As Grandad aged it became obvious to us that his love of reading was beginning to fade.
It wasn’t he grew sick of reading but rather his eyesight was not getting any better and he struggled to stay awake when he tried to read.
He’d often be found sitting in his chair, a book on his chest, his eyes shut and a gentle snore would emit from his lips.
All his life he had been an avid reader, he had beside his bed a bookcase in which he stored the new books he’d purchase on line. He said he liked to know he had new novels to select from, and in fact it was the choice of novel he liked best.
Sometimes it would be crime fiction, sometimes some historic fiction he even delved into the occasional romantic account of some person’s life, as he’d say variety is the spice of life.
The source of many of the books he read was what he read on the senior’s book club sites. I’d pick up a new book and look at the cover and if he was watching he’d tell me he’d read several good reviews so was looking forward to finding out why it was so well recommended.
I knew he was struggling and so I offered to go to the library and find out about their audio book collection.
He wasn’t all that keen I have to say and I could tell it was because he liked the feel of a book in his hands and he knew he could just as easily drift off to sleep listening as he could reading.
I took to reading him the paper each day I visited; he liked to keep up to date with the goings on in the world. He had a great social conscious and was very interested in the political side of life.
The audio books he took to better than I anticipated and he’d be waiting for me to return from the library with what new text I was able to borrow. He had me scouring the Internet for them as well and before long had a subscription to several podcast sites. He actually loved the podcasts as they might be only an hour in length and he usually had something to say in support of a topic or was incensed by some ‘crackpot’ as he called them.
By the time he died he was all but blind and his source of information was via his ears. He accepted his fate as he knew his love of language and words could be maintained not just through his eyes but also from listening.
“Who ever would have thought I could be reading through my ears,” he would joke to me as he’d slip on his new headphones and settle back into his chair.