Electric Books

Oh, my word!

Words create. Grouped together they form ideas, clarify concepts and uncover emotions. They can be breaking or healing, creating or destroying. Words, like single. little bristles on a hand crafted paintbrush, gather together in choreographed groups to curve, colour and create images that appear uniquely in every reader’s mind. Being able to see them, read them aloud, digest them and allow us to continuously form new thoughts, and so,‘in my book’ (excuse the pun) are a basic human right.

Recently my son drove me to the local library to pick up an audio book from the rather limited selection. AS we walked in I was overcome by the nostalgic smell of old books – a blend of dust, leather and tobacco…with a faint whiff of old style floor polish. It instantly raised the memory of my grandfathers study. I sniffed the air and reminisced aloud. He too, was yanked into memory lane by the smell of the pages, mindful of the joy of choosing childhood favourites that opened new worlds of adventures.

Tables of old library books filled the foyer and people of all ages, shapes and sizes were scanning through the treasures in search of those classic gems.

Acrid jealousy hung in my nostrils as I grieved the loss of being able to read a book. The fleeting emotion of self pity wafted over my heart with the loneliness of not being able to join this assortment of people enjoying the hunt.

Then I took my thoughts in hand shooed them towards thankfulness. It is a privilege to live in thees modern times where technology gives me access to electric books.

My cell phone does not quite have the same memory jolting scent (yet) but I do , with some double – tapping and poking around, get to listen some great books. Scan reader apps, and a little more effort, also allow me access to ordinary books and, for those with the privilege, there are some excellent audio libraries online.

My recent introduction to artificial intelligence, gives me much hope that the advance of technology will once again allow us blindies to put our noses back into old style books.

…and that’s not my last word on it.

9 thoughts on “Electric Books

  1. Tony

    And, coincidentally or not, today (September 6) is Read-A-Book Day. Courtesy of the U. S. taxpayers through the Talking Books program, I am currently listening to Dorothy Dunnett’s /The Game of Kings/, although there is no way I’ll finish the 23 hours of audio today! With luck, maybe the Marakesh Treaty will give you South Africans access to all these Talking Books some day.

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    1. jenniferwebster Post author

      Oh wow, I did not know about that What a coincidence. I wrote that ages ago and just felt like posting something.

      enjoy the book

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  2. Fran Webster

    Equally I am listening to, and enjoying to Michelle Obama. I am not visually impaired, (although the growing cataract is making vision a little less clear) but I’m dyslexic and Michelle speaks faster than I read. So I too am beginning to really enjoy the world of audio books.

    Reading a paper copy is something I still enjoy but, being a drama/art teacher, I tend to read, and reread, colourful descriptions, painting pictures in my over fertile imagination, slowing up the process even more!!

    I love your way with words Jenny. As I do the sentiment of pushing negative thoughts out and replacing them with positives. Brings Phil 4 verse 6 to mind “Fix your thoughts on all that is lovely, pure, noble….”

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    1. jenniferwebster Post author

      Dyslexia is also in the category of print handicapped. …that is why I advocate for symbols rather than written signs.
      Thanks Fran for your continual encouragement.

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  3. Jacob Kruger

    Jennifer, think you will know why am saying this, but, we really do not need something so extremely over-priced, like the ORCam to do something like read an original print book – there are plenty of free, smart phone apps out there to read print pages just as well as it would, and, yes, while none of these, including the ORCam would give you exactly the feeling you got from reading an old print book using your eyes – I used to be a book addict in my younger, sighted days, where I hated the fact that a library would only provide me with a certain number of books per week, since I wanted to read more – but, what I am saying is the the ludicrous price of the ORCam would spoil the vibe for me in terms of engrossing myself in the vibe of one book at a time 😉

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    1. jenniferwebster Post author

      HI Jacob. Yes, I listen to professionally read audio books for free on my iPhone and do a bunch of other stuff too. Some people love paper books and have the money lying around to spen on something that would improve their quality of life. .. so why not?
      I find that listening Hands free gives me th opportunity to do boring things like folding washing while I listen.
      Thanks for the comment, I don’t think there is a ‘right ‘ or Wrong’ device, just a most helpful one for each person.

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      1. jenniferwebster Post author

        I see (ha ha) your point. Thanks, you have helped me re- consider my duality on the subject on affordable assistive technology…something I am actually busting my butt for. I think I’ll edit my post too.

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  4. Jacob Kruger

    Another thought/memory based on the post itself is the actual book, the neverending story, by Michael Ende, which sort of talks about each reader interacting with a story they read, changing it each time it gets read again – yes, the movie is way more well known, but, I’ve always tried to read a book first before watching, or listening to the narrated soundtrack of a movie

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