With Age Comes What?

Poor eyesight comes with old ageWith age, one is promised that wisdom comes

But in my case, this last couple of weeks has delivered a dose of inescapable reality. Wisdom perhaps may have arrived, well possibly; but it’s hard to know, as I am having trouble confirming the fact. Either, in fact, or in writing.

Let me explain. I received two books from friends in the last fortnight, and of course, I looked forward to reading both of them.

However, when I opened the books and thumbed through the first few pages, the reality of what is exchanged for the gift of potential wisdom suddenly hit me, as my heart sank in disappointment.

Both books were printed in a font size that was far too small for my ageing eyesight to read. Even with relatively new prescription glasses, reading a book printed in a font size smaller than at least 12pt is, while not impossible, an extremely tiring experience for me now, which is heartbreaking as I love reading books.

Sure, there are large print books available for many titles, but what about the books I was given? It seems such a waste of my friends’ generosity that I cannot read and enjoy their gifts.

As a writer, reading is by far my most valued pastime, and very often if not always, my source of inspiration.

Yet, with failing eyesight, my pass time is now becoming difficult, and even a chore. Yes, ebooks do help, as I can increase the font size very easily, and this is in fact what I have been doing for quite some time now. It is the only way I can read, in comfort.

But to be honest, as much as I think ebooks are wonderful and a fantastic technological advancement, I miss being able to lie back on my sofa and crack the spine of a new book – and read the pages.

As for writing, it is much easier. Microsoft Word allows me to increase the text size up to 500%, and even as I write this post, WordPress has tools to increase the size of my editor screen. So writing is still no problem. Watch out world!

But back to my friends’ kind offerings. I will read their books, but with a bit of cheating. I’ll buy an ebook version of each and read them. But of much higher value to me are the signed copies of their real books, which are now on my bookshelf.

Yes, I can still manage to read their inscriptions – thankfully. And their books are taking their rightful place next to my all my other favourite books. Something which ebooks will never be able to do.

6 thoughts on “With Age Comes What?”

  1. A beautiful testament of personal dedication – both to your friends and to the art of reading. Wisdom has clearly not passed you by.

  2. As an avid reader of labels on jars to make sure I get no “nasties” in my diet, I am now on my second (stronger) pair of prescription reading glasses and find it very frustrating having to wear them. They fog up when it’s cold outside and I even needed a bigger handbag just to support two glasses cases (lately one for driving as well), besides the bare essentials of phone, purse and keys. I guess you’ll see me in 20 years walking down the supermarket isles with a massive magnifying glass…

  3. I have a large magnifying glass my mother used to have. I can still read books with my glasses on, but not fine print on some things like boxes so I can check ingredients, etc. There are some magnifying glasses that have stands. —- Suzanne

  4. Hilary Walker

    I totally agree about the satisfaction of reading a physical book over an ebook, and prefer to publish my books in both forms.

    P.S. By ‘pass time’ I presume you mean ‘pastime ‘? ;)

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