Harry Potter is here.

I picked
up my book from the post office this morning.  I haven’t had a
chance to start reading yet, but I’m looking forward to it.  I
pre-ordered the book but to tell you the truth I wish I could get it in
Audiobook format.  I could listen at work and all day long in that
case.  But, of course, I can’t read it on paper except for stolen
moments here and there or after work.  That’ll do, I s’pose, since
I don’t want to spend $50 more dollars just to get the audiobook,
though I’d be quite tempted if I could find it on sale.

One of my nephews, the 10 year old, is under the impression that it’s
“pathetic” to listen
to books, namely “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”, as opposed
to reading them and that it ruins the fun and imagination of reading
the book.  So I sent him an email in
reply giving him the reasons why I’d prefer to have the audiobook in my
hands.  To no
avail, but I’ll share that portion of my email here.  If you can
get them cheap
or borrow them from the library, audiobooks are very convenient if
you’re kind of geeky that way.

For one, I can listen
to a book while I:

Drive (I spend an hour a day commuting to/from work and a total of at least 6 hours each weekend commuting to/from Baltimore)
Work (depending on what kind of work I’m doing that day)
Work out in the gym
Mountain bike
Hike
Walk to/from lunch
Walk Leika and pick up her poop
Cook
Eat
Do chores
Fall asleep
Shop for groceries
Ride the metro or other transportation (I can’t read on trains, planes,
buses or cars without getting motion sick but I can listen)
Practice playing the guitar

And since that’s about all I do, that means I can listen pretty much
all day long. The only times I can’t listen and pay full attention are
when I’m talking to someone, typing, watching TV or listening to the
radio (the same as if you’re reading).  So even on work days I could
finish a six hundred page book in two days without straining my eyes
and without losing my job.  Subsequently, I’ve been able to listen to
more books/novels in the past few months than many people read in a
year.

(Also, if I can actually get the Audiobook format version, which I
don’t think I’d be able to find any time soon, it keeps a digital
bookmark where I left off AND I can speed it up if the reader reads
slowly and finish the book quicker.)

In addition, it’s the EXACT same thing as the book … just read out
loud.  So the only thing that’s not left to the imagination is the
voices, which the reader approximates.  I mean, really.  How
much time
do you actually spend trying to imagine what the characters’ voices
sound like?  Especially after seeing the movies, you can’t but
help
hear and see the actors anyway.  But then again, the reader isn’t
trying to imitate, he/she approximates like a good storyteller does.

Besides, books are words.  The fun, excitement, and imagination come
from the words.  And words are words whether you see them or hear them.

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1 comment

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  1. linkfelix2

    I think I’m going to start asking people this because I think people experience reading differently:

    When you read a story or read anything, do you sort of read it aloud in your head or do you just look at the words when you read and they instantly become meaning in your head? I’m a very visual person yet when reading I almost have to read the words aloud in my head, to myself. Perhaps this is why I tend to read slower than your average college-aged kid. If words instantly translated to meaning in a visual sense, then I would probably read faster.

    What is your experience with this?

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