a different way of reading

I’m a big believer in audio books.  Besides letting me multi-task while I drive or do housework, they’ve allowed me to experience books that I otherwise may have given up on, particularly when it comes to the classics.  For example, Hemingway’s distinctive writing style is so distracting to me that I’ve never been able to get past the first few pages of his novels.  And the slow start of Dickens’ Great Expectations has led me to put down the book more than once after only a very preliminary introduction to Pip.  But hearing the start of a book is a different experience than reading it, and I’ve found it easier to stick with books on audio – even if I’m still not sure about them.  This doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll like them — I found Farewell to Arms beautiful at times, but annoying at others, and the ending made me pretty sure I’d never feel the need to read it again.  But others, such as Great Expectations, do manage to win me over once I’ve been drawn far enough into the story.  (I will admit that, occasionally, this process works in reverse; I think it was an audio version of The Lovely Bones that had a reader with such an obnoxious voice that I had to go find a hard copy of the book.)

My current audio selection is Silas Marner.  One third of the way in, I’m not entirely sure what I think of it yet.  The sections focusing solely on Marner keep my attention easily, but I find myself zoning out on the parts about the other villagers, particularly on the dialogue-heavy passages.  But these types of passages are precisely why this book was probably a better bet to do on audio — rather than setting the book down and walking away from it, the CD will keep going and I’ll eventually zone right back in.  

When I last left it, the plot was just now picking up, so I’m hoping there will be less zoning out in the upcoming chapters.   Marner’s certainly a compelling character, and I’m looking forward to seeing where his story takes me.


~ by Molly on January 17, 2009.

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