By Emily Rosen
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 everyday activities. I do not have an eye disease. And my sight is close to 20-20. What I have is end-of-thed a y – w h e n – I – l o v e – t o – cuddle-with-a-book blurs. This is even after two cataract surgeries and 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 I discovered Books On Tape.
And so, reluctantly, I have bartered my NPR radio station in favor of listening 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 six books on Obama – three from the right and three 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. It’s bad enough that I have to read on a computer screen.
So this is 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!