I love listening to stories. I rest my eyes and sink into an imaginary world created by someone else.
Yesterday, during my two hour ferry trip to see my grandkids, I listened to a story through ear phones connected to my spiffy new, Nexus 5 cell phone. Gotta love new technology.
I’ve been listening to audio books for a few years, but usually in the privacy of my home while I wash dishes, or take steaming hot baths. I’ve tried listening to books on beach walks, but I don’t like that as much. I like to hear the sounds of the outside world. In fact, after hours on the computer, I crave the connection.
But yesterday, I found myself in the middle of a good book and I didn’t want to stop listening. I thought…what the heck. I’ll just look like one more crazy islander with ear phones.
As I listened to Charlaine Harris’s second Sookie Stackhouse paranormal, Living Dead in Dallas, I wandered in and out of lines, bought a no-fat latte, boarded the ship and slid into a somewhat comfortable chair. Looking normal during erotic scenes confounded me. I’m sure I blushed from head to foot.I know my heart pounded during the fight scenes.
It was an odd feeling to be in a crowd of people engrossed in a story they couldn’t hear, kind of like being in a bubble. You’d think it would be the same as reading a book, but it’s different, because the experience of hearing a story, I believe, goes deeper.
I looked around me every few minutes, thinking someone might hear my story leaking out of my wires, or worse my expression. But no one stared. I faded into the scene. Just another connected-crazy. After a few uncomfortable minutes, I melded into my story and forgot about the world.
3 Reasons I like Audio Books
- They helps me as a writer. I can hear when the author takes me into deep POV (Point of View), pulls me into a setting, thrills me with a good metaphor, and stuns me with a plot twist. I can hear it in their prose.
- They allows me to enjoy stories without taxing my eyes.
- Listening to them feels good. There’s something primal about being told a story out-loud. I don’t need a wood fire, just the sound of a voice sharing. My shoulders drop a few inches. I breath more deeply. And I connect with the story.
Is it Always Magical for me?
No. Not all audial renditions of books are equal.
Recently, I listened to a bestselling book that I couldn’t finish. The story was well-written, but the reader added a layer of arrogance to the voice of the main character that irritated me and made me dislike the character.
The Sookie Stackhouse stories are fun on audio and are by far my favorite, because the reader, Johanna Parker, is adept at southern American accents and is able to change her voice easily to cover both male and female characters. I also enjoy Cleo Coyle’s Coffeehouse cozy mysteries.