Friday, January 28, 2011

It's a Great Time to be a Reader -- er or a Listener


I just finished a road trip with my daughter, Audra (Audie) not to be confused with Five Scribes blogger and author Audra Harders. In a case of true role reversal, my daughter knowing how much I hate to travel by car, surprised me with one of my favorite author's. As we began our trek, she slipped in Daniel Silva's THE REMBRANT AFFAIR into the CD player, and off we went beginning our travels from Seattle to Colorado Springs.

At first, I was like a petulant two year old. Let's face it, when we read, our minds form the voices of these characters. I had it firmly set in my head what Gabriel Allon sounded like as well as Chiara, Ari Shamron, and the rest of Silva's fantastic secondary characters. When you listen to books on tape, the narrator is on his own. He's the narrator, the protagonist, the antagonist, each and every secondary character in the book, including the females. It does take some getting used to.

However, by the end of the first CD, I was hooked. Phil Gigante, the narrator of more than 70 audio books, and an accomplished actor, according to his bio, had me hanging on every word just as I do when I'm flipping through one of Daniel Silva's novels. Brilliance Audio did an amazing job of bringing THE REMBRANT AFFAIR to life.

In between breaks on our journey, I thought about the luxuries and advantages readers enjoy today. People have choices, whether to buy the bound book for their shelves or their e-readers. People who suffer from macular degeneration or other disabilities can listen to books on tape, or like me, during a tedious drive, can escape into a fantastic novel. It's truly a great time to be a reader or a listener as it were.

So how about you? Do you enjoy books on tapes, do you have a Kindle, a Nook or other e-reader? Or are you a dyed in the wool confirmed "hold a book in your hands" type?

I guess, thanks to my daughter, I'm evolving after all. I'm falling in love with all three--a book in my hands, I now own a Kindle, and I'll never hesitate to listen to a book on tape again.

Happy Reading & Listening.

10 comments:

Theresa said...

Perfect timing, Donnell!
My dad is getting a new car in a couple of months and planning a road trip out here in the fall, so I just today bought him George W Bush's Decision Points. Regardless of your political leanings, I thought it would be interesting to hear the behind -the-scenes goings on that helped the president form his decisions. It's a part of history. And Dad enjoys history.
I've never listened to a book on tape, but next road trip when it's just me and John, we intend to!
Thanks for the post!
PS--Don't tell Dad. His b-day's not for another week!

Theresa said...

Perfect timing, Donnell!
My dad is getting a new car in a couple of months and planning a road trip out here in the fall, so I just today bought him George W Bush's Decision Points. Regardless of your political leanings, I thought it would be interesting to hear the behind -the-scenes goings on that helped the president form his decisions. It's a part of history. And Dad enjoys history.
I've never listened to a book on tape, but next road trip when it's just me and John, we intend to!
Thanks for the post!
PS--Don't tell Dad. His b-day's not for another week!

Donnell said...

I promise to keep your secret, T. I agree it's history, and if your dad loves history, he'll love listening to books on tape. Wonder who did the voice ;)

Vince said...

Hi Donnell:

I’ve listened to hundreds of books on tape. They are good to listen to on a Walkman when doing yard work or more or less mindless work at work.

Here is something I have done at times that I think would be a benefit to writers.

I read the “Bridget Jones Diaries”. Then I listened to the condensed audio tapes. Then I saw the movie. Then I listened to the unabridged audio tapes. Then I saw the movie again (on DVD this time). Then I read the book again. Each of these was a different experience. I enjoyed and noticed how the tape was abridged. Bridget Jones was different in each medium. It is also interesting to see what was left out of the movie and what was added that was not in the novel.

I think this exercise was an education in writing. I also did this with the movie and book, “Heartburn”.

A good book to try this on would also be “Pride and Prejudice”.

Vince

Leslie Ann said...

Hi Guys,
I tried listening to books and I just couldn't get into it. Granted it was awhile ago...a cassette tape. So maybe I should try again.

My mom listened to them on her drives from Albuquerque to Boulder, and now at home. She far prefers to read, but it's bit harder now. She battling macular and just had a cataract removed. Reading her is escape so it's not quite as far an escape when she listens.

I think it's great to have the choice. Audra (the scribe, not to be confused with Donnell's daughter :)) played her Kindle for me and the electronic voice was amaZing. Not an actor rading, but still the story was being revealed.

Hugs
LA

Donnell said...

Wow, Vince, that's dedication to craft, and I so agree. Reading the novel, then the screenplay, listening. Not sure I have that kind of time, but you could very well do this study with Pride and Prejudice. I'm simply thrilled that all these mediums are opening up to so many. Thanks for sharing!

Donnell said...

LA, my mom loves to read, she has macular degeneration, and she is also a fan of books on tape. I think it's a matter of what you get used to. Would love to listen to that electronic voice! ;)

Theresa said...

Donnell, It's read by the author--so George Bush. Hmm. Could be interesting too. He has a pretty distinctive voice. I think I'll just have to borrow this when Dad's done .

Donnell said...

One more thing, LA, going back to your couldn't get into it. I felt the same way. But when you're in a car driving 22 hours you reconsider LOL.

T. I love historical work. It gives us an understanding no matter what side of the political spectrum you're on. I would love to read Hillary Clinton's memoirs when she gets out of office, as I would Condaleeza Rice.

Gillian Layne said...

Oh, we love audio books. I spend a lot of time driving from school to school in my day job, and I always have a book in. Harry Potter is wonderful to listen to. I've also listened to Lord of the Rings, and many many romances.