When I searched the internet to help me understand what “large print” books are, I was presented with:
- books for the visually impaired
- the selection is probably going to be limited to mostly romance and thrillers
These are myths!
Having worked for a book publisher for 35+ years, here’s the truth.
- How easy a printed book is to read will vary based on:
- the book publisher
- the number of pages
- the age of the book (vintage books will have small type)
- the format of the book (hard cover vs. soft cover)
- the height and width of the book
- the typeface (font) style. The 12 pt serif style (Times New Roman) will look smaller than the 12 pt sans serif like Arial
- The typeface size in both hard and soft cover books will come in a range:
In the 1940’s or earlier, for example, it was common to print fiction books in 9 pt or 10 pt sizes in a serif typeface. Paper variety was not readily available and the technology of typesetting a book was a long process.
Currently in our digital world, a font sizes range between 10 pt and 12 pt for adult fiction and non-fiction printed books with a serif typeface.
Children, teen and young adult books will vary both in typeface and size.
Large print books will range from 12 pt to 18 pt, with 14 pt or 16 pt being most common with a serif typeface.
And despite the larger typeface size, large print books are not necessarily larger or thicker than a regular print book because publishers can change to a thinner paper or decrease the space around the page edges.
Finally, large print books are not necessarily edited or abridged from the original title but you can check the cover or online description which will note if it is abridged.
If you want to choose a large print book, it is an option through MORE at https://www.more.lib.wi.us/.
Benefits of choosing a large print book
- Easier to read while exercising on a treadmill or stationary bike
- Easier to read if your eyes are tired from looking at a computer screen or for late night reading
- Large print titles can be easier to read and comprehend for people with reading disabilities
- The wait list for a large print title can be shorter than the regular print title
What if “large print” books are not your style?
At 65, I am not ready to call myself “visually impaired” but I do see much better when I wear my prescription glasses. And I find if I read after 10pm, that the larger print lets me read longer. And reading to me is a true joy.
But if large print books are not for you, the library offers other choices too.
Consider trying eBooks that offer scalable font sizes or audiobooks through the Libby App at https://meet.libbyapp.com/.
You can also order Audio CD discs through MORE at https://www.more.lib.wi.us/.
Be sure to ask a librarian to assist you! We have access to data not available to the MORE system that might be able to help you.