Thursday, March 4, 2010

listening vs. reading

A friend at work commutes an hour each way and passes the time by listening to CDs of books in the car. She loves to read, and because there's never enough time to read every book on her wish list, she compromises by listening to some of them.

My commute is only thirty minutes each way, but it's an hour per day of "reading time" that I would normally waste on useless radio. I decided to give it a try.

I wanted to start with a mindless, easy selection to get used to listening rather than reading. I hit up my local library and came home with this book on CDs:

The Lost Symbol's Washington, DC setting, fast pace, and far-fetched but entertaining plot kept my interest through its fourteen CDs. I didn't love the book--I didn't expect to--but I did love the idea of listening to a book on my commute and therefore, gaining some automatic "reading" time each day.

One book and I was hooked. I moved right on to this one, a classic highly recommended by at least three friends:

I am almost one-third of the way through it, and I love it thus far. But I know I would get much more out of reading the book rather than just listening to it, so I vow to actually read Jane Eyre one day. I love seeing words on a page and marveling at their arrangement and flow. I love feeling awestruck by a particularly powerful phrase, sentence, or paragraph and reading it over and over again. I enjoy seeing an unfamiliar word and using my iPhone's handy dictionary application to quickly learn its meaning. I like to believe that consistent reading improves my grammar, word usage, and writing.

I delight in finding typos and grammatical mistakes in books and correcting them. Yes, I am that girl who reads with a red pen at her side, ready and waiting to strike like a snake. (Well, I exaggerate a bit, but I have been known to get up from my reading nook to look for a pen when I find a mistake in a book. It bugs me not to correct mistakes.)

I hope books on CDs will teach me to pay attention and be a better listener, especially when I'm in a situation where taking notes is impossible.

What about you? Would you rather read or listen? Have you tried an audiobook?


SD Dad said...

I love to read and we have a house full of books, but we do use audio books on long car or motor home trips and we really enjoy them...

Test 1 said...

SO glad to hear that you are enjoying Jane Eyre. It's such a great book!