Happy Independence Day, America. (And happy birthday to my dad.) And in celebrating this day of independence, I am going to toot my own independence horn. In my last post about Braille in April, I had talked about how I was finally fully literate in Braille, having finished learning both uncontracted and contracted Braille. Now, I am reporting that I had just finished my first novel in Braille, The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler. While I’m very glad to have accomplished such a feat, I was at the same time disappointed that the novel was not so good. For additional reasons that I will not rant about here as this is not a fiction review blog, all I will say is I am surprised this won the National Book Critics Circle Award and became an award-winning movie. My husband says if I am to scorn a Pulitzer Prize finalist, then I’d better go ahead and win it as soon as I graduate with my M.F.A. in Fiction. Doh!

Regardless, I enjoyed the process of reading by touch, and this was what kept me going despite my sentiments toward the story itself. The novel, with its 352 pages in paperback, came bound in three thick binders. It took me three months to finish the novel, and while that is slow for someone who claims to be a writer, it is still quicker than the majority of people I know who read maybe one novel a year. I timed myself at random points and found that when I started the book, it took me about twelve minutes to read one page. Toward the end, I managed to shave my reading time by half to six minutes a page. Woo hoo! My ultimate goal is to be able to read Braille as quickly as I was able to read print. People have told me it’s possible, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

My next reading project? I’m going to conquer Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. We’ll see how that goes. Stay tuned for updates.

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2 Discussion to this post

  1. Rylie says:

    Wow…I just wanted to congradulate you on not giving up when it came to learning braille. I know too many blind adults who try it, get frustrated, and then give up. This will be really rewarding when you can do almost all functional tasks in braille, and when you want to pleasure read, you can pick up a book in braille and read it like you would had print. As a (hopefully) future braille teacher, it makes my heart happy when I hear braille success stories. Keep going!

    • theblindcook says:

      Rylie: Thanks for your encouragement. I am finishing up vol. 2 of the 8-vol. Anna Karenina. My summer reading has inevitably turned into decade reading. Yikes.

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