Sunday, July 17, 2005

Finished reading Harry ...

Well despite the initial scanning problems, I managed to sort it out. Happily though somebody emailed me a fully scanned version of the book. Yes, that's the blind underworld on the internet. By about 5pm saturday afternoon I had a fully scanned version ... and no doubt thousands of other blind people were sharing that same text too. When we get equal access to the same book at the same time at the same price, then we won't have to share books in this way. Illegal, yes. Do I care ... not if the publishers don't, no.

Interestingly the publishers allowed the book to be brailled and put into large print ready for saturday. The thing is, lots of blind people can't read braille: approx 12,000 in the UK. The figures tell us that there are approx 2 million visually impaired people in this country. Making it available in Braille and large print was definitely a step forward but isn't the way that the majority of blind people would read. Younger people would like electronic text (a word document or encoded document with the text in it) and everyone would like audio. Braille can be a real chore to read, I read braille approx 10 times slowers than a sightie reads print. NO maybe 20 or 30 times slower. It's not easy ... though some pick up the skill really well at a young age, I wasn't blind at a young age and nowadays tend to use braille for easy stuff like labeling CDs so I know what they are when I picked them up. I also read the TV times in braille, little else. Well to be honest there is very little to read anyway! Not the kind of thing that I would like to read anyway.

Back to Harry ...

I finished reading it a few minutes ago. Gosh, very dark. I won't give any spoilers out here but it was a bit shocking and I am kind of gutted by it all. Can't help but think that, now Harry Potter is a huge brand, the publishers are perhaps a little too scared to perform many edits on Rowling's work. I think it could have had a hundred less pages at least! That said, it's nice to remain in the wizarding universe for longer.

11 comments:

april.zara said...

'Dark', yeah thats the word I was looking for. I finished reading the book too. I can't stop thinking about how book 7 will be.

Katie said...

Hi Damon, Glad to know that you finished reading a braille version of Harry Potter and someone emailed you the scanned book.
I know how you mean that books should be brailled for blind and partially sighted people, Well i am all for inclusion in this world!
I also went to the Right to read charter and signed it, so did my friends too.

Damon said...

Hi Katie, I didn't get a braille version of Harry Potter. I scanned it. But scanning is difficult and time consuming and often doesn't work very well. So I was very pleased when someone sent me a fully scanned version so I didn't have to scan any more.

Can't wait for book 7. Apparently JK has already started writing it.

Agent Fang said...

You are yet another adult I know who loves HP - I haven't got round to reading it, but the more adults I know read it, the more tempted I am to give it a try. What does it compare to? Narnia? Tolkien? Or is it incomparable?

Katie said...

Hi Damon, that's what I meant that you a scanned version of the book, I wasn't paying attention fully to your post I don't think, but apologies I hope!

I didn't know you're into Harry Potter, do you like any other books?
Have fun reading!

James Medhurst said...

I think we should campaign for a version of the DDA in which discrimination can be used as a defence for other crimes. E.g. "I illegally downloaded a copy of this book, your honour, because no accessible one was available." I think publishers would sit up and take notice then.

I remember David Blunkett had Harry Potter as his specialist subject on Mastermind. I wonder if this is because so few other books are available, even in Braille.

firecat said...

I started scanning the book, but my sister got me a fully scanned copy so I don't have to scan it anymore! I haven't read it yet, though.

Damon said...

firecat, the link to your blog doesn't work. How do we get to you? Nor does yours april.zara!

Fang: it's difficult to compare. It's a dark modern fairy tale. It's modern because it's set in the modern world of today ... well ... in a world parallel to ours.

I would have said the books were magical and brought out child-like whoops in me at one stage ... but not really any more. As the series has continued it has got a lot darker as the dark lord voldermort gradually takes over the world.

Katie: Harry is fabulous! Have you not read it?

Katie said...

Thanks for your comment Damon, I haven't read the new Harry Potter, I might read it some time. I am into reading but not much now like I used to. When I was little I had a brilliant mind and could make up stories and loved reading. I still have a brilliant mind now though! I feel like I want to share all my ideas! You can help me!

firecat said...

The url is http://firecat720.blogspot.com/ It should work. I've only posted one entry.

cslewisfan221 said...

Apparently, there are Narnia Events going on all over the country that are movie "sneek peeks". I just found some information at Narnia Resources