Living in Paradise

The Print’s Too Fine

The Print’s Too Fine

Being a reader isn’t easy. I was trying to work my way through the latest mystery for my Sleuth Book Club meeting later this month when I gave up. The book, Descent by Tim Johnston, is well-written and riveting. The darn print is too small.

I feel like Amazon should warn you about the type size when you order a book. Or give you the option for larger print than the bottom line of the eye chart. Since they did neither, I ended up ordering a second version through my Kindle. Tim can thank me anytime he wants for buying two copies of his book.

Several years ago, a friend told me that one of my newly published books had print that was too small. He has trouble seeing out of one eye, so I was sympathetic to his dilemma. I took note for my next mystery. At least if the print can’t be larger, the spacing between lines can be bigger, I reasoned. I guess my next book worked for him because he didn’t complain. However, since he is a pre-reader and receives an advance copy in 12-point type, maybe he stuck the published version on his shelf unopened.

I get it that publishers and printing companies want to squeeze a book into the smallest possible space. Paper and printing are expensive. Big books can be intimidating to some readers. The smaller the book the less you have to charge. Since the average author can expect to receive less than 25 percent from her or his labor and everyone else splits up the rest for doing little or nothing, what do the non-writers care if I have to squint to see the fine prose.

Why not try an audible book, you say? For Christmas I crawled out of the Stone Age and ordered myself a pair of AirPods. I haven’t opened the box. I want to use and enjoy them like all those folks you see with white things sticking out of their ears. But I’ve been busy and just a little intimidated. Maybe this weekend.

And, frankly, I’m not sure how I feel about having words blaring into my ears for the better part of a day. I like my quiet. My hearing has always been among my best features. As my eyes give out with age, I can at least count on my ears. If iPhones and computers have ruined my eyes as my doctor likes to imply, should I let AirPods do the same to my ears?

I see that Descent has downloaded to my Kindle. Chapter 4 here I come.