I remember the days when I’d open a book and lose myself to the pages for hours on end. They would take me from worlds of horror to worlds built on puns. They’d make me daydream on all the endless possibilities a life could hold even if it was in a rather dull reality. It’s really no surprise I’m writing my own worlds now.
But I lost something along the way.
Whenever I open the cover of a new world, I’m not being hypnotized and mesmerized like I once was. I’m so busy looking at the language and think on how the author is using it to lure the reader in. I’m thinking, “How can I recreate it?” If not that ,then I’m trying to see why a certain passage might have failed and make mental notes to not do that.
I read with only one foot in the story, sometimes just a toe. On the rare occasion I’ll find a book so good the active reading shuts off, and once again I lose myself to the prose. Those times are getting fewer and fewer.
I’m not all that upset. Not all book are that great. My writing is improving, but at what cost? It’s as if the reason I’m doing what I’m doing is slowly fading away. What’s the point of writing if I no longer enjoy what I’m reading?
Well, never fear folks. I found the answer.
I listened to an audio book the for the first time the other month. I needed to read a book for my book club, and I was running out of free time to get it done. I listened to it found a new world unhindered by my active-reading eye. I listened to another and another.
The love came back.
I still read for the knowledge of writing better. I’ll take a book I admire, and I’ll pick it apart. But now if I want to remember why I admired the book in the first place, I’ll listen to it.
There is a caveat to listening though. If the narrator mumbles or sounds unenthusiastic while reading, the story suffers regardless. In future posts I might make the distinction between audio and paper, letting you know which was the better experience.
Until then, read on and listen on if need be.