20 March 2011

The Eyes Are The First To Go

Aging stinks.  In Vietnamese one phrase that refers to the aging process is "răng long tóc bạc", which transliterate as "loosened teeth and white hair".  But then I also heard elsewhere that the eyes are the first to go when a person ages.  Being near-sighted, I also heard that at some point in time my near-sightness will help me see clearly.  Supposedly, the old person cannot see objects nearby well, but since I'm already near-sighted, I have no problems, right?  I suspect that that time has come and gone without me noticing because I now have troubles seeing small things up close, with the near-sighted glasses on.  While I understand that the glasses are to help me see far, I didn't have troubles using them to see objects nearby before.  Something is up.  These days to read the screen of cell phones or other handheld devices, I have to take the glasses off.  Maybe soon I'll get bi-focal.  Groan.

One of my approach to maintaining decent eyesight is not to make the eyes work so hard.  While I cannot help using the computer a lot, I don't watch much TV or DVDs.  Instead, I listen to podcasts and audiobooks, being from an iPod or on CDs.  Still, not everything is available on CDs, at least not from the public library, so from time to time I still read books.  Except that now the words seem too small.  Just by chance, when I was busy searching for the last book in the Millennium trilogy Stieg Larsson, the only copy available from the Jersey City Free Public Library was a large-print one.  The experience changed my opinion of large-print books.  I have to admit it, I like them.  I used to think that only old people, really old people in the 70s or worse, would read large-print books.  I know now it is not true.  Just a few years past the critical 40, I am already enjoying them.  After "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest", I already hungrily went through Catherine Coulter's "Knock Out".  While large-print books are typically, well, large, compared to pocketbook paperback, for the winter I can usually slip the book into the inside, large pocket of my winter jacket.  Things will get trickier when summer comes, but I don't carrying a tote bag to help while away commuting time.

Good news, old folks like me!  You don't have to give up reading just because the your eyes cannot stand the tiny print.  In addition to audiobooks, there is also large-print books.

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