How to Use the Kindle App to Make Reading Easier 

For many of us, one of the scariest parts of living with a degenerative eye disease is the thought of struggling to read small print.

E-readers and apps

Thankfully, there are assistive devices we can use to continue to read fine print on things like recipes and instructions, but when it comes to reading books I’ve learned to start relying on e-readers. Until recently, I’ve always used the Apple ‘Books’ App on my phone when reading e-books or listening to audiobooks in the car. I have an iPhone, and the ‘Books’ App is the one that comes with the phone, so naturally, that’s the one I used.

Trying new things

Well, I did this really big thing called writing and publishing a memoir! My book is for sale on Kindle, so I’ve had to get used to using a completely different app. I’ve been extremely impressed with Kindle. It’s very user-friendly, and I wanted to share its low vision friendly accommodations with our community.

Low Vision Accommodations

In the Kindle App, it’s easy to change these things:

  • Font
  • Screen brightness
  • Background
  • Line spacing
  • Overall theme
  • Ruler tool

Font

In the Kindle App, the font type and size can be changed. There are eight different font types to choose from. Personally, I think the Amazon Ember Bold is the easiest to read because as its name suggests, it’s bold and it’s simple. There is a convenient scroll bar to increase and decrease the font size.

Screen brightness

There is also an easy-to-use scroll bar that can be used to increase or decrease brightness in the app. I like this because depending on the time of day, I prefer a different brightness to my screen. It’s really convenient to have this option on every page of the app settings because it eliminates the need to go to the phone settings each time a change is desired.

Background

The background in the Kindle App can be changed under the ‘Layout’ heading in the app. The background can be changed from white to tan, sage green, or black. If the background is changed to black, the font automatically changes to white. This feature used in conjunction with the brightness feature really allows each user to read comfortably.

Spacing

The spacing feature allows readers to to easily increase or decrease the spacing between the text lines. Readers can also center or left align text.

Overall theme

Readers who use the Kindle App can choose to change the overall theme. There are four themes to choose from: Compact, standing, large, or low vision. For each of them the font style and size are changed automatically. I’ve been using the ‘low vision’ theme because the font is easiest for me to read.

Ruler tool

The ruler tool is probably my personal favorite feature of the Kindle App. It’s extremely customizable and easy to use. Basically, it tracks the lines as they’re read. It guides my eyes and prevents them from jumping around and losing their place. The ruler color, style, and size can be changed as well. The color options are: gray, blue, red, yellow, orange, purple, or green. In addition to that, the darkness of the font behind the ruler can be changed.

Opening worlds of adventure

I’m a really huge fan of both audiobooks and e-reader apps. Both allow me to read (or listen to) stories without the eye strain that books sometimes incur when I attempt to read a book. I hope this article gives you a better idea of how to use the Kindle App.

Andrea Junge

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