Considering how much of our daily attention has shifted online during the last couple of decades, it’s no wonder that reading books can be regarded as being a bit inconvenient or even too much of a hassle.
Nevertheless, reading classic books does have its fair share of advantages and despite Kindles often taking the place of old-school book shelves, books won’t completely disappear anytime soon. For youngsters, children, or students nowadays, deciding upon a book and reading it requires a lot of commitment which is exactly why doing proper research beforehand is now even more important than ever.
Therefore, when choosing a new book, one of the most important aspects that needs to be taken into account is something called the “reading level.” After all, choosing a book that’s above someone’s reading level can very easily turn the whole affair into something very boring. This is where Read Up comes into play.
Read Up is a useful and very interesting cross-browser extension, available for both Firefox and Chrome, that aims to make searching the web for suitable books for youngsters incredibly easy.
The first thing you should know about this extension is the fact that it displays book reading levels in accordance to four standards: Lexile, Fountas & Pinnell Guide Reading Level, ATOS Book Levels and Accelerated Reader (AR) Points.
One of the best aspects of Read Up for Firefox is the fact that it smoothly integrates with the browser’s GUI and displays a set of useful information about the book in a very unobtrusive manner. Besides the basic reading level, it also shows the book’s word count, topic and interest level.
Best of all, the extension is designed to work with some of the biggest platforms that currently sell books such as Amazon, Goodreads, Overdrive, Google Books, LibraryThing, Common Sense Media, Accelerated Reader Bookfinder, Book Depository, Barnes & Noble, and Indigo.
As with all things, Read Up is not perfect. Safe to say that it doesn’t always work as intended. For example, our tests showed that it struggles with some of the lesser known books out there.
Nevertheless, there’s no denying this extension’s usability and usefulness. It’s not an extension aimed at the typical book worm that likes to research beforehand, but more for teachers and educators (and even parents) that want to make sure they find suitable reading material for the students or kids.