Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer


by Rob - September 12th, 2008.
Filed under: Uncategorized.

As of today, I’m wearing bifocals. :)

I tried once before (in February 2007), getting a pair of progressive (no-line) bifocals, but I couldn’t stand them.

My normal workstation is two 19″ LCD monitors side-by-side; with my regular glasses, the entire sweep of workspace left-to-right is in focus through my lenses, but with those progressive bifocals I had to move my head (not just swivel my eyes) from side to side to read text on both monitors.

I hated that, and took the bifocals back for a refund (I usually buy my glasses from LensCrafters, and they do indeed cheerfully honour their no-questions-asked money-back guarantee).

I should have checked Wikipedia beforehand, because I was not a good candidate for progressives. In its entry on Progressive lens, Wikipedia says:

Because of the relatively narrow vertical band of prescriptively accurate optics characteristic of progressive lenses, wearers may have some difficulty becoming used to the co-ordination of horizontal head movement necessary to retain focus when reading across a computer screen or a paper page. This is particularly true when the reading add power is strong (+2.00 or above). The experience has been described as “moving your head back and forth as if you are watching a tennis match”.

And that’s exactly what it felt like!

Well, in March of this year (2008), Carolyn and I had a wonderful dinner with my opthalmologist, Gerald I. Goldlist and his wife Leza; Gerry served as a consultant on Wake (which, as those who are reading the current serialization of the book in Analog know, has a lot to do with eyesight). Before dinner, he gave me a new prescription, but I’ve just been too darned busy (and on the road too much) to get if filled.

But I finally did, and today I picked up the glasses. And, so far, they seem excellent. It’s wonderful to be able to read a book or menu (Carolyn and I went out to Canyon Creek, one of our favourite restaurants, after picking up the glasses), and to be able to look up at my monitor, then down at my keyboard (I never can find the damn ampersand without looking for it), with everything in focus.

Pictured above and below: the frames I chose, Brooks Brothers BB415T Titanium. I expect these to now become as much of a fashion trend as Sarah Palin’s sexy-librarian glasses are … ;)

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Leave a Reply