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I was in Borders earlier, and as I was trying my best to read an entire Susan Donavan book, so that I wouldn’t have to actually buy it, an elderly man, and his wife ambled into the romance section.

If I had to take a guess at their ages, I’d say that they were in their late eighties. He was quite doddery, as old men are apt to be, and she was in a wheelchair, and looked very frail indeed.

I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation. Apparently, she was looking for a romance book, so he basically pushed her to the G, section, and told her to call him when she’d chosen a book.

Now, I couldn’t help but glance over at this lady, because I couldn’t figure out how she was going to manage to look at any of the books in front of her, seeing as she was so far away from them.

Anyway I watched her out of the corner of my eye, for a further few minutes, but she didn’t actually move. I was in two minds whether to ask her if she was ok, or to leave her alone, but me, being me, had to ask her if she was ok.

She told me that she couldn’t reach the books, but that she wanted a good romance book, and because her eye-sight was failing, she desperately needed large print.

I asked her what kind of romance she liked, at which point I expected her to say Barbara Cartland and she just kinda looked at me, and said she didn’t mind as long as it was a good read.

I picked out Garwood’s The Lion’s Lady, but the print was much too small for her. At this point her hubby came doddering along with his walking stick, and cheerfully asked her if she’d managed to find anything. I looked at him and told him that she couldn’t see the books, nor could she reach them from her current position.

I escorted them both to the front of the shop, and asked one of the assistants if there were any large print romance books. He told me that unfortunately, there weren’t, so I asked if there were any romance audio books. Fortunately, for the woman in the wheelchair, there were a few romances, including Robert’s Blue Dahlia (of course), on tape.

I left the elderly couple in the capable hands of the assistant, but I have to say, that episode made me think.

I can’t imagine being unable to read books, because I couldn’t see the words.

Reading is such an integral part of my life, that I don’t know what I would do, if I had to rely solely on audio books. I do have a couple, but I much prefer letting words flow through my mind, using my own mental voice, rather than being reliant, on somebody else’s interpretation of the words, to guide me through.

So, in celebration of the beauty of reading, I’d like you guys to let me know which books you’re reading right now, and whether or not they’re worth recommending so far.

I’m currently reading Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveller’s Wife, and so far it’s marvellous.

Here’s the blurb off the back of the book:

Now doesn’t that sound fab?

Now it’s your turn. you’re even allowed to mention Changeling Press books, as long as the covers don’t suck great big hairy donkey balls.


  • Jorrie Spencer
    July 26
    8:23 pm

    I am reading and enjoying Nora Roberts’s Carnal Innocence. Was Jane’s rec. I haven’t read Roberts for a while and I’d forgotten how much I enjoy her writing.

    And, yeah, eyesight is a precious precious thing.


  • Alex
    July 26
    8:32 pm

    Its really nice of you to help the elderly. It saddens me that most people just don’t care anymore at this time and age. And I too cannot imagine what it is like to not be able to read any book of my choice. The magic of reading taken by the sands of time.



  • Marg
    July 26
    8:58 pm

    The thought of not being able to see to read scares me really!

    AS for what I am reading – at the moment it is In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant which is pretty good.


  • Nicole
    July 26
    9:15 pm

    Well, just finished an excellent fantasy book, Covenants by Lorna Freeman (and Amazon just delivered the sequel I ordered last night). Also reading Angels Fall by Roberts.

    There are a ton of large print romances, but most of them are mighty expensive and sold mostly to libraries (I know ours gets a ton, so they must be popular). There are also some large print book clubs that put out romance titles.


  • KatieW
    July 26
    9:17 pm

    I’ve heard great things about A Time Traveller’s Wife, though I have yet to read it. Maybe I should get that done, lol.

    Currently reading? I just finished “Playing Easy to Get”, which had three short stories.

    Sherrilyn Kenyon’s “Turn up the Heat” was honestly disappointing to me. I like the whole premise of the story, girl has a rough life, wins this amazing fantasy, meets boy, runs from the mob, ends up happily-ever-after. But the story itself just didn’t do it for me. Granted, it was a short short, and that always makes it hard.

    Jaid Black had “Hunter’s Oath” as the second story. This was a definitely improvement over Kenyon’s. While this was a fantasy, and therefore a bit unbelievable, lol, even though it was short, it kept my attention the whole time, and I liked the characters.

    Now, Kresley Cole’s “The Warlord Wants Forever” has made me a permanent reader of Cole. I LOVED this story. Her characterization is amazing, the sex is great, the alpha male stands out. This story really solidifies that a short story really CAN have plot and characters and hold my attention. Now I need to get the next story in the series, A Hunger Like No Other. OH, picking that off the shelf this weekend!

    Just in case you were wondering what I was reading, lol…


  • Jorrie Spencer
    July 26
    9:30 pm

    Oh, I meant to add, I loved The Time Traveler’s Wife. Total pageturner and so well-written.


  • Eve Vaughn
    July 26
    10:20 pm

    Right now I’m reading the Da Vinci Code. Probably the last person on Earth who hasn’t read it yet. *g*

    Awww, it’s cute how you helped that elderly couple. I knew you had a heart, even if its black. LMAO!


  • Avid Reader
    July 26
    10:40 pm

    Hi Karen,

    That was so sweet of you to help her as I can’t imagine not reading books either. Currently, I am reading two books, Sleep Tight by Anne Frasier and Leigh Ellwood’s Dare Me.



  • Wendy
    July 26
    10:59 pm

    Maybe your soul secretly earns to be a librarian Karen 🙂 Your story reminded me a little old man who used to come in to my former place of employment. He couldn’t see worth a damn, and always needed help picking out audiobooks because he couldn’t read the titles. God, I miss that old guy. *sniffle* He passed away last year.

    I just finished ALL U CAN EAT by Emma Holly (loved it!!!) and have started SHAMUS IN THE GREEN ROOM by Susan Kandel – which is a mystery.


  • Kat O+
    July 26
    11:00 pm

    I’m reading a book by someone on your Authors Behaving Badly list so I won’t even go there! In my defence, it’s borrowed…and my friend bought it from a secondhand store. *LOL* However, I’d recommend JR Ward’s Dark Brotherhood Series. The first one is Dark Lover but the third one is coming out in September. They’re really hot and the protagonists are very strong, un-stupid characters. There are bits of her plots that I find a bit blah but the romance is solid. I’ve been waiting and waiting to see if you’ll ever review them cos I really would be interested to hear your take on these books.


  • Barbara B.
    July 26
    11:20 pm

    I’m re-reading Again by Sharon Cullars. The book has an intensity and substance that I love and can rarely find in most paranormal erotic romances. I prefer character driven stories rather action driven ones. Most of the paranormals I’ve read seem silly and formulaic in contrast to Again.


  • Rosie
    July 26
    11:51 pm

    My mom loved to read and she slowly lost her eyesight due to her multiple sclerosis. She loved Nora Roberts and we would look high and low for those large print books…which were (and still are) astronomical in price. It definitely made me value my eyesight. I’d be a lunatic if I couldn’t read…can’t imagine it really.

    I’m currently reading TO DIE FOR by Linda Howard. Apparently I’m the only Howard fan on the face of the earth that didn’t know about this book. I’m thrilled to have found out about it. It’s been a fast and fun read.


  • Laura
    July 27
    12:34 am

    At 85, my father’s eyesight is no longer good enough for him to read very well. As a child, I used to climb all over him as he lay on the floor reading a book. If I could, I’d give him my ability to read. I know how much he misses it.
    Karen, thanks for being someone who helps. The elderly need more of you.
    Me, I’m reading tour guides for the Pacific Northwest. I’m two weeks away from being out of this damn heat. I did just finish Kleypas’ Scandal in Spring…..it didn’t do anything for me. I think I’m burned out on fluffy historicals.


  • nicoletterivers
    July 27
    1:04 am

    Your story just wipes me out. One of my clear memories of childhood was sobbing after seeing the Burgess Meredith Twilight Zone where he breaks his glasses and couldn’t see to read. We’re talking about me in bed, tears streaming down my face, trying to imagine a world where something that cruel can happen, because in my young frame of reference that was dire.

    Let’s home there is someone as caring there next time to help her find a book! My grandmother is in her 80s and reads an unreal amount of books. I go into the local used book store and she tells them how I got my love of reading from her, and how much my mother loves to read…

    That being said, not sure what I’ll be reading next! About to find out. I’m a travel agent by day, and I get money back on a debit card when I book certain hotels — Hi, Paris! — and just got another $50 bucks on my card. There were some I know there is a book or two at Liquid Silver I want.


  • Another Wendy
    July 27
    4:33 am

    The thought of losing my eyesight scares me but I can imagine shutting down if I didn’t have mobility.
    Currently reading Elizabeth Chadwick’s The Champion. Bought today 4 and 5 of the Crimson City series-loved 1, 2 and 3-and an MJD.
    Yeah, some of us actually pay real money for our MJD’s.


  • Dramedy Girl
    July 27
    5:02 am

    I’m like you Karen, I want to visualize a book and I love the flow of the words. I would be devestated if I couldn’t read any longer. That was really nice of you to help her out.

    Right now I just finished Rachael Caine’s Ill Wind in her Weather Warden series and it’s FANTASTIC! I have found salve for my Laurell K Hamilton “I completely fucked up the Anita series” wound!!! Will now be glomming her list.


  • Sarah McCarty
    July 27
    11:23 am

    That does make you think!

    I’m reading Marjorie Liu’s Red Heart of Jade. Loving it. Great characterization, great plot, fabulous way with prose, and fast paced. She’s now firmly ensconced on my must buy immediately as her books come out auto-buy list.


  • Jane
    July 27
    11:43 am

    This is one reason why a) all books should be released in ebook format and b) why they should NOT have DRM. Because with a screen reader, any book could be read for a person with eyesight difficulties. A friend of mind has severe macular degeneration and the loss of the ability to read is crushing. We’ve set up a laptop with a screen reader and she now has the ability to listen to many books that are not in audio format.

    It is not a replacement for reading but it helps ease the ache.


  • Zeek
    July 27
    12:20 pm

    Well that was just the sweetest post! My 89 yr old Grams, a huge reader as well, is going thru a bit of this now as her one eye is giving her problems.

    I don’t know what I’d do either if I couldn’t read, and she feels the same way!

    And finally … who can resist a “what are you reading” post?

    I’m reading Linda Howard’s “Cover of Night.” I just started it, so we’ll see … (My hopes are not high for this one as I’ve been disappointed in her latest endeavers. And I used to be her #1 fan!)

    (Btw, I loved TTTW too!)


  • Jade James Truth or Dare
    July 27
    12:42 pm

    I’m reading Shannon McKenna’s Standing in the Shadows. The book has definitely become one of my favorites. Suspense, action, hot sex, emotional-the book has it all.

    Jade James


  • Selah March
    July 27
    4:46 pm

    Bless you for taking a moment to lend a hand. I can only imagine the frustration of being trapped in my own body.

    I’m reading the fourth book in Jacqueline Carey’s “Kushiel” fantasy series: KUSHIEL’S SCION. I love these books with a dark, pervy passion. I believe I’d trade small bits of flesh and bone to be able to write like this woman.


  • Mechele Armstrong
    July 27
    5:55 pm

    *shudders* that’s so scary. My mother had trouble reading toward the end. I don’t know what I will do if that ever happens *shudders*.

    I’m reading “Girls just want to have fun” by Barbara Karmazin. It’s a sci fi erotic romance. A little different, very sexy, and I’m enjoying the new world.


  • paz
    July 28
    8:32 pm

    An elderly neighbor of ours loved to read and when her eyesight began to go, she found out about a program for sight impaired people, where they could borrow books on tapes. So, she borrowed these book tapes alot and was very happy. Only thing was that her hearing was going, too. So, so would turn up her tape record really loud and about three apartment floors could hear her books being read. Luckily, no one minded…

    Eve, you’re not the last person reading Da Vinci Code. Ihaven’t read it.

    Karen, I look forward to your thoughts on The TimeTraveller’s Wife.



  • fiveandfour
    July 29
    12:19 am

    The last thing I read that I’d particularly recommend is Marian Keyes’ Anybody Out There? (which is now vying with Rachel’s Holiday as my favorite MK book). Just finished Wicked and Reckless by Shannon Drake which are certainly a cut above a lot of romance books, but yet I still wouldn’t call them great.

    Hi by the way…don’t quite recall the path that got me here, I went down a little alley and here I am ;-).


  • Karen Scott
    July 29
    7:47 am

    Hi Fiveandfour, welcome to my den of iniquity 🙂 I’ve never read Marian Keyes. I’ve never even seen any of her books in my local Borders, mind you, that’s not exactly saying a lot, they don’t have that many romance books period.


  • Shiloh Walker
    July 29
    3:59 pm

    not being able to read is one of my worst nightmares, not being able to see to read, and unfortunately, it’s a possibility for me later in life because of how bad my eyesight is. Which is the reason I’m going to get my eyesight corrected within the next year or two.

    I’m reading full moon rising by keri arthur and right now, it’s defintely worth recommending but i’m only half way thru.


  • fiveandfour
    July 29
    5:58 pm

    Oh goody, iniquity. Much more fun than quity.

    Here’s the part where I do a big Marian Keyes fangirl *gasp* because you’ve never read her. She writes more in the so called chick lit genre, which is a sore spot sometimes because that label implies (as it does for “romance”) a supercilious disdain which a lot of authors don’t deserve. MK is one of them. I recommend starting with her books on the Walsh sisters (Angels being the weakest, Rachel’s Holiday and Anybody Out There? the strongest, with Watermelon somewhere in between).

    I hope you do check them out; from what I’ve heard from other people, if you don’t appreciate Rachel’s Holiday then she’s probably not an author you’ll enjoy so if you are tempted to give her a shot, you might want to start there.


  • AngieZ
    July 31
    10:50 pm

    Not being able to read would rank up there with not being able to walk. I read so much that even while eating breakfast I find myself reading the cereal boxes if I don’t have a book handy.

    I am currently reading Badd Attitude by Sherrilyn Kenyon. It is ok, but not great. Not sure what I am going to pick up next, my TBR pile (mountain) is pretty well stocked so maybe I will just reach into a box and read what comes out next.


  • Devonna
    August 3
    6:38 pm

    That was such a wonderful thing you did, helping her find something. I’m glad you were there to help, and I’m sure she appreciated it.

    Not being able to read is something I do think about almost daily. I was diagnosed with Retinoschisis about 3 months ago. There is only a 10-13 percent chance I’d ever go blind from it, but it’s always in the back of my mind. Thankfully, there are audio books out there, so worst case scenario, I could always listen to them.

    I’m currently reading the Duchess series by Eloisa James and am on the third book.


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