[bksvol-discuss] A Day in the Life

  • From: "Estelnalissi" <airadil@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2015 18:21:02 -0500

Dear Booksharian friends,

In a day of lows and some just fines, here’s what went on.

I wrapped 5 books for Paperback Swap and 6 for scanners. Evan took public
transit over to mail them and walked home in the foggy drizzle with some
groceries in place of books.

Meanwhile I adjusted some of the contents of my Paperback Swap profile and
proofread about 30 pages in How To Drive Your Family Crazy on
Halloween, one of several Halloween books we prepared for bookshare and, no, we
didn’t finish them on time. We have two more to do after this one. Evan’s
already scanned them and has scanned several for Christmas. Stoking the
collection for holidays is still part of our master plan.

When Evan came home he told me the book I was up until 11:30 doing final tweaks
on and checking in to Bookshare was already in the collection via PQ. It may be
marked up for audio navigation, but with17 chapters and nearly 190 subchapters,
Booksharians with refreshable braille devices won’t be able to navigate the
subchapters at all. Thus PQ remains a mixed blessing totally ignoring the needs
of blind braille readers, a segment of the reading population which used to
mean something to Bookshare.

I’m on page 60 of the Halloween book now and what I need to sooth my soul is to
check it in, a book which may stick for a while.

It isn’t that Evan and I don’t feel the pinch when books we’ve worked on long
and hard get replaced. It’s that we give ourselves time to shake off the
disappointment, look at the big picture and carry on.

Another of the lows today was that after a month of waiting, braille books I
requested from NLS haven’t come yet. I gratefully read Bookshare books on my
M’Power, which I bought second hand because the $6-000 price tag is impossible
for me to afford. But that machine was faulty and I wonder every night when I’m
reading if it will be my last, with soft dots and odd file hopping from the
machine. I worry that NLS will stop making hard braille books saying there
isn’t enough demand while my library sits on requests not responsive to the
demand they have.

My heart goes out to Roger and others whose work takes much longer because they
are using older and/or less reliable programs. For private incomes, especially
retired ones, adaptive technology costs the moon.

The world is still pretty grim for readers with low incidence handicaps like
blindness and deaf blindness whose needs are still least regarded because of
their low numbers and for whom the solutions are too expensive for the same
reason.

At the end of this day there is still proofreading, a form of volunteerism
which provides a positive outlet for this blind booklover.

That’s my story. Your stories are surely different but I expect some parts of
my day will resonate with some of you.

Always with love,

Lissi

P. S. II /I’m sure tomorrow will be better and though I’ll appreciate it, I
probably won’t write about it.

P. P. S. The book which was replaced was The Highly Sensitive Person: How to
Thrive When the World Overwhelms You. All but the last chapters are quite
illuminating and helpful. You might want to give it a read as the shy, the
imaginative, the intuitive, the visionaries, the book lovers, the introverts,
and the easily overwhelmed are among its target population.

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