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Bionic reading on Android – how to add own books

Bionic book in Android Google Play Books app
Bionic formatted book in Google Play Books app on Android smartphone

Don’t wait for bionic-enabled Android apps. You can start bionic reading right away by adding a specially formatted book to your current book app.

Bionic reading is a revolutionary tool that has just been launched by the Swiss startup company Bionic Reading GmbH. It lets you read faster, comprehend more, and be more focused. 

The new method takes advantage of the fact that the brain reads faster than the eye.

Bionic reading – what is it? 

▸ Bionic reading facilitates the reading process by guiding the eyes through text with artificial fixation points. To make it short: some parts of the words are displayed in bold text.

▸ As a result, you are focusing on the highlighted text (usually initial letters of the words) and your brain completes the rest. Thanks to that you can read faster without losing comprehension.

▸ Bionic reading is not the same tool as speed reading technology developed a few years ago by Spritz. Both tools let you read faster, but work differently. Spritz is about reading one word at a time. Bionic reading displays the text on the page the “classic way,” but around 50% of the content is shown in bold.

▸ Bionic Reading company has already released an API, so you can expect multiple applications for Android to appear soon.

▸ So far, no book reading apps for Android have embraced bionic reading. However, you can manually add bionic formatted books to the book reading app of your choice, be it Google Play Books, Aldiko, Kobo, or Amazon Kindle. 

▸ In a short guide below, I will show you how to import bionic books to a book app on your Android powered tablet or smartphone.

Read alsoBionic reading – here is everything you need to know – Bionic reading is a free tool that brings an enhanced reading experience to your current e-reading device or app. It will help you read faster and comprehend more.

How to start bionic reading on Android

This method applies to books that you add to your Android book app from third-party sources, such as sites with free public domain books or independent platforms that offer books without DRM protection.

The idea is simple: rewrite the content of a book using a dedicated online tool, and add this book to your book app the usual way.

1. Find the book you want to read in a bionic formatting. The best source for free – and legal – ebooks is the legendary Project Gutenberg. The preferred file format is epub, as most Android apps accept it. Epub is also compatible with Amazon Kindle, so there is no need to convert the book to and from mobi any longer. Alternatively, you can pick up txt or rtf file format.

2. Open Bionic Reading online tool. Click on the “Browse File” button and add the book. The tool will start converting the file. It may take a while. 

Bionic reading Android - add own books

3. To download the bionic formatted book, click on the arrow icon in the bottom right. Please note that, due to heavy formatting, the bionic books may take up to 50% more disc space.

Android bionic reading - download own book

4. In the dialog box, pick up “EPUB” on the right.

Bionic books Android - choose epub format

5. Now, you have the epub file with a bionic formatting on your computer. You can add it to your ebook platform the usual way. You can also send the file as an email attachment to yourself and open this email on your Android device. Tap the attachment file and pick up the app that you want to open the book with.

The bionic formatted book behaves just as any other book in your Android book reading app. You can highlight text and add notes, translate and share passages, or change the reading settings. The only difference is that the bionic book displays around 50% of the text in a bold font.

Tip: I recommend changing the font face in your book reading app to sans serif (such as Arial or Helvetica) to increase readability and comprehension.

Happy reading!

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