Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lazing Reading 2010?

Am I blinded by technology, multi-tasking to the max, or just submitting to my inner child? Ever since Daughter and SiL gifted me with an iPod last Mothers Day, I have fallen in love with listening to audiobooks on it. That slim little hot-pink device is always with me - during my daily commutes, on airplanes cross-country, during 4-hour walks around New York or just around the corner to the grocery store. Yes, I've become one of THOSE people.

But my ears aren't plugged up to shut out the world. (Well, OK, yeah, sometimes they are.) Rather, I just have to know what's going to happen next with my current audiobook or podcast. Last summer I extolled the joys of listening to my New York-music playlist as I walked the city and old-time radio horror podcasts during my commute to/from work, but once I discovered Audible and the free audiobook downloads from the New York Public Library, a whole new world opened up to me.

Should I feel guilty about "listening" to a book? Have I really "read" a book if I haven't put my eyes to paper or Kindle print? Does feeling guilty about something like listening to audiobooks mean I have a much deeper pathology. Oh, well. Not going there. Still, I do love, love, love to be surrounded by books. The paper kind. Especially the hard-backed ones. Yum! I like the smell of them, the feel of them, the solid permanence of them - and, yes, the content of them. And I still must have a real, solid, paper-kind of book before going to sleep at night, so I'm not eschewing (there's that great word again!) book-books for the ephemeral audio kind.

But I find it hard to read on the subway or even on an airplane. I'm very easily distracted. But with my cute little hot-pink earphones blocking out major distractions, I am right there with whatever's being read to me. I can get from point A to B and "read" a book at the same time! Brilliant!

Distraction isn't the key issue here, me thinks. At some level I just love being read to. If the narration is good (and many times it isn't, so watch out!), having another human being tell me a story taps right into my very soul. Hearing the words aloud deepens the meaning for me. I'm just a little kid who is delighting in having a story read to her. Comforting.

So, is my audiobook attraction just lazing reading? Technology out of control? Tucking in my inner child? Well, whatever it is, I'm enjoying the heck out of it. Can't wait till tomorrow's commute to get back to my book!


Belle Moonharvest said...

Yes it's a wonderful discovery!
It's a great feeling to straddle two worlds as your mind is taken up with the totality of the novel, while simultaneously you are seeing, smelling and experiencing a hike in the woods, say, or for you, the city. It's magic.

Joy Des Jardins said...

I think it's great Mary. In fact, I can see me doing that at bedtime...easily instead of reading a book...much easier on my eyes' which are already tired from reading blogs most of the day on BlogHer. You should be feeling no guilt here...whatever works.

Liz said...

I've recently - over the last year - rediscovered audio-books. We used to have stories on cassette for the children in the car but now I'm listening to them while ironing if there's nothing good on the radio. A good reader can enthrall. I'm using cds (usually from ebay) but we're planning on getting a new multi-magic player thingy for the kitchen soon so I'll have to look into downloading.