Monday, December 14, 2015

Streaming audiobooks: I can read again!

This beautiful sketch of Solzhnenitsyn is by Khylov, a storyboard artist and illustrator.
More of Kylov's brilliant work is at   
As an editor, I am paid to stare.

Staring, along with various of my analytical skills and the detritus of a major in English, pays my rent, but also strains my eyes.

Because of eyestrain from staring at, most recently, two computer screens plus a laptop, all day, I went through a period of illiteracy and stopped reading to watch streaming services - Netflix and Amazon Prime. Lots of what I saw and will continue to see was terrific, I am not foreswearing, but watching is not the same as the engagement reading offers. I missed the words.

I checked the library website and discovered I could check out streaming audiobooks online, free. To date, for me, audiostreaming works best when there is no plot. I haven't successfully listened to a full novel, yet. What I have heard excited me, including Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago, read in an authoritative and snarky English accent - snarky because Solz. relies on sarcasm as a way of presenting the mass arrests and disappearances in Russia/USSR. There is no way I could have deal with this in print - I have read too much of government horrors. I didn't even listen to the all of part 1, just 3 or 4 hours. The book has been on my list for a long, long time. Audio, I now realize, is the best way of tackling it.

I wasn't being graded. I didn't have to turn in a report. I am an adult reading at the end of her day. I will check out parts 2 and 3 and I look forward to that, spacing the atrocities. Perhaps I will check back here as my experience with audiostreaming expands. I am going to buy earbuds for my phone so I can walk and listen. We'll see, and hear.

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