Reading Radar

Visit our Reading Radar pages when you need help choosing your next great read. Every couple of months we feature a different celebrity reader’s recommendations. Take a moment to browse through the Local Celebrity reading choices, then scroll down to see staff picks.

Local Celebrity Reader

Randy Pierce

Reading has been the gift inspiring me through two very distinct lives.

In my youth the passion grew in part from my older brother Rick’s dramatic, character-voiced reading to me of many diverse genre stories. This soon inspired within me a voracious appetite for reading on my own and immersing myself into stories of fantasy, science fiction, and reality. I was the child reading by flashlight under the covers until dawn or the story’s end.

My passionate appreciation for reading never dimmed until my eyesight unexpectedly did so at the age of 22, when first legal and eventual total blindness robbed me of one of my most treasured loves.

The talking book has evolved into the audiobook world of today with a grace and ease of access beyond my expectations. It has provided along the way a revitalized return to the briefly lost passion of reading. I still treasure the cassette tapes lovingly created by my nephew as a brief respite during that time of significantly less availability. Now, however, I delight in how many ways I can read and the depth of appreciation that has grown from the time of absence.

I routinely carry 30 books electronically in my pocket, though I still read just one at a time, with the determination to reach the end of the story often thwarted only by the dawn of a new day’s responsibilities. The only change is an added appreciation for the books that teach me or help me grow.

Books are the exercise for my mind I crave in equal measure to that for my physical form, and immersing in a story is only a part of the gifts my various favorite books may provide. When, as in present times, challenges are mounting, I may turn to the pages of a poet’s perspective to help me look at the world with a different eye. I think that is the best beauty in my second life with reading; it naturally transcends my lack of sight and provides a rich reward for any of my wants from entertainment, escape, growth or perspective.

More about Randy’s story.

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