Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Magnifier for the vision impaired? How about a kindle?

The 'Glasses Apostle' in the altarpiece of the...Image via WikipediaI am not much for talking to other people on airplanes...no one likes a chatty seat mate.  Well I don't anyway.  My husband is the one that sits in the middle, will talk to the person next to him and really doesn't seem to mind.  So when the man next to him leaned across and asked me what I thought of my kindle, I didn't even register he was talking to me.  Then when I did realize he was talking to me, I found I didn't have a good answer.

You see, I have a love/hate relationship with my kindle.  I have always loved the feel and even the smell of a new book.  My idea of the perfect day is lunch and a trip to a book store.  I collected them on my shelf and lovingly touched them when I passed...old friends with familiar stories to tell.  Then one day my husband and I realized that we needed to send all those books out into the world so others could enjoy them.  The library benefited from all those years of collecting.  I reminded myself that I could visit them on the library shelves as easily as I could when they were stored in boxes in the basement.

Last August my son and I traded...he took my old iphone and I took his old kindle, books and all.  I have since bought many books and read each one with ease.  Another blogger (Wasted Days and Wasted Nights) talked about her kindle today and I liked what she had to say.
The Kindle lets me adjust the size of the text so that I can see it clearly without having to have my reading glasses.  It keeps my place for me automatically.  I can download books in less than a minute, never having to leave the chair I am sitting in!  There is a lot of free content for the Kindle.
I have found that being able to adjust the size of the text is an answer to a prayer...anyone that has impaired vision will realize what I mean.  The text can be made very big and eye strain is reduced almost to nothing.  It does act like a magnifier for text in many ways...but with out the cumbersome book or newspaper.  This means that I can read as long as I want without any problem...as long as I want!

One of my extended family members is visually impaired and has used a reader for many years. Hers is very expensive but will also magnify her hand writing letters or checks allowing her to remain independent.   I never really appreciated how this machine also allowed her to stay in touch with the world.  Now I get it...reading keeps our mind active and alive.  With a Kindle we are given access to some of the features of her large reader at a cost we can afford. 

The only thing I miss is the tactile feeling and the beauty of a real book.  But I keep reminding myself that really, there is no choice for me anymore.  It was do this or stop reading so much.  We all know that if you love the world that books open,  it would be very hard to give it up.  My kindle is now just a part of my life.  I download books in a few minutes no matter where I am.  The suit case is much lighter even though I have a whole world of books at my fingertips.

I just thought you would want to know.


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