Image of a mother and daughter looking at a book. Dyslexia is a term used to describe a range of persistent difficulties with aspects of reading, writing, and spelling. Around 10% of the population has dyslexia, and common symptoms are that words and letters appear to “move around on the page” or blur and blend into each other.

As part of our commitment to encouraging literacy and recreational reading, Hamilton City Libraries has a range of resources to help those who have (or support someone with) dyslexia.

Finding Books

Children's books which are dyslexia-friendly are labelled in our catalogue. Many of these are from UK publisher Barrington Stoke, who use a special typeface and off-white pages to help dyslexic readers.

Readers of all ages may also find graphic novels helpful, thanks to the way the text is supported by images. Hamilton City Libraries has graphic novels for children, teens, and adults.

For adults, our Large Print collection can be beneficial, as well as books of short stories.
ELT Readers,  for adult learners of English, may also be worth looking at as they have been written/edited for clarity.

Tips on choosing books

When choosing a book off the shelf, look for one or more of the following characteristics:

  • 1.5 line spacing.

  • Left justified, right ragged.

  • Sans-serif font.

  • Not white pages.

When selecting books for children, in addition to the above:

  • If a child is unable to read 5 or more words on a page, then the book is too difficult.

  • Choose a book about a topic they are interested in.

  • Factual books may be easier for children with reading difficulties. Look for well-illustrated books with short captions.

  • Avoid books with cluttered pages.

  • Cookery books, craft books and joke books convey a lot of meaning in simple sentences.

  • Don't discourage a child's interest in reading by denying them a book they have chosen, even if it looks like it might be too difficult. Agree to read it together instead.

Searching the Catalogue

Here are some tips on using our online catalogue to find books suitable for children with dyslexia.

    1. Enter the search term “Dyslexia friendly books”, including quotation marks.

    2. If you are looking for a specific theme, you can add more keywords (e.g. “dyslexia friendly books” dog if you are looking for books featuring dogs).

    3. Press Search.

    4. Use the options on the left-hand side of the page to further narrow your search results to the correct shelf location, genre, or library. 

Digital Library

Our Digital Library collections offer more excellent options for those with reading difficulties to access literature.


Audiobooks are recordings of a reading of a book, which can be listened to via CD player, computer, or mobile device. Hamilton City Libraries has a collection of Talking Books on CD for children and adults, and offers eAudiobooks online through BorrowBox, Wheelers ePlatform, and uLIBRARY. The uLIBRARY website can be switched to a dyslexic-friendly font for ease of browsing.


eBooks are electronic versions of printed books which can be read on a computer or mobile device, and provide great flexibility for people with dyslexia as they allow the reader to adjust the typeface, font size, and background colour to suit. Hamilton City Libraries offers eBooks online through BorrowBox and Wheelers ePlatform.

BorrowBox has a dedicated dyslexia-friendly typeface, and here's how to access Dyslexia settings on Wheelers.

eMagazines and eNewspapers

Hamilton City Libraries also offers digital copies of newspapers and magazines via Libby by OverDrive and PressReader.

Libby allows users to view magazine articles in plain-text form, with tools to customise the text size and background colour, like an eBook.

PressReader publications can also be viewed in plain-text mode to reduce clutter, or can be read aloud using your system narrator, like an Audiobook.