Overcoming a reluctance to read. Part 2 of 6

by a dyslexic library member

This is the second in a series of six blog posts. In it, I would like to show you four ways that using more than one format helps me to engage with books.

1. Reading only some books in print and making informed book choices

I used to think of books as reading print.  But now I realise that print is just one format and that books come in other formats too e.g. audio, graphic novel and film.

Taking this wider view has opened up the world of books for me because it means I now engage with books not just through print but also through listening and images.

Listening to a book and looking at pictures are much more effective ways for me to take in a book’s content than print.

One helpful outcome of this multi-sensory approach to books is that of all the books I engage with, there are only some that I read in print. This gives me the flexibility to use different formats for different purposes. For example, I use:

  • print format for short stories and self-help books;
  • graphic novels for history; and
  • audio for full-length novels.

2Using a more accessible format for topics I find difficult in print

I find some topics difficult to read about in print because of my dyslexic difficulties.

For example, in a print book on some period of history, there is generally too much detail and content for my short-term memory to cope with.   Instead, if I use a book that tells the history in a way that is somehow accessible for me, for example through perspective, format or style, it enables me to assimilate the content.  For example, the graphic novel ‘Sally Heathcote Suffragette’.

For more graphic novels that can help reluctant readers of a variety of ages to engage with history, see:  Graphic novels that impart history in a dyslexia-friendly way.

3. Motivation and enjoyment

Using different formats means I am far more likely to continue reading rather than get discouraged to the point of giving up.  This is because:

  • the material I read is realistic for me in quantity and difficulty; and
  • reading is just one part of an enjoyable, multi-sensory experience with books. This means if I have limited success with reading, I know that I still enjoy books overall.  In other words, reading print is not the be-all and end-all for me, and this takes the pressure off me when I do read.

4. Using more than one format for the same book

This ‘scaffolds’ (=supports) my reading of print. For example, I listened to a self-help book in its entirety before starting to read it.  Having the ‘gist’ of a book before starting to read it helps dyslexics.

Next Friday we will look at booklists for reluctant readers.


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