Daily Archives: December 17, 2009

Harpys, Bats, Audio Books

Recently read:
“The Horrid Glory of Its Wings” by Elizabeth Bear, Illust. John Jude Palencar
There aren’t enough harpy stories in the world.

I’ve finished, mostly, the holiday gift buying. I still spend too much money on books, but now it’s mostly limited to books for the nieces and nephews. Christmas book-buying usually entails a telephone call/email to check up on what the far-flung kids are interested in combined with some prognostication on my part and the tendency to want to buy books I like. Then Eric and I hit Amazon.com and/or the bookstores to find books the kids might enjoy. Eric’s off-the-shelf pick, one that didn’t quite fill the criteria of “narratives about pirates, dinosaurs and puppies” but still had promise, was Bats at the Library by Brian Lies. If I had an Oprah-level of money and influence, I’d buy this book for every young reader I know. The art is lovely and the story, in easy rhyme, is about two things I love best: books and reading. With a bit of Bradbury-ian autumn thrown in. Hopefully, Ben (age 4) will like it and maybe his sister and little brother will enjoy it too.

Speaking of not spending money on books, I’ve been taking greater advantage of the Greater Phoenix Digital Library, including downloading some audio books. I haven’t been a big fan of audio books despite their multitask potential. I often think to myself, “X task would be better if I could read while doing it.” Yet, I’m not sure if audio books count as reading for me. I tend to space out when listening to stories. And, the story is different when it’s not my inner voice telling it to me. I’m a fairly auditory (and therefore slow) reader. When I read, I say the words in my head. Having someone else doing the saying takes away from it. For example, I downloaded The Haunting of Hill House, a book I’ve been itching to re-read. A book I’m familiar with. I found that the creepy parts weren’t as creepy as when I read them. The narrator just didn’t put the pauses and inflections were I’d put them. Maybe, he’s not a great narrator. Maybe, I’m further hindered by my auditory tendency.

Still trying to get a handle on reconciling all the things I want to do with the number of hours in the day. It was easier when there was nothing good on the internet.