I am a very visual person. If I want to understand or remember something I have to see it. I have never cared for being read to (at least not since I was a kid) because hearing something means so much less to me than reading something. Also, it takes about a million years longer to listen to a book than to read it yourself.
This summer during our Confederate Car Trip we brought along four Harry Potter books. My friend Connie assured me that these would make all the difference between murdering my children and coexisting with them peacefully for two weeks. So I took them, rolling my eyes, but by the time we hit Waco I had put on the first CD. We listened to them for most of the trip and were a very captive–but very willing–audience. We really loved listening to them. I read the first Harry Potter book when it had barely come out and nobody had the vaguest idea how to pronounce Hermione (but I did, being full of trivial, pointless knowledge as I am.) I enjoyed it but then the books became horrendously popular and I didn’t want to read the rest solely because who wants to wait in line all night to buy a stupid book? I tend to not like things anymore once they’re popular; ditto for the movies. (I did see the very last movie but I had no idea what was happening or why it was a big deal.) The older kids were completely familiar with the entire Harry Potter oeuvre, but the younger ones weren’t.
Listening to the Harry Potter books was wonderful for me because I was completely new to them. All the kids are at a great age to listen to them and Connie was right; they made the 4000 miles fly by.
But still I like to have real live books in my hands.
Last week I saw a copy of the Lonesome Dove miniseries on my husbands shelf of DVDs and he reminded me again how it’s super good and that I really should watch it. But I hate, hate watching TV while my kids are at school because I can’t multitask while I do it (our only TV being in the playroom, away from the dirty floors that should be mopped or the bathrooms than need scrubbing). TV and movies are such a time suck. But maybe I could read the book Lonesome Dove (since reading is easier to do than watching a movie when you’re waiting for carpool kids or in a doctor’s office). But for some reason I ended up downloading the audio book. When am I going to listen to this? I thought. I barely am in the car for more than ten minutes at a time. Then it hit me–I can listen to this while I clean my house.
I know what you guys are thinking: you are the biggest dummy ever! How has this never occurred to you?
I’m a little slow on the uptake sometimes, friends. But now that I’m about ten hours into Lonesome Dove, let me tell you that cleaning while you listen to an audiobook is the best. Although if you have little kids bugging you I imagine that it would put you in a mighty foul mood to be interrupted constantly (maybe during nap time?). I actually try to think of more things to clean so that I can keep listening. How crazy is that?
Due to the fact that there is an occasional swear and that prostitutes come up pretty often in the story, Lonesome Dove is not exactly kid-friendly. But I’m enjoying it heartily.*
I still have 25 hours to go before I finish this book, but I’m already thinking about my next
read listen. Do you listen while you putter around the house too? What are your favorite audio books? Anything I must listen to next? A book can be completely ruined by a bad narrator, so what are some good recommendations?
*To make things even better, I got the book from Audible.com and they have an app that makes each book the size of a couple of songs. It won’t take up your iTunes space like a bunch of CDs will. And if you go to www.audible.com/npr they’ll let you try a book for free. Also, our library also has a couple of audio-books-for-free services. Yours probably does too.