Reasons for Hope: Ellen

Met a nearly blind woman named Ellen today in front of the Andrew Heiskell library for the blind who has been devouring books since childhood, and makes the trek to the library on 20th Street from Brooklyn via Access-a-Ride for the large type, so she can “hold a book in her hands,” and feel the paper and smell the smell of books. She was born in the Bronx and diagnosed with MS eight years ago.  She says she will keep reading till she has no sight left.  Her son also reads her several books a week. She lamented that people now treat library books so disrespectfully. She said she never folds down a page or cracks a binding, and she has all her childhood books pristinely awaiting her grandchildren, should they come. When we confessed we actually work in publishing she became radiant with joy and said, “You are so lucky!,” which we suppose we are.


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