Audio books have been around for a while. All six of my Cedar Key series are also in audio books. (And no, I’ve never listened to any of them) I’ve always felt neutral about audio books. I’ve listened to a few over the years and have always enjoyed them but somehow I always found myself drawn back to the written word.
I listened to a few of the mysteries by Louise Penny and must say, I loved them! I loved the French accent of the reader and I could easily visualize myself hovering just over the shoulder of the character. And like many of my knitter friends, I loved the fact that I could knit AND “read” a book at the same time. I was always surprised how many of my readers contacted me to share this information. To tell me how much they loved that they could combine both their knitting and reading one of my novels with an audio book. But my print reading still outnumbered audio books for me. Until recently……
When I did read the few audio books in the past, it always brought me back to Paris. Back to fun times, and good feelings, and a sense of well-being. When Ray worked at Charles de Gaulle and we rented a Paris apartment many times over many years, I lived like a Parisian. I was out and about early in the morning to do my errands. Visiting the market for produce, or the fromage shop for cheese or the wine shop for le vin. Or I might have planned to visit a particular museum to catch an exhibit or maybe just stroll the streets of the Left Bank, bringing forth thoughts and visions of Hemingway and F. Scott and so many others who loved Paris as much as I did. But most afternoons I’d return to the apartment, pour myself a glass of wine, take out the piece of cross stitch I was working on at the time (I hadn’t returned to my love for knitting at that time) and I’d turn on BBC on the radio. Because every afternoon they had somebody reading a classic. And I could listen and put myself right into the novel. I likened it to attending a play. The reader had a wonderful speaking voice, putting emphasis in just the right places, and actually changing the tone and style of various characters. And to this day, I still have warm memories of this time in my life.
Although I do knit in the afternoon if I’m home, I normally have MSNBC on the TV to catch the latest update and to stay informed. And I’ve come to realize that I’m putting myself into overload. I recognized that I must maintain a sense of balance in order to avoid being overwhelmed. So sometimes I take this time to catch up on my recorded TV shows or watch Netflix. But last week I thought about audio books. And I decided to give it a try. I’m hooked! I truly love it. I can relax, knit and be taken into a wonderful story where my mind can wander and picture the scenes taking place. Plus, it reminds me of those meaningful moments spent in Paris on so many afternoons.
My first choice to listen to is the novel, I’ve Always Loved You by Robin Oliveira. It’s the story of the artists, Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas. And yes, the setting is Paris. And I am falling hopelessly in love with this audio book! The story is wonderful, the scenes are vivid and the reader’s French accented voice is divine.
I think I’ll be listening to many more audio books in the days to come. How about you? Do you enjoy this mode of “reading” a book?
See you here next time………..