Yah, I’ve “read” that

Oops! I’m in Nelson!

How’d that happen?

You know, I’ve only been in BC for about six weeks now. But so far, I’ve done a heckofalot of travelling. For work I’ve been to Vernon, Grindrod, Kamloops (x2), Penticton, Karameos, Vancouver, Grand Forks, and now, Nelson. I’ve driven through a lot more … (Peachland, Summerland, Armstrong, Merritt etc) en route to some of those places… but six weeks, and interviews in nine different cities/towns is pretty crazy.

Don’t get me wrong, I love it. I genuinely like driving (after all, I did put about 10,000 kms on my little green car in about 2 months). I like the time it gives me to think. I like the time it gives me to listen to new music (*ahem Two Hours Traffic’s new album is AWESOME). But you can only listen to the same CD so many times before you need something else. And the thing about music and your own thoughts is they don’t really keep you alert.

And when you drive the distances I do (yeesh this province is BIG) you need something that keeps your attention. A friend of mine suggested podcasts when I was doing a lot of driving in Eastern Canada this summer. That was a good idea, but for some reason I couldn’t find any of the THREE iPod cords I have stashed somewhere in the house. So last night, I decided I would try something new: an audiobook.

One of you dear readers suggested this back in the summer as well… but I was hesitant to give it a try. I wasn’t how I  would find someone (besides my mom haha) reading TO me. Would it be cheesy? Would they do different voices? Would it be like an active reading or just someone reciting words off a page.

And the other thing is, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what would make a GOOD audiobook. Generally I’m a big reader. I’ve slowed down a bit since I moved to Kelowna — not getting home until 630 or 7 at night, and getting to bed before 11 will do that to you. But I have my next 3 or 4 books bought and waiting for me on my bookshelf, and a longer list of “to reads” planned. I like to savour books. And when they’re really well written, I linger over powerful prose. Sometimes reading passages a couple times over, just because I can.

I finally settled on Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol.” The man knows how to write a compelling, book… and while it was on my to-read list, it wasn’t at the top. And I figured if it was anything like the rest of his novels, it would be a power-read, not a mosey-read.

Overall? It was a pretty good choice. I was certainly captivated by the story, alert the whole drive (about 5 hours) without even one coffee. The reader is really good. Tells it like a story, doesn’t just read the words on the page. He’s a pinch on the cheesy side — he does ‘voices’ but sometimes that’s needed: in conversations between characters, you have to differentiate somehow.

The other neat thing about The Lost Symbol (and keep in mind I’m only maybe 12 or 13 chapters in) is there’s some deep thinking going on here. Brown touches on some very theoretical science topics, links them to current events of the past decade, and adds his typical ‘symbolism’ flare. Yah, it’s basically the same plotline as every other book he’s written (and I’ve read at least 4 or 5 of his so far) but the subject matter is just fascinating.

Here’s the thing though: if you’ve listened to an audiobook version of a novel (unabridged) do you still get to say that you’ve “read” it? Because you didn’t really. You’ve “heard” it. You didn’t turn any pages, you didn’t digest any words. You listened. For many, many hours.

Is it the same thing?

What do you think?

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4 Responses to “Yah, I’ve “read” that”

  1. Fawn Says:

    This is exactly how Michael has “read” most of the Harry Potter books. Except it was me reading them to him on long drives (9+ hours) in the NWT. I think he read some passages to me when I drove, so he can more legitimately say that he HAS read them. But I think he still says that he hasn’t. LOL

    Yeah, that helped.

  2. Kara Says:

    When was in university, I would buy books on cd and listen to them on long drives! I loved them. Having children has taken that option out of long drives… the wheels on the bus go round and round and round and round….

    And yep- I think you should be able to say you have read them!

    Wow- Fawn- you are an awesome wife!

  3. allmycke Says:

    Of course you’ve read the books!
    I have a number of students who have read all of the Harry Potter books in the audio version.
    I dare anyone to tell me that these kids haven’t had that “read-the-book-experience” when they saw the movies!

  4. Sally Says:

    Maybe say you’ve “experienced” the book. When you read, it’s an experience. When you listen, it’s also an experience.

    Although, if you went around saying “I experienced that book”, people might kick you.

    So, heck YEAH you read the book! You know when went down and how things unfurled. I curse Dan Brown for making many mornings groggy ones for keeping me up with his page-turning book.

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