Monday, April 15, 2019

I am listening a book!

I am reading a book.Well hearing a book! ....I mean listening to a book ! Whatever !

Its an audiobook and what IS the right word here ? Someone kindly advise !

Usually i download ebooks from the local library system to read from my phone . That itself cannot be compared to holding a good paper book in my hands and immersing myself in its contents as I instinctively turn the pages. Add a hot cup of coffee , a gentle rain to the scenario and it becomes a scene straight out of a television advertisement. 

But an ebook has its own advantages.  Easy to carry around (Actually they occupy no separate space) to begin with, and whenever i spot a new word , a double click leads to an online dictionary or wikipedia! How cool is that!

I found Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novel in the library website and downloaded it , assuming it was an ebook. Only later did I realize it was an audio one. When the universe has thrown this new experience in my way why not try it ?

 It started! There was a faint music and a lady's voice started with the contents. Somehow I could not focus for the first few minutes. On further thought, I realized that the way she read the book, as in her tone, pronounciation and the expressions she added to the words were way different from what ran in my mind voice when i read from print. I had to tune myself to listen to her.

As it progressed, focussing became easier, but she was changing voices and accents for the characters.  That was one talented narrator but i found it a bit distracting. Also the way she paused between words was professional but reminded me of the cartoons my kids watch . I felt like a kid to whom someone was reading a bedtime story. Now that i am all grown up, it needs a lot of patience.

Some places where i might put in a lot of drama into the tone , she read in a nonchalant sort of way .  For someone who can spend hours watching reading or creating drama(Ahem!) , it was quite difficult to cope with .

I read book reviews on goodreads and there are so many members who mention "listening to the audiobook!" I think that is what introduced the concept to me but i had never tried it before.

It also does not have the liberty of skipping paragraphs or pages when you know exactly what is happening and find the descriptions prolonged and boring ! You just have to listen !

Having said that, audio books would definitely be a boon to those who are not well and are in bed. It could be soothing when reading could be a tiring chore.

For the extremely busy folks they could catch up on their reading while driving with an audio book.  In fact the audio included an interview piece with the author who said thats how she reads (or listens may be!) too!

It also made me wonder that for someone with a good voice and pronounciation it could be a good way to make money. Read books to convert them to audio format ! In todays workd of Siri and Artificial Intelligence we may not need humans for that. That needs another post by itself !