I am quite fond of the idea of “holding infinity in the palm of my hand”. Ebooks have given me that opportunity. I love paperback but…for space and other reasons, I tend to prefer ebooks. Paperbacks are deserved for special, beloved titles or titles that are unique in some way. I am also trying audio books. It’s a new experience.
It is a bit of a culture shock since I have been a reader- visualiser all my life and all my life it was just me and the book, like a meeting with a friend, who would disclose all their secrets to me in a sort of intimate way. I will always treasure reading like that. But audio books are a whole different dimension. Audio books are like storytelling experiences.
And whether it works or not, really depends on the reader. There are readers like Richard Armitage who put me to sleep. I like Armitage’s voice but he overacts at times and it’s kinda cringeworthy for me at times, I can’t relate – his reading of Jekyll &Hyde was kinda boring for me. However, there are narrators like Kenneth Branagh, his reading of Heart of Darkness is excellent, great pacing and feel of the text, it’s a real delight and very easy to listen to. I have read somewhere that classics may not necessarily be the best material for audio books – perhaps because they do require focus and sometimes it’s easy to zone out, at least for me since I’ve been a visualizer all my life… but it depends on the reader. A good narrator will likely keep the attention up throughout and such is my experience with Branagh’s reading of Heart of Darkness.
I will look forward to trying light audiobooks too. I enjoy the experience and audible offers such a treasure trove of choices. I can easily build up a collection of favourite titles narrated by fantastic voices. It’s great for the pronunciation as well.
Reading is irreplaceable. It offers a unique possibility to derive own meanings read into images painted carefully with each word and see everything with your mind’s eye, it’s a unique encounter with characters and stories. Audiobooks are great for listetning, for prounciation and for receiving a storytelling experience, it’s great to be told a story by some great talented voice. There is room for both in my readership.
Audible is an excellent service, with a lot of selections and some really good readers. I am relaly happy to be able to use it.