Engaging with books 1

Introduction This mini-series of 3 blog posts explores what helps me to engage with books. We’ll be focusing on the following 3 areas:
  1. Print books (post 1)
  2. Alternative formats (post 2)
  3. Non-Fiction (post 3)
By ‘engaging with books’ I mean accessing books in one or more format(s) e.g. print, audio and dramatization. Throughout this blog mini-series, I will be referencing various resources that I as a dyslexic individual find helpful. This does not equate to Dyslexia Scotland endorsing these resources. In this blog post we’ll consider 3 things that help me to engage with print books: 1)    Understanding what reading and comprehension are; 2)    Self-help resources; and 3)    Addressing my visual conditions 1)    Understanding what reading and comprehension are I used to think of reading and comprehension as one thing. That’s understandable, because most study skills resources don’t make the distinction.  They refer to ‘reading’ and don’t mention comprehension.  But then I came across an explanation of the term ‘comprehension’.  It was a moment of insight because it made me realise that reading and comprehension are different: Being aware of this difference makes engaging with a print book more manageable for me. It enables me to better understand my difficulties with print books. That helps me to identify any skills I lack, and to acquire them. 2)    Self-help resources   The following resources, all aimed at adults, help me to engage with print books. a) The reading and comprehension toolkits in the book ‘Making Dyslexia Work for You’ by Goodwin and Thomson b) ‘Rapid Reading’ by Janis Grummitt c) The Reading Skills part of the University of Sheffield’s ‘Study Skills for Students with Dyslexia’ website d) Series of books for adults designed to be dyslexia-friendly   e) Strategy flashcards for engaging with books f) ‘Dyslexia and Learning Style’ by Tilly Mortimore  3) Addressing my visual conditions After I was identified as dyslexic, I was assessed for visual conditions that are associated with dyslexia. As a result, when I read now, I use a coloured overlay or background and I track print. These two changes have improved my reading greatly, which has made print books achievable for me. How about you? The next blog post will be about alternative formats.