During the Christmas shopping season, an older lady and her middle-aged son came in to the bookstore I work at. The lady wanted to know if an e-reader could be of help to her. She showed me her hands, which were twisted with rheumatoid arthritis. She loved to read, she said, but holding a book became very painful very quickly for her, both from the weight, and from the awkwardness of turning the pages. Also, she told me she had lost an eye to cancer, and found that reading smaller print was very difficult for her. I showed her the same e-reader I use, (Kobo Touch) which is very light, quite straightforward to learn since it is strictly an e-reader, and it’s a touch screen, so she didn’t need to manipulate buttons to use it. Of course she could re-size the font, to make the print larger, as well. She agreed to give it a trial run, and promised to let me know how it went.
A few weeks later, she and her son were back in the store. She was very emotional as she told me that it was incredible – she could read again, easily, for the first time in years. No eye strain, no pain, just sheer enjoyment. I was practically in tears myself, and she told me how she was telling all her friends about these miraculous devices.
Maybe working in a bookstore, I won’t save the world – but I found out I made her world better, by bringing something she loved back in to her life, and you know what? That’s good enough for me.