Almost 30 years of reading – Pierre Germain's Story

At 79 years old, Pierre Germain has been a volunteer reader at the CNIB for more than 30 years. In fact, for more than a third of his life, he spends half a day per week going to CNIB to read books to blind or partially sighted people.

Pierre has spent his childhood and teenage years listening to stories on the radio. Being a true fan of radio and reading, he’s passionate about telling stories to those who cannot do so.

His deep, warm, calm and reassuring voice is greatly appreciated and is the result of several hours of training. To give his best performance, he always practices his reading at home at least once before recording in the studios of CNIB. This allows him to have a better knowledge of the text; to grasp the meaning of the sentence; to catch language difficulties; and to read it with the correct tone… A real professional!

Indeed, Pierre Germain is an actor who has aired on Quebec television shows such as “Moi et l’autre” and “Les dames de Coeur”. He has lent his voice to several ads and promotional videos during his career, which we could have heard over the radio, namely in “Lecture de chevet”.

In 1985, after having abandoned his acting career for a few years, he wished to come back to field. Being a volunteer at CNIB was a good way for him to practice his diction and his elocution while doing something he likes and for a good cause.

This is how he has started at the CNIB library at the age of 47. One thing led to the other as he found himself making new friends, and rediscovered his joy of reading. He has seen several changes of places and personnel at CNIB Québec, but has always be there. Pierre was also present when CNIB celebrated its 75th birthday.

Pierre's role at the CNIB library didn't stop at reading. In addition, he was responsible for making the book selections and finding new talent to read the books. Following his retirement, he returned to his passion of being a volunteer reader.

Over the years, he has read almost a hundred books! His reading ranges from poems to youth novels, thrillers, historic novels and even science fiction. His experience as volunteer reader has enabled him to discover several authors.

The most difficult book he had to read was “Les bienveillants” by Jonathan Littell, which took him six months - with its 1,400 pages, numerous German names and its daunting subject matter.

Whatever the story, Pierre likes to see the reaction of the listeners. His mother became partially sighted near the end of her life, and she was a subscriber to the CNIB library. It's through this connection that Pierre knows how meaningful his readings are, and the difference it can make in the life of people suffering from sight loss. In fact, for one of her birthdays, he recorded and gave her an audio book that he made just for her.

From the back of his studio, he likes to remind himself that his reading will enable a person who is blind or partially sighted, like his mother, to leave their boredom behind and immerse themselves into a good book, even for just a moment,

To discover Pierre's books, visit www.bibliocaeb.ca.