Saturday, February 06, 2016

E-Books After Stroke

Rocky Mountain Stroke Survivor
Posted on May 21, 2013

I have always loved books and reading. Just holding a book in my hand is soothing. I love the feel, the smell, the weight in my hand. I also love reading the words, learning something new, being transported to another place. I love books in which the writing is so good, you don’t even notice it. I love books in which the writing is so clever, you can’t help but notice it.

With the strokes, I had trouble reading. Part of it is just the fatigue. Nothing like a good book to put you to sleep when you are sleepy already. A good friend always selects books to loan me when I’m under the weather or housebound for any reason and usually I drown myself in them. Even though I did practically nothing for weeks after my strokes and am still doing very little compared to previously, I struggled to read through a full book. The problems were largely mechanical. It is really hard to hold a book open for very long. The dizziness makes the words on the page really swimmy. When I’m feeling crappy (which is when I prefer to read), the simple mechanics of turning the page is exhausting to me. Carrying a heavy book uses spoons I just don’t have.

And then I remembered the Nook that was given to me a couple years ago. I used it occasionally but not extensively. Partly it was the expense. Used paperback books run $1-2 at the thrift store. Nook books are generally over $10. Partly it was just the habit. After the strokes, I found I was spending a lot of time waiting for appointments. Doctor appointments, PT appointments. I also found that when I couldn’t sleep at night, I went crazy without my usual fall back of a good book. On a whim, I tried out the Nook again. It was fabulous!

No precision page turning required. I can adjust the font, line spacing, and margins to whatever I need. I don’t have to hold the book open. It’s a late night sanity-saver and helps me be patient when waiting for an appointment. I’ve found that I can download unlimited samples for free…it’s kind of like reading magazine articles in the waiting room because I rarely have the chance to finish the sample anyway.

As a reader recovering from a stroke, I now can’t imagine life without my trusty e-book.

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