Friday, 27 April 2012

Take Me to the Talkies

I suppose I got the idea from Stephen King's part autobiographical part teach yourself book 'On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft.'  He said, "I usually listen to one in the car (always unabridged; I think abridged audiobooks are the pits)...
The point he was making was, you have to read if you're going to write, and never one to miss a reading opportunity, if you have to drive then you may as well listen to a book. It was good advice I mused as I parked my car. Yes I have the audio version of 'On Writing,' unabridged of course.

What better way to appreciate an autobiography than to hear it straight from the horse's mouth. The passion is authentic and not second hand.
I've been subscribing to a well known audio book distributor which is a subsidiary of an even more well known book distributor. The deal is I pay just under £8.00 a month and on the 23rd day of the month, I get to choose anything in their vast catalogue, even if it retails at £30.00. I love the 23rd of the month.
The difficulty I have is in choosing, so much choice. I put together a shortlist and then audition the reader, to narrow it down further. It may well be a good book, but if the reader doesn't gel with you, then you may as well use that inner voice in your head to read the printed version.
I remember our head of English literature at school, (if you're reading this sis, I'm sure you'll agree), Mrs Williams. She was a stern blue-rinsed disciplinarian who spoke with a well enunciated cultured English accent, but as she was of welsh descent, the lilt added a richness to her voice. It paid off for Anthony Hopkins and Richard Burton and it paid off for us, the pupils of Mrs Williams head of Eng. Lit. When she read to us she had us enthralled. No longer the dragon most of us feared, she became someone else.
I'm sure she conditioned me at an early age to buy audio books, in a quest to find another Mrs Williams who will read to me.
Like Stephen King, I only listen to audio books in the car. Occasionally in the bath, and oh yes... this is really strange... in the gym to blot out the mandatory MTV which is on a screen in front of you whichever way you look.
Other times I read text from both e-books and tree-books. In the midst of the e-book revolution, I think there is a massive growth market in audio books now that with Mp3's can be downloaded just about anywhere and most people have a smartphone or an iPod.
Logically, I suppose I ought to have this blog recorded as an audio blog, but sadly Mrs Williams is unavailable to read it to you.