Today I’m taking part in a blog tour that’s a little different. It isn’t a book review, extract or interview with an author, but an informative post about an exciting initiative to make reading more accessible to readers with dyslexia.
Books on the Hill are a new publisher dedicated to helping those with dyslexia and who have trouble reading. The following is taken from their website:
We at Books on the Hill would like to share our new diversity project: ‘Open Dyslexic.’
We have created a new publisher BOTH Press to do this. We are passionate about helping people who have dyslexia, or have any difficulty reading, to access good fiction. We aim to make good quality fiction accessable to those not cureently provided for by today’s traditional mass book market. Furthermore we wanted to create a tool for our fellow booksellers to help those customers who deal with dyslexia and have difficulty reading. We are working with talented and award winning authors to publish titles of dyslexic friendly books for adults. I am a bookseller, and passionate about books and reading. But this was not always the case. I am dyslexic myself and could not read until 13, and so now I am passionate about helping anyone who has difficulty reading.
This project is very important to me, as not only did I find it difficult to read, but my sister and many of my friends are also dyslexic. One of the most satisfying things of being a bookseller is helping children finding books they want, especially so when they were scared of reading due to their dyslexia. Since we started the project, Books on the Hill have had many adult customers with dyslexia come in shop asking for something accessible to read. For example, one customer asked if we stock well known novels in a dyslexic friendly format. Unfortunately we had to say no, as they just don’t exist. We explained what we are trying to achieve by printing our own and she replied:
“I have been reading (children dyslexic) books but they are a bit childish so I am really happy I have found your company!! Thanks so much again and thank you for making such a helpful and inclusive brand – it means a lot.”
Dyslexia is a learning difference that primarily affects reading and writing skills. The NHS estimates that up to 1 in every 10 people in the UK have some form of dyslexia, while other dyslexic organisations believe 1 in 5 and more than 2 million people in the UK are severely affected. Dyslexia does not stop someone from achieving. There are many people who are successful and dyslexic. Famous actors such as Orlando Bloom; Entrepreneurs like Theo Paphitis, and many more, including myself. All of who believe dyslexia has helped them to be where they are now. Dyslexia, as I can attest to, does not go away. You don’t grow out of it.
We are very aware that every dyslexic reader is different so we’re keen to get feedback on our formatting. If you’re a dyslexic reader, we’d love to hear your thoughts.*
*There is a link on the site where you can download a PDF of different fonts and spacings and then send them feedback.
Books on the Hill is Alistair Sims. He is the manager and commander-in-chief of the bookshop (though his partner, Chloe, and his mother, Joanne, who set up the bookshop with him, may disagree with this description). Alistair is dyslexic and has a PhD in history and archeology. He could not read until he was 13 and is passionate about helping anyone who has difficulty reading. He is the driving force behind BOTH Press and has been involved in every step in this project, from finding award winning authors to contribute, the cover design, and the road to publication, including setting up for the distribution.
For more information on those who have collaborated with Alistair on this fantastic project, on the project itself, to download the PDF or order books, head to their website here.
Thank you to Anne at Random Things Tours for the invitation to take part in this tour.
Thanks for reading Bibliophiles 😃 Until next time, Emma xxx