Is this multimodal reading?

Life of Pi/ Water for Elephants/  Unpolished Gem/ The Night Circus/ Eyrie/ Burial Rites/

headphones-and-bookAll great books I have enjoyed recently; and all books I started using an copy but finished with a physical book. Does this sound like you?

To be honest, I love the audible versions – especially those which involve obvious accents or strong voices. For example, in Water for Elephants, the elderly voice of Jacob Jankowski is an inspiring addition as the story is introduced. Listening to the Indian accent in Life of Pi, and the Chinese accents in Unpolished Gem is similarly authentic, and, as my car travels along my normal school-to-work routes, I also travel to places much further away.

In another way, the voicing of Burial Rites has been immensely helpful. Since it is set in Iceland, to be able to read the people- and place-names (without an authentic voice or knowledge of native pronunciations) is difficult. Cleverly, the reading also manages to distinguish between different voices and points of view by varying tone and volume to suit. And so I easily became well entrenched in the atmosphere of the grim story, as set by the tone and tempo of the story while it was read to me.

However, as I stated earlier, for each of these titles I have dipped in and out of both audio and print editions.

In one case, it was because my ereader ran out of power while I was on holidays – without the charger! I feverishly raided the stores till I found a print copy, and quickly finished the story. (And then had to beg/borrow/buy more, since I had relied on the store on my ereader!)

In the Night Circus, the movement of the book’s actions from one date to another made it difficult to keep track – and unlike Burial Rites the change of voice was not as clearcut or obvious. So once again, I found a print (library) copy.

It always surprises me how little I seem to have read when I do get my hands on a print copy, even after quite a few hours of listening in the car. It always seems as though I should be further into the story. Similarly, I am surprised how quickly I finish a print copy. Thus, I sometimes get impatient and want to read faster than the audio version – and move to the print edition. Then, the journey to work allows me to catch up with voices, tone and tempo – if the timing is right.

As I try to limit the piles of books which collect around my home, I am drawn more and more to ebooks and audio versions, though I find I still feel the need for both. I have, so far, avoided a print copy of Eyrie as I don’t want the expense and space taken by a hard cover book (though I might take a peek at a library copy one day, if I decide to revisit the oft poetic writing of Tim Winton).

What about you? Perhaps I just need to use my library more? (in conjunction with the audible versions?) But you do know how impatient you can be waiting to get your hands on the latest or hard-to-get editions!!

Any solutions? Advice?

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