September 20, 2021
New Somerset-based press caters for dyslexic adults
by Tom Clayton
“Dyslexia, as I can attest to, does not go away. You don’t grow out of it.” So says Alistair Sims, founder of the newly-created BOTH Press, which has just published eight dyslexia-friendly books after a successful Kickstarter campaign raised £6300 earlier in 2021.
Sims believes his lifelong dyslexia has “got me where I am today” and shouldn’t be viewed as an obstacle to a full life of learning. Indeed, he has a PhD in history and archaeology, and has run Books on The Hill, an independent book shop in Clevedon, near Bristol, UK, since 2014.
The NHS estimates around 1 in 10 people in the UK have dyslexia, but there are precious few printed resources that extend to adults due to a misconception that dyslexia is something that can be outgrown in adult life. As reported recently by the ipaper, “after years of waiting for existing publishers to bring out titles aimed at adults who like himself have dyslexia … [Sims] decided to blaze a trail.”
The eight titles now available from BOTH Press include titles from fantasy/sci-fi legend Adrian Tchaikovsky, and a classic offering, The Man Who Would be King, by Rudyard Kipling.
The ipaper‘s report details the ways in which the books aid understanding for those with dyslexia:
Each volume is about 120 pages long and is printed on thick paper so that ink doesn’t bleed through from the other side of the page. The text is printed in Verdana, considered to be one of the most legible fonts … The pages are cream-coloured rather than white, providing a greater contrast for dyslexic readers to make out the text more easily, and there are larger gaps between sentences and paragraphs.
Speaking to the BBC in June, Sims said he hoped the collection would be a “call to action” to the publishing industry. Whether the industry is listening is another question but one thing is for certain: Sims—and other such campaigners—will never stop asking for more inclusion. For that, they are to be applauded.
Tom Clayton is publishing executive at Melville House UK.