Newton Stewart woman doesn't let sight loss prevent her getting lost in a good book

A Newton Stewart woman with sight loss marked World Book Day by discussing the importance of Talking Books.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 5:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th March 2021, 5:06 pm
Charlotte Bennie is making herv way through RNIB's Talking Books library of over 30,000 titles

Charlotte Bennie, who has had the eye condition 'gyrate atrophy' since her early 40s, is an avid user of the audio books produced by national sight loss charity RNIB, which currently has over 30,000 titles in its library.

She said: "On a good day, I can tell my laptop screen is on and see vague blobs as I walk around. On a bad day, I bumble around in a mist, which can be golden, lilac or a range of pretty colours. Pretty but not very useful!

"I have always enjoyed immersing myself in a book, when I could no longer read print, I was so delighted at the range of titles offered by the RNIB Talking Books service. And, all for free!

"In a former life, I taught English in a secondary school and still enjoy teenage fiction, so I am impressed at the titles aimed at teenagers and the high standard of the narrators. Turning print into an audio book is a little known and under recognised art form.

"Currently, I am relying on my Talking Books more than ever. I’ve just finished one of C J Sansun’s Tudor thrillers. Now, I am puzzling my way through a whodunit written by Lindsay Davies, set in ancient Rome.

"I enjoy books full of action, such as thrillers and spy stories. However historical non-fiction is another favourite. I thoroughly recommend William Dalrymple’s 'The White Moghuls'. Well written family sagas, often referred to as aga-sagas, are another favourite; writers such as Joanna Trollope and Rosemary Pilcher especially come to mind.

“Recently, I really enjoyed 'City of Friends'by Joanna Trollope, concerning a group of women friends who were all high flyers in the city. Just as when reading 'The White Moghuls', or visiting Tim Waggoner’s 'Nekropolis', I became immersed in a world which would otherwise have been denied to me.”

The celebrate World Book Day, RNIB is giving away a free audio (Daisy CD) or braille version of a choice of 13 children's books until March 31.

Titles include: There’s a Wolf in Your Book by Tom Fletcher, What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson

and Gigantosaurus: Dino-Spot by Jonny Duddle.

To claim one call the RNIB helpline on 0303 123 9999 or email [email protected]