I have been spending a great deal of time in my car lately as I now have a longer commute to work. The bad news – traffic (and lots of it). The good news – more time to listen to books. I had never spent much time on Audible or Hoopla, always believing that nothing could surpass the experience of curling up with a ‘real’ book. While I still love holding a book in my hands and turning the pages, the smell of the paper (especially when the book has been purchased at a tag sale and is just a little bit musty), the ability to stop and jot a favorite line, or read parts aloud to anyone who might listen (usually my dog, Bailey), and the ability to flip back and reread pages easily, I have become a real fan of the listening experience.
In some ways, listening to a book feels different to me than the act of reading a book. It’s more like watching a play or a movie. The readers bring their own interpretation of the story to the text. I suppose it’s what our students experience during Interactive Read Aloud! In other ways, I find the experience can be similar. I still get that “lost in a book” feeling and arrive at work wondering how I got there. I find myself laughing out loud or on the brink of tears as I listen. I can’t wait to get in the car and see what’s going to happen next. At times, I don’t get out of the car because I can’t “put the book down.”
Recently my daughter recommended that I listen to a podcast. I decided this might be a new kind of listening experience. I listened to the NPR podcast “S-Town.” Again, it was a different experience to listen to a story told in this format, but I enjoyed it immensely.
I’ll never give up curling up with a print book, but I’m enjoying the listening experience.