This article is aimed at anyone who…
- is dyslexic, or thinks they might be
- wishes to help dyslexic adults to engage with books
- is interested in ways to engage with books
What are these tips?
- 7 things that help me to engage with any book;
- 3 things that help me to engage with non-fiction books; and
- 3 things that motivate me to engage with books
7 things that help me to engage with any book
- Being aware that reading and comprehension are different things
– Reading is decoding words; comprehension is taking in their meaning
- Using self-help resources for reading print books
E.g. the reading and comprehension toolkits in the book
‘Making Dyslexia Work for You’
- Addressing my visual conditions
– By tracking print and using a coloured overlay.
Many dyslexic people have visual conditions as well as dyslexia.
- Using alternative formats
– These can be particularly helpful with certain genres.
E.g. I find audio good for classics, and graphic novels good for historical non-fiction
- Using strategies
E.g. watching a ‘SparkNotes’ video to gain the gist of a book before reading it in print
- Quality narrative
– Good stories well told e.g. Charles Dickens’ novels
- Dyslexia-friendly features
E.g. maps; chapter headings; and illustrated lists of characters, such as the one in A Christmas Carol: the graphic novel
3 things that help me to engage with non-fiction books
- Personalisation of history
– Telling the story from an individual’s perspective.
- Biography and autobiography
E.g. ‘Bridge Across my Sorrows’
- Contextualisation of abstract material
– Presenting subject matter within the context of a person’s life. E.g.
- Bertrand Russell’s mathematical logic in ‘Logicomix’
- Marie Curie’s discovery of radioactivity in ‘Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: a tale of love and fallout’.
3 things that motivate me to engage with books
- An awareness that engaging with books is doable and good for me
– Succeeding with books makes me want to continue engaging with them
- Engaging with books with or alongside other people
E.g. at drop-ins, gatherings, groups, spaces and story cafés
For more tips on engaging with books
 Routledge, 2012 ISBN 978-0415597562
 Classical Comics Ltd., 2008. ISBN 978-1906332174
 Penguin, 2003. ISBN 978-0141014081
 John Murray, 2013. ISBN 978-1848548404
 Bloomsbury, 2009. ISBN 978-0747597209
 HarperCollins, 2015. ISBN 978-0062416162
Prefer the pdf?Tips on engaging with books