|Pleased to meet you: The moment when Jean Paget claps eyes on Joe Harman in the 1956 film of A Town Like Alice|
I’ve been taking my mind off the discomfort of my 10K training by listening to talking books.
So far I’ve plodded my way through Dawn French’s Oh Dear Sylvia (a good tale that deserved to have been edited as if it wasn’t written by a celebrity), Denise Mina’s Gods and Beasts (must have given the lawyers something to think about), Anna Stothard’s The Pink Hotel (lovely story with a geeky heroine), and Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behaviour (hectoring lectures on global warming forgiven for breathtaking turn of phrase and a heroine trapped by domesticity).
Now I’ve moved on to A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute. And it’s lovely, pure escapism, so absorbing I can hardly tear myself away. I’m there, in the hot sweaty Outback with Jean waiting for her hero Joe to return…
This latest audiobook binge has got me to wondering.
Does listening to a story take it into a different part of your brain than reading it? I find stories that used my ears, lodge more determinedly in my grey matter. I’m not sure I remember any facts more permanently, but the feeling and imagining of a tale I certainly do.
Is this the same for everyone?
And being read to has kept me engaged far more than sucking the words in through my eyeballs. Flight Behaviour, if I’d bought the proper book, would certainly have left me skim reading parts at best. Yet, the recorded version – read by the author herself – was gripping to the last.
Therefore, because I have gained the, possibly erroneous, notion that anything worth having is only achieved by huge effort, I feel a bit of a fraud. Is listening to a talking book cheating? Like a watered down version of waiting until the film comes out?