Saturday, May 30, 2015

3 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Read

(NewsUSA) - The number of children who read digitally is on the rise, according to a report called "The Children's Digital Book Market: The future looks bright." In both the U.S. and Canada, e-book sales for children have increased substantially for some companies. No matter how you may feel about digital books, this is great news.

More kids reading is always good news -- especially when reading achievement levels are so abysmal. Data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress says that only one-third of all students entering high school are proficient in reading.

It's no secret that children who read tend to be more successful in school. Reading helps instill an interest in learning, exercises the brain and improves concentration, critical thinking and vocabulary.

"As a parent of three, I'm constantly looking for new ways to encourage the love of reading in my kids. At the same time, I am also trying to manage the amount of time that they spend on electronics and in front of screens," said Michael Tamblyn, Chief Content Officer of Kobo Inc., an e-reading service. "Even with a range of ages, they have all found books they like, so the e-readers in our house are now filled with Percy Jackson, Emily Windsnap and Geronimo Stilton."

Use the following tips to encourage youngsters to read more and enjoy it.

1. Read to children as much as possible. This may seem obvious, but reading to your kids helps them develop their own interest in books. Read to them at all ages, as babies, toddlers, young kids and pre-teens. Discover what types of books they prefer, carve out reading time and then teach them to make time for it, too.

2. Consider using an e-reader. These days, kids tend to be more technologically advanced than their parents. Use that to your advantage, and give your child an e-reader with a digital library.

For instance, the Kobo Mini eReader is lightweight, portable and perfect for first-time readers -- The Huffington Post says it's lighter than this week's issue of The New Yorker. The Kobo Mini ( also has a touch-screen and Wi-Fi, so young readers can look up unfamiliar words, make notes on the page and access free books.

"E-readers, like Mini, let them have instant access to their favorite stories without the distractions that other devices provide," says Tamblyn.

3. Read all kinds of materials. Books aren't the only way to encourage reading. Depending on your child's interests, find related comic books, graphic novels, magazines, poetry, recipes, board games with reading cards and movies with subtitles. Get creative!

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bright Horizons for Readers With Visual or Physical Disabilities

(NewsUSA) - The joys of reading -- from relaxation and entertainment to the ability to learn new things and connect with the world -- are not out of reach for people with impaired vision or a physical disability.

Bright Horizons for Readers With Visual or Physical DisabilitiesThe National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), part of the Library of Congress, is dedicated to enriching the lives of its patrons by offering them books, magazines, music scores and other materials in audio and braille at no charge.

NLS provides service to any U.S. resident or U.S. citizen living abroad who is blind, has low vision or has a physical disability that makes it difficult to hold a book or read regular print. Thousands of bestsellers, classics, biographies and more may be downloaded from the Internet or ordered for home delivery through a nationwide network of cooperating libraries.

NLS, established in 1931, expanded its service to include physically disabled readers in 1966. People with cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, or other conditions that result in paralysis, loss of the use of arms or hands, lack of muscle coordination, prolonged weakness or visual impairment may access the NLS collection. So can people with temporary limitations resulting from strokes, accidents or other occurrences.

San Francisco resident Ivana Kirola, 38, has cerebral palsy and doesn't have the strength to hold a book. Audiobooks from NLS allow her to indulge her myriad interests in politics, travel, health, music and more. Kirola enjoys a variety of titles, from historical nonfiction and real-life adventures to books about the inner workings of Congress and the life of Jimi Hendrix. A recent favorite is Jennifer Woodlief's account of a deadly Lake Tahoe avalanche, "A Wall of White."

"I really appreciate the services from NLS," Kirola says. "They help me in my daily life, in understanding people and keeping up to date with the news. My favorite part of NLS is the widened horizons that reading audiobooks gives to me."

Kirola also attends a yoga class at the San Francisco Library -- one of NLS's regional partners -- to help maintain flexibility. "The thing that has helped me is to remain persistent in what I would like to experience," Kirola says. "Sometimes what you need is elusive, but it's important not to give up. There are solutions for everything but sometimes it takes persistence to find out what they are."

If you or a loved one is blind, has low vision or has a physical disability, learn more about the free reading program by calling 1-888-NLS-READ or visiting

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