Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Listening to Stories

Listening to stories

I recently discovered the joy of listening to audio books. Why hadn’t I made the connection before? I have a 20 minute drive to the main village on the island, so nearly every day I have time to listen.

My apprehension came from the perception that I have to see the words on the page in order to truly appreciate a book. Reading is still my preferred method, but then again, didn’t I spend many years as a child listening to my mom read nursery rhymes and my dad tell his wonderful fantasy stories? Even when I read to my sons, I pause and ponder the way a writer did something on the page I missed while reading silently.

I just finished the audio version of the Inkheart series and lost myself in the beautiful language of the story. I started noticing patterns I would have missed, like patterns of three in exposition. Three represents what we find in nature, in religion, and, oh yes, Schoolhouse Rock (“Three is a Magic Number”). The patterns of three make the fantastic world of Inkheart come alive.

When I see a word on a page, especially if it is a unique or freshly used word, I may pause to notice, but when I hear the word, it resonates on another level entirely. When Funke uses the word supercilious for Orpheus (a character in Inkheart), it has more power when heard. The “s” sound conjures up an image of a snake or the word sly . . . I think “sly as a fox.” A perfect word for this particular character.

More discoveries.

I would love to hear your experiences. I will never give up reading books. I love seeing words, but listing has added another dimension to the experience.

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