Whether at events, conferences, online, or via Facebook or Twitter, a question I often get is, “Will your cookbook be accessible for the blind?”

“Well, uh, that’s a good question…”

And then I’ll spiel into how my cookbook being accessible was a top priority (it was, and still is); how the editor and publisher agreed (they did); but that in the end, the economics just didn’t make sense—the cost of printing my cookbook in Braille would be too high, and the publisher would have no choice but to pass along that cost to the consumer. And we all know my cookbook may have been a NYT best seller, but who are we kidding? Nobody’s going to buy it for $200!

Okay, so maybe I’ve exaggerated. Maybe not. I admit I have no idea how much it costs to purchase a book transcribed in Braille.

Nonetheless, it’s not really practical to have a huge volume in Braille sitting on your countertop when attempting to cook dinner. (And believe me, these volumes are huge. I’m currently reading A Confederacy of Dunces in Braille, and the hubs makes fun of me every time I lug it up and down the stairs.)

But since when did we humans abide by the laws of logic?

I’m proud to announce that my cookbook, Recipes from My Home Kitchen, is now available in Braille from the National Library Service! Thanks, @fsnnews, for the heads-up.)

I have been a member of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped since I’d begun losing vision in both eyes back in 2003. Audio books were my saving grace through my extended bouts of vision loss and even paralysis, due to my Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO). I would’ve never thought, laying in my bed then, that a little over a decade later, I’d have my own book available through this very same service. It’s satisfying to know there’s a possibility others are enjoying my own book through the medium I’d once (and still) use.

Now when I’m asked that same question, I can eagerly say, “Yes, my cookbook IS accessible.”

Check out Recipes from My Home Kitchen in Braille (book #: BR 20085) or on audio (book #: DB 76676) by going to the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, and learn eligibility requirements and how to apply. Already a member? What are your thoughts on services or books offered?

Stay tuned for next week when my Stockholm series resumes.


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5 Discussion to this post

  1. Paul says:

    That's great news about your cookbook, both for you and for visually-impaired and blind readers.

    This is only barely on-topic, but I'm glad to hear you are reading Confederacy of Dunces. Shortly after I first met the woman who'd become my wife, I gave her a book on her birthday – 'My Family and other Animals' by Gerald Durrell. And I highly recommend it, although I don't know if it is available in Braille. Well, lucky for me, she loved it, and it improved my stock in her eyes. In return, she gave me Confederacy of Dunces, and that's how I was introduced to the book and to the character of Ignatius J. Reilly. Both books have cult followings, but I always hope they will get more exposure, as both are deserving of a wider audience. I hope you'll let us all know how you enjoyed Confederacy when you're finished with it. Cheers.

  2. Kerry Painter says:

    How about making your book accessible in kindle? It's cheap to do an most blind people have iPhones wthese days. I'd soone have that than Braille and I'd sooner be able ot buy it than have to loand it. Not to mention the fact i'm from the UK 🙂 Kerry

    • Christine Ha says:

      Is it not available on the Kindle? I recall the publisher telling me they were making it available on the Kindle. Or maybe it was as an iBook? Sadly, I don't have much say in how they distribute the book.

  3. maria says:

    Great! I know you have a very large fan base! I'm sure this is a delight to many people. Great job and keep on the good work!

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