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.