Can’t see

Got the Resident IT Consultant to change the light bulb in the living room the other day. 18 months in, I’d finally had enough of not seeing. The room felt dim, and I felt depressed. Originally I’d imagined the room would be decorated fairly soon, and we’d change lampshades, not to mention light bulbs, at this point. Best laid plans and all that.

So the room is much brighter. Just not bright enough. I’m a very demanding customer, and I need/want more light sources, not just brighter bulbs. It’s an age thing, and for some reason I’m not getting any younger.

I gave up on another book a few days ago. It has two fonts; one ‘normal’ and one ‘different,’ to keep two aspects of the story apart. I struggled for a while, hoping the different font wouldn’t appear too often. But of course it did, and in the end I decided life is too short to struggle with aspects of print.

‘Older’ paperbacks can be tricky. It must be the same with books, as with portions of food. They are bigger these days. Get an old Penguin, say, and the font size shrinks dramatically. Recently Harriet the Spy was one such challenge. I decided it was short enough that I could manage, but often I do pass over the smaller books on my shelves, if I think the print will turn out to be age-inappropriate.

If only more people would spend time considering fonts and font sizes. Like Barrington Stoke. Although, I suppose publishers don’t make unreadable books on purpose. When they look at the pages, they presumably look fine.

There are some books I don’t even begin reading for this reason. Anything that is too much like a personal diary, or [badly planned] comic. As a child I read comics all the time. Now only the best are clear enough for me. I don’t have time to read everything, so words and pictures that fight for space is one criteria. I only wish that when I receive a book I’d really like to read, that I wouldn’t have to put it aside because of its layout.

There’s a regular half page cartoon in Swedish magazine Vi that I never read. I’ve even given up looking at it as I leaf through the magazine, just to prevent me feeling dizzy. I assume that most people don’t have a problem with it. I feel bad about this, as I’m sure it’s a cartoon I’d enjoy reading.

But when not even a new light bulb helps, I can only move on to something else.

2 responses to “Can’t see

  1. Yes, age can make reading small fonts & crammed words a difficulty – but you (and other adults) are meeting that page with years of reading experience. However, when books printed for children have “squashed pages” and tiny font sizes and there’s not enough white space for the words to breathe, the publishers can’t be encouraging the young and possibly less fluent reader much either, can they?

  2. I agree with you. And possibly as an oldie I have more staying power (occasionally). I’m amazed that I happily read those tightly printed pages in older books when I was a child.

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