A year ago last November I had cataract surgery for both eyes. I stopped driving a couple of months before that—I couldn’t read street signs. Really, I couldn’t read books and magazines even with my progressive lenses, and watching television was impossible no matter where I sat or angled my head. And all lights had a huge halo around them.
Cataract surgery is the one of the safest, most commonly performed procedures, but that didn’t make me want to go through it, LOL. I’ve been wearing glasses since the fourth grade, with a brief contact lens era in my thirties. I used to be known for my big brown eyes, and in my heyday I wore eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara to emphasize them. Even though I’ve abandoned such gilding of the aging lily, the thought of someone, even a qualified eye surgeon, messing with my eyes was scary.
I’m a very visual person, a lover of art museums and a dabbler in art myself, not to mention I spend all day in front of a computer screen trying to kill people. I don’t mind being a bit hard of hearing; a lot of life can be aurally ignored with no harmful effects, and in fact can be a blessing. But sight is my most precious sense.
I’m happy to report all went well. I can see things in the distance for the first time in decades, but I do have trouble with close vision, even with new progressives. (At the time of the surgery, I could have opted for additional artificial lenses to be inserted at additional expense, but I didn’t.) So I now have an arsenal for the fine print. Both my desktop and my Kindle’s fonts are magically enlarged by the press of a button. My lit magnifying glass makes me feel like a 21st century Lady Sherlock, and I own a necklace that’s as useful as it is pretty. Two mirrors are on call in case I ever want to swipe on some mascara again. As I have an aversion to resembling Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard, that is unlikely.
However, magazines remain a problem. I’ve let a couple of subscriptions lapse, because I simply can’t read the articles comfortably. Country Life is still great for my research—I’ve gone full circle from childhood picture books to adult pictorial magazines.
And books? The old librarian in me is appalled, but I totally depend on my reading device since I can jack up the font. Heresy. A student once told me “Books are obsolete.” I wanted to jump over the circulation desk and strangle him, but now I almost see his point. See. Get it?
Don’t worry—I still own a zillion physical books, and even more are in my Kindle Library. What’s your preferred method of reading? Can you part with books once you’ve finished them, or are you a re-reader? Do you have a To-Be-Read pile that could topple over and crush you?