Larger Print Offers Bigger Advantages for Striving Readers

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| By Gale Staff |

Reading does not come naturally or easily to a striving reader, which the industry defines as a young reader who is not reading at an age-appropriate grade level. It may be that they want to read but find it difficult or frustrating; they may deprioritize reading for competing activities; they may have a fear of failure or lack of motivation; they could have issues with cognitive processing or a learning disability; or any combination of these factors. Large print can help middle and young adult readers obtain and develop the skills necessary to become successful lifelong readers.

The combination of a larger font and fewer words on a page helps with:

  • DECODING—With fewer words per page, large print books make it easier for young readers to process information. Because they have less to visually process, readers can sound out words more effectively.
  • TRACKING—Larger fonts and increased spacing force the eye to move more slowly through each line.
  • FLUENCY—Studies confirm that students show improved fluency with large print, because the additional white space between lines slows the eye and increases the care students take to read with intention.
  • READING COMPREHENSION—Once decoding errors are eliminated and fluency improves, students can focus on the meaning of the text. This leads to increased feelings of confidence and satisfaction with reading.

When these skills are strengthened, students once frustrated by reading, learning the English language, or struggling with developmental delays, such as ADD/ADHD or dyslexia, gain confidence to be enthusiastic, lifelong readers.

Students at O’Neill Middle School surveyed1:

83% had a positive impression of large print

66% said they would self-select a large print edition over standard print


“Large print books are the missing component for accelerating literacy comprehension and reading fluency for all students, whether they are struggling, proficient, or in between,” explains Literacy and Neuroscience Researcher, Elizabeth Lowe. When it comes to intensive, long-term reading, print has an advantage; children comprehended what they read in traditional print books at much higher levels than the same material read on an iPad™ 2.

In addition to increasing legibility, large print can also reduce eye fatigue. A growing number of studies suggest memory and reading comprehension are better when material is consumed through print versus digital means3. Text on paper is more easily navigable; words occupy a physical space and location recall is associated with meaning cognition4.


Thorndike Press books are similar in size to regular print editions, thanks to a thinner (but still opaque) paper, they do not stand out. We use a 16-point font printed in high-contrast black ink. Titles are complete and unabridged

Young readers may appreciate that our large print titles have the same cover art as the original editions and the words “Large Print” are never featured on the outside of the book, allowing them to read with ease and without any additional stigmas.

54% of YA large print titles circulated the same or better than the standard print version at Gwinnett County Public Library5

Books to Build Readers Confidence

Thorndike Press® has titles that support standards-based curriculums, including those that place emphasis on interdisciplinary and multi-age themes. As the leading publisher of large print, we offer high-interest fiction and nonfiction titles, from classics to current favorites, that will appeal to all middle-reader and young adult readers. For a full list of titles visit, or purchase direct through all major wholesalers.

1 O’Neill Middle School (Downers Grove, IL) regarding 7th and 8th graders reading large print for the first time in classroom and library settings (Jan.- May, 2018).
2 Schugar, J (2014). “Reading in the Post-PC Era: Students’ Comprehension of Interactive E-Books.” Understanding Digital Literacy Practices in and out of School, 4 April 2014, Marriott, Fifth Level Grand Ballroom I, New York City, NY.
3 Herold, B. (2014) Researchers Voice Concern Over E-Books’ Effect on Reading Comprehension. Retrieved December 16, 2014 from
4 Tanner, M. J. (2014). Digital vs. print: Reading comprehension and the future of the book. SLIS Student Research Journal, 4(2). Retrieved from
5 Gwinnett County Public Library (GA) May 2018 youth services circulation report.Trava Mista Cano Alto

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