25 November 2012

Day 25: The human voice

I don't have anything to say about today's prompts, so instead, I'm writing about audiobooks.

I love to read. My mom says I taught myself to read when I was 2. I don't remember that, but I do remember trying to read after bedtime by the light that came in under my bedroom door. I devoured all the books we had in the house, to the point where once, when I was perhaps 8 or 9, I got hold of a murder mystery book that was well above my age level! I had picked it up expecting the normal Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys mystery, where jewels might get stolen but nobody actually gets killed! That book (A Stranger is Watching by Mary Higgins Clark) traumatised me, but I couldn't put it down until it was finished. I highly doubt my mother or father knew I had it, or they surely would have taken it from me.

I used to read fast. I couldn't stand to put down a book before it was finished. Now, things have changed. If I finish a book in one night, I'm quite likely to push myself into a flare. It's easy to think that if the body is inactive, we're conserving spoons, but brain activity burns calories just like muscle use does. Reading can be tiring. I know I've read too much when I realize that my eyes are scanning the page, but my brain isn't parsing the meaning of the words. 

Enter audiobooks. Listening to someone read a book slows the experience down. It makes it possible to close your eyes and really focus on the material being read. It makes books accessible for people who are unable to read for themselves. It is also a wonderful way to experience books even if you aren't disabled in any way. Unfortunately, audiobooks are also expensive. Except when they are free.

What, free? Yes! There are three ways to get free audiobooks. The first is librivox.org, a website where volunteers record books that are in the public domain. You can find over 6000 works there, in different languages. You won't find the latest bestseller, but so many beloved classics are there. I like Jane Austen to listen to at bedtime.

But what if you want to hear the latest bestseller? Then you have two options. The first is your local library. Even if you can't get there, they may have a service to bring materials to disabled people in the community. 

But the third option is my favourite. It's to get someone you love to read to you. Or if you feel well enough, read to them. Some of my best times with my husband are when we curl up on the bed together at night and he reads a chapter or two to me from one of our favourite book series.

There's just something magical about the human voice. I love it. Don't you?

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