As a young child, my mother the consummate reader, would gather the four of us around and read Golden Books and Aesop's Fables to us and whatever else we begged her for. There was a particular luxury in not only hearing great stories, but having someone else do the reading.
Recently, both of the public libraries I have accounts with began participating in Overdrive, a nationwide program of free downloadable audio books. Free, that is to patrons, but libraries pay a fee to participate. With my .mp3 player in hand, I began to rediscover the joy of having books read to me. What brings me the biggest thrill is that I am able to listen to wonderful stories while doing ordinary tasks like cleaning, laundry, yard work and commuting to and from work. The only time I can't listen and absorb audiobooks is when I'm reading anything else.
I have to admit I'm becoming "narrator-sensitive," especially if the book is set anywhere in New England. I cringed while listening to Anita Shreve's Light on Snow when the narrator pronounced "Concord" like the plane with an "e" instead of its regional "Concahd."
The other curiosity I've discovered is that listening to the book read to me is a very different experience than holding it in my hands. The words reverberate dead center in my brain and seem to linger longer than when I'm reading in hand.
I'm curious if anyone has had their work produced on audiobook and what their experience has been? Is this a marketing venue worth pursuing? Does the author have any say in the narrator?
- Felicia Donovan