Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis

I have an obsession. I am addicted to audio books.

People tend to find this humorous. It's almost as if I am held in a different category from your typical "book worms". I don't see why. This addiction doesn't make me any less intelligent than your average book reader. I enjoy books as well, it's just the convenience of audio books that is so appealing to me. I can listen to them while driving (try doing that while reading a book..dead!). I can listen to them at work while multi-tasking. And, I can enjoy them while doing other equally important tasks around the house, such as cleaning, or knitting, or even making a cup of tea.

Listening to audio books is a proud hobby of mine. I am not embarrassed to say that this is what occupies a lot of my time. In some ways, I feel listening to books is a better experience than reading them. By listening to books, you get to hear someone tell you a fantastic story. The way it's narrated makes the book that much more enjoyable. You can get lost easier in the story. You also get to hear it the way the author intended you to. When reading a book, you're left to your own interpretation (which could be more appealing to some), but when you're listening to it, it's hard to turn it into something else.

I also feel a stronger sense of connection to the characters, and the book itself when I listen to the audio book. Because I'm listening to it, it tends to take me longer to finish the book, usually because it's listened to during car rides, or during work tasks. You spend a longer time with the characters, you feel like you're part of the story. It makes it harder for me when the story is over. I want it to continue. I want there to be more for me to enjoy. It's almost like being in a serious relationship that has just ended. You know your time together is over, but you're not ready to walk away from it. You want more out of it.

Most people compare audio books to movies. The picture (or sound) is set for you. All you have to do is watch, but that's not completely true. You get a small picture from what you hear, but you still have to let your imagination do the work. You're told what the images are, but your brain has to put them together. The visual outcome is what you make of it. I love the challenge it gives me, especially depending on what genre I'm listening to. (Sci-fi is great for this!)

Audio biographies are some of my favorites. I love hearing stories of other people's lives. Famous, or not, everyone has interesting stories to tell, and I want to hear them all. What's better than listening to the biography of someone you admire, while they narrate it?

I am in love with audio books, and I encourage everyone to give them a chance. It does not make you less intelligent for  listening to them. If anything, it builds character, How? Well, it just does.

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