Monday, November 2, 2009


As I’m writing this blog, I’m listening to the Lord of the Rings Soundtracks. I listen to music when I do any kind of typing or work in my room. I also listen to the Cinemagic movie soundtrack channel on our TV. I find my kind of music helps the thought process.

I don’t like loud music when walking around in a strange place, among people I do or do not know. I don’t mind loud music much if I’m in a strange place but sitting down because, as a visually impaired person, I rely on my hearing a lot. This dislike is nowhere near debilitating; it borders on more a situation I’d like to avoid but can tolerate if necessary.

I can read books, but I would rather listen to them. For pleasure, I listen to them on CD or burn them from In college I was able to obtain some books on tape, and later CD, from RFB&D (Reading for the Blind and Dyslexic). The ones that weren’t on tape, I used Kurzweil for them. The RFB&D tapes were able to be listened to by the special tape player I already have, and their website is When RFB&D started using CDs, they also needed a special player. It was rather hard to figure out, and the directions weren’t helpful if you weren’t sighted; it did come with a tutorial CD but first you had to figure out where play was. It got easier to use, but learning how . . . not so much.

I subscribe to the Free Library for the Blind and have a special tape player from them. I get books on cassette sent to me, and even though the catalogue has an order form in it, some other system must be used because almost exclusively, I don’t get what I ordered. I suppose this happens because they must have a limited budget and can’t make a million copies of some books to fulfill orders.

I used to own fair number of books on tape, most of which were abridged, but then they started making books on CD. The reason I stopped buying books on cassette was they were very often abridged and the unabridged cassettes were often expensive and unwieldy as well. I stopped renting tapes from the public library because they kept being eaten by my tape player. For some reason this rarely happened to the tapes I was sent by the Free Library; by no means were they all models of clarity but they rarely got eaten.

I traded in my books on tape at for Books on CD. I think the first books on CD I ever bought, from Borders was The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. Mark, who is sighted, has them now because I have them in another format. This performance, by a single narrator, and unabridged, is better than the dramatizations, in my opinion. As you have no doubt guessed, I really like the Lord of the Rings. I listen to audiobooks to fall asleep at night.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Joe,

    Figured out how to follow! And now that I have, I'm sure I'll have lots of questions. :) Please don't feel like you have to answer all of them right away; these are just some things that might be interesting to talk about at some point, if you want to.

    I think you mentioned that you have a computer program that blows up things so you can read them. Do you ever try to do that with books too, or are audio tapes and CDs a lot easier for you? If something is blown up enough so that you can see it, is it painful for you, or is it just a question of making sure it's big enough?

    Do you think you would have been an auditory learner regardless of being visually impaired? I know that even some sighted people prefer hearing things out loud, and insist that they learn better that way. I'm not sure you would personally have an opinion on that either way, since it wasn't really a choice for you, but I'd be curious to know what you think. Also, we've all heard that when you lose one sense (or have it diminished, at least), all other senses increase... you've talked a lot about hearing, but do you think you're senses of touch and smell are any stronger?

    Okay, I'll pipe down for a bit, but please keep these posts coming! I really like when you give a description or analogy that gives us a sense of what you're experiencing. Thanks for putting this out there. :) Best, J