James and Jan

Meet our Members: James and JanJames and Jan

James lost his sight quite suddenly when he was in his late twenties. He now runs his own business as a business development coach and assistive technology trainer. His volunteer Jan has been reading books for him for the last six and a half years.

James says “I first met up with Jan about three years after I lost my sight. I was looking for someone who could read books for me. I had quite a few I’d never got round to reading when I had my sight and also wanted to reread a few of my favourites.

The Reader Service brought Jan round for an initial chat and we found we had a similar enthusiasm for sci fi and for history books. This came along at a really pivotal time for me when I was feeling quite negative about my situation.

E-books are good but are nothing like being read to by a real person. It was like a breath of fresh air for me as we both get pleasure out of the books we read together. Jan’s been reading for me ever since and we’ve become good friends. She’s even getting to enjoy my taste in rock music”!

Jan says “I found I had some spare time in my life and I was looking for some volunteering that would suit my interests. I’ve always got my nose in a book, so when the Reader Service paired me up with James it seemed a good idea. When I found out at the initial meeting that he was a sci fi fan that was even better and I’m now reading books I hadn’t come across before and enjoying James’s music as well.

There are more audio books available from publishers now but often you have to wait for the more obscure ones to be recorded and the Kindle software is nothing like a proper human voice, so I feel I’m being useful as well.

Reading for James gets me out on a regular basis doing something I like, and I also enjoy getting to know some of the other Reader Service volunteers at the coffee mornings.

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