Sounds For Sore Eyes

I am an avid reader – with tired eyes. These searchlights have served me well over many years – and they still work for me. Dimly, it’s true. But certainly, adequately for every day activities. I do not have an eye disease. And my sight is close to 20-20 . What I have, is end-of-the-day-when-I-love-to-cuddle-with-a-book  blurs. Even after two cataract surgeries. No real diagnosis from my Ophthalmologist. Just an admonition about too much time at the computer, plus a simple treatment plan:

Live With It. His unspoken language translated into: “You’re lucky, after all these years that it’s no worse. Be grateful.”  And gratitude is what I’m all about.

But my list of Books I Want To Read  reaches to China and although I do not have an eye disease, my frustration level was registering “dangerous”  — until  — until  — until  I  discovered Books On Tape.

And so, reluctantly, I have bartered my NPR radio station in favor of a good listen to a good book. I do my reading-listening in the car and although I probably don’t average more than 2 hours a day in the car, if that much, it’s start and stop doing various household chores, volunteering, some business meetings,  and keeping up with social engagements, so it’s not unusual for me to spend a couple of weeks with a 17 disk book. (Most of them have far fewer disks)  And I come right back to my place without missing a beat each time I turn on the ignition. And no ! I don’t lose interest.  In fact, I love red lights. They increase my listening time.

I find myself engaged with more non fiction than I had been before: biographies, memoirs, and lots of political and trendy stuff, all from my local library. I recently went on a jag to find out as much as I could about our President and took out 6 books on Obama – 3 from the right and 3 from the left and came away from that experience with a well balanced synthesis – but – you’ll get no politics in this column.

My taste in fiction is for good literature and sometimes I feel the need to buy a book I’ve heard, just to underline some of the powerful or poetic language, and to make notes. All of which has not prevented me from engaging in the actual cuddle with a real book. Thus far, I have resisted Ebooks. I know. I know. Some of you love ‘em. But when I travel  I only take skinny books, and I hate reading on a screen. Bad enough I have to read on a computer screen. 

So here’s a recommendation for your Christmas list for book lovers with sore eyes, book lovers who spend lots of car time, or book lovers who simply can’t get enough reading time and might listen in the car, or doing laundry, or cooking – or for someone who is fed up with the fare on TV and would like to knit or sew or do a craft project while listening to a good book. And HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS.

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