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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WORD COUNT AND READABILITY

Just a quick tip to all the readers out there! (A tip you may already know).

Reading can be a challenge for a lot of kids (and adults too for that matter). To address that issue, many publishers have books that are written specifically for reluctant readers (sometimes called Hi/Lo books –High concept / Low readability). These books are generally shorter, but the subject matter is such that it appeals to, and engages older children.

Now, books labeled “Hi/Lo” aren’t the only options for this readership. In fact, there are loads of books that aren’t specifically written for reluctant readers which are highly accessible. If you shop online, it can be a bit of a challenge to identify which books fit the bill. But there are tools that not everyone is aware of that can make finding these kinds of books easier.

Amazon.com, for example, has a “Look Inside” feature for many of their titles which, as most everyone knows, enables you to read the first few pages of a book much the same as you would in a bookstore. BUT, and here comes the tip, reading the first few pages is only part of the “Look Inside” feature. Another part is called “TEXT STATS” which, if clicked revels a page that breaks down the readability and complexity of the book. It looks like this:



Those numbers might not mean a great deal to the average person, but just hit the “learn more” links and those terms and numbers are explained in detail.

The TEXT STATS are only available for books that have the “Look Inside” feature, but occasionally I run across a book that has the “Look Inside” option but doesn’t have Text Stats. I can’t seem to detect any rhyme or reason for it, so I’ve emailed Amazon to ask and if I get a reply I’ll be sure to throw in an update.

2 comments:

Alisha said...

That is a really cool feature I didn't even know existed. Thanks for sharing with us, also, I didn't know they designed and wrote book for reluctant readers. :) You learn something new everyday.

Librarygirl said...

great info. I always wonder how many words books are. I think there's another site that does the word count too, but I can't remember which it is.

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