Wednesday, July 26, 2006

What Would You Do If You Couldn't See To Read...?

I was in Borders earlier, and as I was trying my best to read an entire Susan Donavan book, so that I wouldn’t have to actually buy it, an elderly man, and his wife ambled into the romance section.

If I had to take a guess at their ages, I’d say that they were in their late eighties. He was quite doddery, as old men are apt to be, and she was in a wheelchair, and looked very frail indeed.

I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation. Apparently, she was looking for a romance book, so he basically pushed her to the G, section, and told her to call him when she’d chosen a book.

Now, I couldn’t help but glance over at this lady, because I couldn’t figure out how she was going to manage to look at any of the books in front of her, seeing as she was so far away from them.

Anyway I watched her out of the corner of my eye, for a further few minutes, but she didn’t actually move. I was in two minds whether to ask her if she was ok, or to leave her alone, but me, being me, had to ask her if she was ok.

She told me that she couldn’t reach the books, but that she wanted a good romance book, and because her eye-sight was failing, she desperately needed large print.

I asked her what kind of romance she liked, at which point I expected her to say Barbara Cartland and she just kinda looked at me, and said she didn’t mind as long as it was a good read.

I picked out Garwood’s The Lion’s Lady, but the print was much too small for her. At this point her hubby came doddering along with his walking stick, and cheerfully asked her if she’d managed to find anything. I looked at him and told him that she couldn’t see the books, nor could she reach them from her current position.

I escorted them both to the front of the shop, and asked one of the assistants if there were any large print romance books. He told me that unfortunately, there weren’t, so I asked if there were any romance audio books. Fortunately, for the woman in the wheelchair, there were a few romances, including Robert’s Blue Dahlia (of course), on tape.

I left the elderly couple in the capable hands of the assistant, but I have to say, that episode made me think.

I can’t imagine being unable to read books, because I couldn’t see the words.

Reading is such an integral part of my life, that I don’t know what I would do, if I had to rely solely on audio books. I do have a couple, but I much prefer letting words flow through my mind, using my own mental voice, rather than being reliant, on somebody else’s interpretation of the words, to guide me through.

So, in celebration of the beauty of reading, I’d like you guys to let me know which books you’re reading right now, and whether or not they’re worth recommending so far.

I’m currently reading Audrey Niffenegger’s
The Time Traveller’s Wife, and so far it’s marvellous.

Here’s the blurb off the back of the book:

Now doesn’t that sound fab?

Now it’s your turn. you’re even allowed to mention Changeling Press books, as long as the covers don’t suck great big hairy donkey balls.