Around the World of Books

Once again trying to be a ‘good’ or at least productive person and I am not getting very far. Only working part time this summer I have become rather unmotivated!

I finished listening to Rick Riordan’s The Dark Prophecy. That was through BARD. Just a note here confirming BARD has books for kids (real kids and kids in old lady bodies, like me!).

Not only do they have ‘chapter books’, they also offer picture books. I just downloaded Goodnight Moon, all two minutes of it. If you can no longer read to the grandchildren, BARD can come to your rescue. You just turn the pages and provide the hugs.

I also looked at Gutenberg.org a little more closely. They have thousands of titles, all in the public domain. That means the great majority of titles is over 100 years old. If you like the classics, they are available on Gutenberg.org and can be read on your NaturalReader. [To refresh your memory about NaturalReader, go to Sue’s pages Jabbering and Whoopsie.]

Oh, and they are looking for proof readers, too. A page a day would be acceptable. Apparently there was a 20 year moratorium on the ending of copyrights and it expires this winter. Gutenberg.org expects to be inundated by proof-reading work.

If you can edit and manage to read a page or two a day, you can help get the classics from early 20th century into the hands of people who may not be able to afford books.

That is in the States….

Looking for more sources of audiobooks, it appears Bookshare would be available to our international readers, all around the globe. Bookshare requires a statement by a ‘competent authority’ that you cannot access regular text. That could be a family doctor for you without access to vision professionals. Low and middle-income country citizens – countries like India, Egypt and Guatemala – pay $5 sign up fee and $10 annual membership fee for up to 200 books a month. Jeez, and I used to think I was a voracious reader!

Now, this being an American company, most of the books are in English. If you only understand Basque, you are limited to 110 titles. Could be worse. The Bulgarian speakers get 10. Germans hit the jackpot with 4,590. It would appear you should check their holdings before paying your money. Marathi speakers get 120 options. What IS Marathi, anyway?

Just browsing here it appears the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) has something similar to BARD in their Talking Book program. You must be a U.K. resident with a disability that does not allow you to read standard print. Not sure who makes that determination but the audiobooks look as if they are free.

And they give a tutorial on canes on their site! Nothing like a little ‘trivia’ lesson. White canes are guide canes for only visually impaired. Red and white canes are for the deaf/ blind. A long cane is used to help avoid obstacles and a symbol cane is to let people know you have sight loss and really did not run into them on purpose!

Ok. Now many of us know a little more than we knew 10 minutes ago. Anything else for the good of the order? Bye!

written July 23rd, 2017

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Beast of Burden

Some of you may recognize the title as the title of a Rolling Stones song Beast of Burden. Can’t help it, I love music!

This is going to be odds and ends. Hopefully a theme will develop. Then again, maybe not!

I just ordered a rolling cart. I took my CCTV and some work materials and a full-size iPad and my purse with several low vision toys in it across the parking lot to the other school building today. I carried them all and nearly broke my back.

I don’t know if anyone else out there has this problem, but I have acquired a lot of stuff and it is heavy!

Apparently, that is something they don’t tell you in visually impaired school: having all of these toys can turn you into a pack mule!

Another thing they don’t tell you is what to do with all the cords. In addition to all of the usual things that need to be plugged in I now have a CCTV and a reader and a Books for the Blind player and an extra tablet and the list goes on.

Not only do you have all of these electronic toys that need cords, but they need the correct cord. The smart phone wants nothing to do with the iPad charger and the iPad wants nothing to do with the reader charger, etc. You get my point? All the more fun for a disorganized, visually impaired lady.

Of course, life would be a lot nastier without my toys. I just used my iPad to look up a Talking Book to play in my cute little player. I found the new Jeffery Deaver novel available to borrow for free. That is the same novel I just saw available in hardcover only for something like $16. Not sure how many Lincoln Rhymes fans get Talking Books so I might have to wait a bit. However, it will probably be less time than I would have to wait for it to come out in paperback. I am cheap that way.

I am wondering how long you can keep these tapes. I am also wondering how much listening to audiobooks some visually impaired folks do. The order form was old-school, paper to complete with a – gasp – pen. The thing of it is, it was three columns wide and maybe 20 lines deep, front and back! If your average audio book is something like 12 hours, that is a whole lot of listening.

I just ordered one. I love to ‘read’ but I am not good at sitting that long. I am also trying to stay involved and get back to work full-time. AND I want to check out the BARD offerings. I got the acceptance very quickly but have not gotten around to setting up my account. I seem to be very busy these days – doing visually impaired stuff; ya know?

Just never realized this visually impaired business could be so demanding! Aha! A theme!?

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