard fare.

But then: some font called Dyslexic Open.  I switched to it, and it was like a being slapped in the face.  It was initially very odd looking; the symmetry is all messed up, the look of letters has them leaning and weighted all over the place.

But I started reading.  And let me tell you, I‘ve never read so fast in my life.

I never went back.

Here’s what it looks like.  Don’t be too put off; it’s one thing to look at the pieces individually, but entirely another to have your eyes dance over them in a sentence.  Entirely another thing to have the font melt away so all you see is the story. 

Now, I don’t think I have Dyslexia.  But this new font makes it much easier for me to read, so I’ll go with it regardless of who it’s for.  If you’re having trouble staying attached to the business end of a book, I suggest you give it a shot!  Here’s their site, where you can download it for free.

As an aside, we’re still in the “waiting excitedly” phase with my book; hopefully I’ll get a wonderful phone call from my wonderful agent soon, and then I will The Best Post Ever to share with you, my dear readers.

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheers.

Heidi out.

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