The first time I listened to an audio-book

“I want to do something splendid…something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for it and mean to astonish you all someday”

– Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

But not today. Today I’m enjoying my day off, in lieu of working the public holiday last week. I’ve been in and out of bed all morning, since waking at a God-awful hour for some bizarre reason. My 9-day run at work was only rewarded with a regular 2-day weekend, so this bonus day is more than welcome.

I’ve been attempting to read two book simultaneously for a book club I participate in. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky has been the most difficult one to get my head around. The problem isn’t that it’s difficult to read but rather that it is quite long, and I’ve been so tired that I manage to read a few paragraphs before the words start dancing around the page and I have to stop. I am getting a bit stressed out because I have under three weeks to read it and I am doubtful that I can finish it in time.

After purchasing e-books on my kindle for more than a year, The Brothers Karamazov was my first ‘real’ book purchase in quite a while. I felt that a longer book might be better to read the old-fashioned way, especially after my trying experience reading the Song of Ice and Fire series on the kindle. I spent way too long trying to decide on which translation of TBK to pick, before finally settling on Ignat Avsey’s, but then I had to find the translation in a book store. I searched in the big Dymocks store in the CBD and a couple of book stores in Newtown before finding it in Kinokuniya.

Little Women is due a little bit later in the month and is considerably shorter, but I have downloaded the audio-book and have been “reading” it during my spare moments. I’ve even experimented with some multitasking, reading a few chapters as I wash dishes. Surprisingly, I retain a lot of the information when I do this.

The first time I listened to an audio-book I had just signed up to Audible who were having a promotion at the time. Upon signing up you were given two credits which you could use at your leisure. I chose Stephen King’s Under The Dome and Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer. The latter was quite easy to listen to but the King book is also quite long and reading it in audio-book form proved to be quite a task. My commute was considerably longer back then, but still, it took over a month to finish, and the disappointing ending made the experience even worse.

The Under the Dome audio book proved to be quite lengthy
The Under the Dome audio book proved to be quite lengthy

My experiment with Little Women is also part of an Audible promotion in which after signing up (again) I received a free audio-book of my choosing. The version I downloaded is narrated by Barbara Carruso. There is one narrated by Christina Ricci but I opted for the other because it was minutes shorter and I was already reading a lengthy book. I like Barbara Carruso’s narration. Some of the voices she does for the girls reminds me a lot of Rose from The Golden Girls.

I started Little Women at 1x speed but am now at 1.5x. It’s noticeably faster, but I feel that I can still follow it quite well and don’t miss any of the narration. The audible app goes up to 3x.  I wonder who listens to audio-books at that speed.


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