My sister, an avid reader, has difficulty in reading standard-size print in published books. Because of this she has turned to large print editions and to talking books. She has found limited choice of reading material available in both of these forms, and New Zealand authors are rarely represented.
Having heard her complain about the lack of choice afforded other readers I checked out our library’s data bases and found the range of materials available uninspiring.
A visit to the larger bookstores drew a blank. When I approached staff members and asked where I might find the large print section, puzzled faces met my inquiry.
"We don't have any."
"Why not?" I asked.
A shoulder shrug and backing away from me was the common response to this fractious question, as the assistants slunk away. I left wondering why in our society where equal opportunity is a priority, bookstores did not see a need to cater to those whose sight was failing.
I got to thinking then, whether the so-called literary world knew what the reading public wanted.
Do they ever ask the reading public?
My examination of the written materials stocked in store showed the focus to be on cookbooks, how to do, life stories of sportspersons, fancy stationery and what I would class as knick-knacks; the gutsy stuff was in short supply.
In these hard times when every opportunity to draw customers is a bonus, I would have thought large print books and talking books in bookshops would have been a must. Books in many differing genres, written by New Zealand authors, are readily available from independent publishers. Letsbuybooks.weebly.com, and Amazon are sites where titles may be viewed.
Why not encourage libraries and bookshops to visit these sites and to stock these works?