To all you book lovers

So how many of you are book-lovers? Come on—raise your hand.

Well imagine being a lover of books and losing your sight. The world changes entirely. Believe me.

Those trips with Mom to the neighborhood branch when you were a kid—where every week you not only independently chose your very own reading matter but also delighted in visiting the large aquarium of lively and colorful fish—you can forget them. Now the local library represents merely a tangle of child-sized chairs and shelf after shelf of empty cardboard. Even the fish have abandoned you and withdrawn into shadow.

And how about the amazing circular library at your public High School? The wooden staircase leading up to the second level which stood like a balconyat the Met. The high ceiling and row upon row of bookshelves which made you hold your breath in awe and reverence. The utter joy of browsing; selecting; and finally presenting your treasures at the check-out desk. Not to mention actually dwelling among the words on the page…

All gone. You stand alone in a dark cave amid echoing voices and receding footsteps.

**Yes. It gets pretty lonely when you lose the world of books.

Now I know that information is still attainable. People are nice and will offer to read things like newsletters and electric bills. And all kinds of electronic devices give access to novels and great literature—anything you can imagine.

But let’s face it. There’s nothing like holding a book in your hands and interacting with the actual shape of words. There’s nothing like turning a paper page and holding your breath to discover what comes next. There’s nothing like opening your mind and heart in order to connect with the mind and heart of another human being.

That is the gift of Braille—the gift of true literacy for blind individuals.

And you know you’re passionat for Braille when…

-You order 3 books from national Library Services and don’t bother to check how many Braille volumes are involved

-You squeal with delight as a mere week later you gather the cartons of books outside your front door–4 cartons the first day and 6 cartons the next

-You throw aside whatever you are doing and whoever you are doing it with–sorry honey Scrabble and conversation can wait–to jump into the treasure trove

-You don’t mind beginning with volume 2 simply because volume 1 has not arrived yet because *oh boy* it’s here in your hands

-You don’t even complain as you lug volume after precious volume down the hall and try to find safe and out-of-the -way places to store them for the next few weeks

-And every time you stub your toe on one of the books as you make your way to the desk or a chair you sigh as if encountering your beloved

**because that’s just how vital Braille can be!

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