Dean, now 78, realised he was losing his sight back in 2002 when he was driving with the window of his car open one day.

Dean smiling while holding the talking book and audio CD
Without books there were big gaps in my day where I would like to have been reading.

Something blew in the window into his left eye. Reaching to rub his eye, Dean realised that when his left eye was closed, he couldn’t see anything at all out of his other eye.

Dean discovered he was already completely blind in his right eye as a result of glaucoma. These days, he still has a tiny amount of sight in his left eye but it’s fading rapidly.

Before his sight deteriorated, Dean was an avid reader. But for four or five years he couldn’t read at all.

“It was a devastating thing. Without books there were big gaps in my day where I would like to have been reading.”

Dean felt the loss most profoundly when he was spending time with his closest group of friends.

“They were always comparing books and handing books around and I always felt left out of our conversation because I was no longer able to read.”

Dean listening to talking books during tea time
With Talking Books, it almost felt like getting my eyesight back. I just love them.

“I missed reading pretty badly at that time. It was like an emptiness, and not being able to talk with my friends about books, highlighted it.”

But then Dean heard about the Blind Foundation’s Talking Book service.

Once he’d listened to his first Talking Book, Dean was thrilled.

“I just love them. It’s added another dimension. It’s given me back part of my life that I thought I’d lost for good. I can’t be more grateful for that. It makes life a lot bigger.”

Every two and a half hours, someone in New Zealand learns they are irretrievably losing their sight. Every month more than 100 more people join our Library to receive Talking Books.

Will you help give back the joy and companionship of good books to people who have lost their sight by donating today.

You can take comfort in knowing you have given other New Zealanders the opportunity to again escape into the books and magazines that bring them so much pleasure.