Tuesday, 3 January 2017

On Listening to Books

The Illustrated Harry Potter books have been hugely popular since their release. Re-reading these books has been a bundle of joy for me. Currently I'm reading The Chamber of Secrets with Fraser and were reading it aloud. Much like we did with Philospher'a Stone.

One of the things I am quickly learning this year is that to experience a book through reading and speaking it is a completely different experience. As someone who has always struggled with reading audiobooks- or rather, listening to them- it is strange to me to suddenly really enjoy this format of absorbing a book. The inflections and interpretations of words when read aloud astound me.

One of the things Fraser and I enjoy most is taking it in turns to do the voices of characters. I must admit that he is so much better at them than me. I find myself choking on accents or having to repeat a line as I did not get the correct tone at first. Fraser on the other hand has been a perfect Hagrid. It is these humourous moments of us messing things up that really make us enjoy reading aloud.

The main advantage of reading books aloud is that you often notice things you have never noticed before. During the reading of Chamber of Secrets in particular I have noticed so much foreshadowing of what is to come particularly in book six within Borgim and Burkes. It is because of the slowing down of the narrative that reading aloud requires that I am able to notice more of these things. This I am able to understand it a lot more clearly.

This is similar with audiobooks, as you are often restricted to the narrators speed of speech (though this of course can be sped up) and so you are forced to absorb the story at a set pace. Sometimes I may have to rewind as I have gotten distracted but I find myself hearing every word rather than just skipping over words as my eyes move too quickly down the page.

These are just a few observations I have noticed in my recent experience of audiobooks and reading aloud with Fraser. Both of these experiences really do change the way I consume a book and I am so excited that this is one of my endeavours of 2017. By taking in literature in different ways and formats, I really hope to enjoy the reading I do on a whole other level.


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