Large print a huge help

Mom in her favorite chair.

My 84-year-old mother loves to read. She’d much rather keep her nose in a book than play BINGO, watch TV, or participate in craft classes with the ladies in her independent living center. She’ll read fiction or non-fiction, really anything within her grasp, even a cereal box.

She keeps her local librarian hopping with requests for the new releases published by authors featured on the Today show. Every couple of weeks, I’ll take her to the library so she can wander the aisles of large-print books and select the ones that look exciting. Yes, she does choose books based on their covers.

All the members of my immediate family tried to teach her to use her iPad to read books, but she only uses that device for Facebook. In fact, she calls her iPad “Facebook.” She’ll say, “Hand me my Facebook,” as she points to the iPad. This limits her access to books and frustrates me to no end. But she’s not alone. Many seniors find electronic reading confounding.

When Mom and I can’t make it to the public library, she’ll read the books in her facility’s private library, which is well stocked with gently used donations from residents and their families. The only drawback is that about ninety percent of those books are in regular-sized print.

Mom and her reading buddies prefer large print to keep their eyes from tiring. During the pandemic when the libraries closed, she read every large-print book in her facility’s library.

I’m concerned that with the rise of the COVID-19 Delta variant, libraries will shut down again. I’d like to propose that we help stock our local assisted and independent living center libraries with large-print books. Residents would be thrilled to receive more books AND visits from avid readers.

A few of my senior citizen friends, both male and female, recommended books by the following authors:

  • Melody Carlson
  • Richard Paul Evans
  • John Grisham
  • Jan Karon
  • Karen Kingsbury
  • Louis L’Amour
  • Beverly Lewis
  • James Patterson
  • Anne Perry
  • Ann B. Ross
  • Daniel Silva
  • Lauraine Snelling
  • Nicolas Sparks

My friends read everything from Amish romances to political thrillers. They like biographies, memoirs, and cozy mysteries. Several are drawn to stories set during the Christmas season and books about small towns and large families. Honestly, they’re grateful to read anything in large print.

If you take a book or two to a senior citizens center, please snap a few photos and send them to me at I’d love to feature you in my newsletter.

Do you know any senior citizens who love to read? What books are their favorites? Please comment below.