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Let Reading Come Alive! Download 5!

If you, our teachers in schools with Bookshare accounts, could do one thing to help turn your non-reading students with print disabilities into readers, would you do it? This fall, we’d like you try something. For each student, download 5: 3 for school and 2 for cool. Get them their textbooks – let’s say at least 3 – and then get 2 more that you think your students will enjoy reading for fun.

Many students tell us that using Bookshare for their school work has opened up the world of books.  They now read on their own and even download books independently.  You can listen to a student in this video talk about the books he’s read on all kinds of topics.

And an educator, Laura Koch of Muscatine, Iowa, said, “Bookshare has helped my students become independent readers.  Often students with learning challenges cannot read for pleasure at their interest level because books are written at higher lexile reading levels.  Now that students are accustomed to Bookshare, they enjoy their reading independence and ask for more books to be downloaded. I encourage all reading specialists and educators to sign up their qualified students for Bookshare and watch the reading transformation take place for their students.”

Reading digital Bookshare books for pleasure was written up in the Alabama Huntsville Times. Educator Laura Parks said, “It’s been amazing to see how much my student is benefiting from the Bookshare library!  He no longer waits for audio tapes or requires someone to position his books for him.  He is independently requesting and accessing digitized books for school and for pleasure.”

At first, you will probably want to show them how to use Bookshare. But then, once you get them started, you don’t have to do their downloading – other than their NIMAC textbooks. You simply give them their own individual library card (individual membership) and let them read.  A five minute video about individual membership will show you how to do the individual library card.  It’s very easy! Bookshare now has over 125,000 books. You and your students are bound to find something they want to read!

We would love to hear from you about reading coming alive! Will giving your students 3 for school and 2 for cool encourage more students to become readers? Did it work?


  1. To all the educators, Bookshare Administration and members:

    Yesterday I read “Dyslexics are over-represented in board rooms and prison cells”, and yet the education system remains without change. Each of you have or will have a chance to change your students lives and if your reading this blog then you are on your way. You are on the brink of a digital change.

    Your student when you partner them with Bookshare and Read:OutLoud, you will for the first time put them on a pathway to success. Soon they can be ahead of the rest of the class when you tap into their eagerness to learn. With the eagerness they will now come to a person they read about but don’t know who they are and with a click of the mouse they will be able to surf the web and read and see a picture of the person they moments ago did not know, nor did they have the confidence to ask.

    Today, my life has been changed. The mountainous boarders of books which blocked my self-esteem have been all but flattened. Bookshare free for all United States students with qualifying disabilities (dyslexia being one of them) has changed who I perceived myself to be and who I am today. Now when a book is mentioned at a conference, the waves of failure which use to wash over me are now a wave of anticipation of reading the book. Text to speech software, like Readplease, Balabolka and Read:OutLoud combined with Bookshare digital books have made reading a decision not a chore or dreaded thought of me thinking I’m a failure. Note taking has also been changed by programs like Xmind.

    Your students have been thinking the same, and once you open their minds eye to the written word, the mountainous range will be one of discovery.

    Today, in this awesome digital and software landscape for a dyslectic I am free to read. The journey I have experienced has been tumultuous and can be read at

    The thirst for the written word to go from the page to my head or heart is bigger than I can describe. It may be equal to seeing the Grand Canyon or the Heavens without any competing light for the first time.

    Sincerely serving in Christ and with the Gift of Dyslexia, Davis Graham

    • Hi! It was great to read this blog. How can I contact Davis Graham?
      Esther Sage
      RS, Cupertino Union S.D.
      Cupertino, CA

      • Betsy Burgess

        Thanks for the comment! I’m sending you Davis Graham’s contact info by email.

  2. cynthia

    I have a son with Dyslexia. A very bright boy who found traditional school debilitating and disheartening. At second grade he knew how difficult reading had become and would cry and bang his head with his fist. I would think (as a certified educator) how can this be, why doesn’t this school system that is so highly rated ignore him and refuse him help? It wasn’t until we got him professionally tested by a educational Psychologist that they listened half heartedly but alas they were not able to provide him with a program that helped him. They wen t through 5 different programs over three years.they were not trained as special ed. teachers how to teach dyslexic children-and were not interested in learning.
    After a year and a half of The Learning House in Guilford CT, Susan Santora and her excellent Orton Gillingham trained educators provided him with the learning style that made sense to him. Now he is in an experientially based school he loves. and at this moment he is listening to Huck Finn…for the second time and loving it. we need to do more for so many children who learn differently…
    thanks Davis…keep telling us where we can continue to get information and useful resources please..what works one year may not the next and it will be Plan C!
    Cynthia Riegle
    madison, CT

  3. Seth Lowman

    Hi bookshare team! I have been using bookshare for three years now, and I have over 300 books in my collection, most of which are thanks to bookshare! I also have a request for you Do you remember the Thirty-Nine Clues” series? Well, I read all of the ones on your site from that series, ending with “Vesper’s Rising, (The 39 Clues #11)”, and I’ve heard that Rick Riorden is coming out with mor of them! When they come out, could you add them to your list of books? thank you, and good luck! Seth

    • Betsy Burgess

      I’ll let Collection Development know. Most likely, if we have all the others, we’ll keep adding them. Thanks for the request.

  4. debeeatjfcldotcom

    I find it helpful to ask students what movies they like. If someone likes horror for example, I suggest they practice with Stephen King. If you’ve never used access technology or digital textbooks, you can ease in to learning to work with them by pleasure reading first. “Principles of Macroeconomics” shouldn’t have to be your first digital book. Far better to start with a good romance, a high-action thriller or a book about dinosaurs!

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