The Listening Experience

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.

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10 thoughts on “The Listening Experience

  1. I just heard someone else mention “S-Town.” I’ll have to check it out. My favorite podcast is What Should I Read Next? It does help to pass the monotony of driving and like you, I’m sometimes so caught up in story that I can’t believe I’ve arrived.

  2. I listen to podcasts every morning while I get ready for work. Try: The New York Public Library, #KidsDeserveIt, PW KidCast, This American Life, Loud In The Library & Street View. If you love Harry Potter then listen to Mugglecast. Audiosync puts out 2 free audiobooks a week starting April 27 for 16 weeks. Usually there’s a fiction & a nonfiction. I hope you like some/all these suggestions! Happy listening!

    1. It really makes the commute pleasant! I alternate between listening to NPR for a few days, then a book or podcast, then back to NPR. As you said, listening and learning moments. I loved The Girl Who Drank the Moon too. I’m wondering if it might be too intense in parts for fifth graders. Thoughts?

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