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Reading, Running ‘n stuff


At the moment, I am not reading 11.22.63 the book I could eat, because my in-person book group had a bit of a mix-up and decided instead to read The Dark Side of Love by Rafik Schami which is a 853 page brick. Only I’m being super slow about reading it. I’m basically just being all round slow this year and last. I’m don’t really want to moan about this AGAIN, because blah blah blah and I’m boring myself already.

I am enjoying The Dark Side of Love but I have a week to finish it in and I’ve only read one quarter of it. This is not good. Part of me would rather be reading 11.22.63 as I was more in the mood for something more addictive and less serious and ponderous. I spoke earlier about mood reading – this is a good book but I can’t say it’s hitting my specific mood at the time.

The Dark Side of Love is set in Syria, which considering the war and strife currently in the news, makes it an interesting relevant read. Schami himself lives in Germany and so the original language is German, both very good for my Around the World in 80 Books challenge, Tea & Books challenge and Books in Translation. It is a book I have wanted to read anyway, but I was expecting to read it in November/December rather then right now.

I’m enjoying the story and the way it has been written – Schami breaks the show and not tell rule in half. It kind of reminds me of Isabel Allende’s style, although slightly more dry. It works however, I just wish I could read it faster. I’ve never been good with deadlines – perhaps this is why I’m reading so slow. Tell me to read a book by so and so time and suddenly I don’t wanna read it no more.

Moan moan.

I have tried experimenting with audiobooks whilst I run these past two Sundays because my library has opened a digital audio library which is much more convenient. However, I’m entirely inexperienced when it comes to audiobooks and rarely manage to concentrate on them. My brain just does other stuff.

Well anyway, I decided that it’s no trouble really downloading one so I downloaded a fantasy book by Terry Brooks. The Black Staff or something like that. The first run wasn’t too bad, actually I enjoyed listening to something even though I can’t say I listened to all of it – which is why I can’t really count it as something I’m actually reading. When you’re running you can’t stop to just rewind it a bit you just have to keep going so there were quite a few bits I missed and then felt a little lost.

On my second outing with the audiobook however I stopped enjoying it so much because the narrator just began to grate endlessly on me:

  1. He would raise his voice into a ridiculous high pitched voice when reading the dialogue of female characters. Now, sorry mate but you’re never going to sound remotely female without sounding stupid. I noticed Stephen Fry does this when reading the Harry Potter audio books and it is just plain irritating. It sounds like they are just taking the piss.
  2. Why do fantasy characters who wear dark mysterious cloaks speak in the same kind of deep, hoarse kind of way? And do all the elders have those deep gruff voices? Do mysterious people really put so much effort into even sounding mysterious?

Those are the two main points that really annoyed me about that audiobook and is the reason I’ll be putting it aside. I will have to choose another one for next week’s attempt…

I wonder if all audiobook readers are like this? Do all men put on a stupid girly voice? I personally would prefer the reader to not do voices or at least keep them simple. My one problem with audiobooks is that I want to imagine a book for myself – the characters voice, their vocal inflections and I feel when a book is being read to me this is taken away. Also, the voice in my head reading the book isn’t my own. I kept thinking as I listened – I wouldn’t read it this way. I wouldn’t have imagined that voice like that.


My ban is officially broken ever since inheriting my Dad’s Kindle. I’ve never liked Amazon and their wily little ways, but those Daily Deals and the fact I can subscribe to magazines now that are delivered automatically and wirelessly is just too much to resist. So now, despite having a dislike of ereading… now have two ereaders so at least I can now choose where I buy books from rather than being confined.

I signed up to this one because I want to read more fantasy and short stories and I figured well… it doesn’t seem to be too expensive I should give it a go. I haven’t really read it yet as I’m too busy slowly racing through The Dark Side of Love but I did read a bit of the first novella that is included. Well written, but the story wasn’t drawing me in at all. Not a great start, but we shall see.

Should I perhaps dump this subscription and jump ship to another, any suggestions or recommendations?

At least these books I have been buying lately are largely invisible and growing up the wall. I guess I should climb back on it though.


Ah maybe one day…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 17/07/2012 01:18

    I regret to say on the occasion I’ve dipped my toe in the water of audiobooks I too have come across rather off putting voices to suggest different characters. I guess it helps some people and makes it come alive but I dunno, it just seems a bit too self conscious and rather laughable, especially as you say, when the male reader has to do a girl’s voice!

    • 17/07/2012 02:59

      I figure you need to get used to them which is why I’m going to try out with books I’m only moderately interested in reading so as not to spoil the experience with a book I do want to read a lot.

      Maybe try on some easier books I wouldn’t normally bother with…

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