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Reading on Small Screens Brings Unexpected Advantage to Dyslexics

This week the Guardian ran a really interesting piece on how dyslexics can benefit from reading on small screens found on smart phones. The writer, Howard Hill, recounted how he's struggled with reading and writing all of his life because of undiagnosed dyslexia but recently discovered the ease of reading via his iPhone.

"I raced through this on my iPhone in just over a week ... I enjoyed the story so much that I went to buy a copy for a friend. In the bookshop I was amazed. It was more than 1,000 pages! Had I been presented with the book in this form I would never have read it. It would have been too much like climbing a mountain."

Neuroscience professor John Stein theorizes that it's partly due to the screen's brightness, which eases the "crowding" of text that throws many dyslexics off. Hill suggests that the limited amount of text on the screen keeps him from getting lost in it.

I find this fascinating because all the benefits Hill and other dyslexics derive from reading on a small screen are what bother me and keep me reading on an E-Ink screen instead of my Droid even though the latter is more convenient.

It also has me wondering if this has value for kids still in school. Many parents wouldn't want to give them expensive smart phones, but what about an LCD eReader developed specifically with dyslexic learners in mind?

Hat Tip: @charliejane