Some time ago, one of our lovely commenters left a comment asking about the difference between listening to a book and reading one. I started to reply but it was getting way too long for a comment so I thought I’d write a post about it instead.
Books on CD rely heavily on the performance of the narrator (or narrators as the case may be). If I do not like the narrator, I have a hard time getting through the book. Think about it. When you’re reading the book yourself and you don’t like the way things sound, you only have yourself to blame. You can make adjustments if you need to. When you’re listening to a book, you’re stuck with that reader until the end or until you give up on the book. The narrator has all the power. Jim Dale, the narrator of the Harry Potter books is an AWESOME narrator. He does a fantastic job with all the voices. If you’re an HP fan and you enjoy re-reading the books, try them on CD. They’re amazing!
Listening to a book is like having your very own personal storyteller. I especially like listening to stories told in first person. If the narrator’s voice is just right, it feels as if the character is right next to you. It feels more intimate, more personal. As I was listening to Along for the ride by Sarah Dessen, I almost felt like Auden was telling me her story over a cup coffee…it was that real. As a matter of fact, I listen to most of Sarah Dessen’s books on CD for that reason.
At the risk of running too long, I’ll stop here for now. Be on the lookout for more, though. I think I’ve found my topic of the week. 🙂