Listening to a bookI have kept away from audio-books, feeling that the sight of words is an important part of the experience of reading. However, I have been travelling by bus these days and find the roads of Pune not very encouraging of the reading habit. I did remember Hirak writing about how he got used to audio books, and that emboldened me to give it a shot.
The local British Library does have quite a few audio books and offers a choice of authors of my interest: ranging from Richmal Crompton to Agatha Christie to Ian Rankin to Ian McEwan. I decided not to pick up anything heavy or language-intensive. Alexander McCall Smith's "The Sunday Philosophy Club" seemed perfect, and given that the dead-tree edition always seems to be issued, I picked it up.
It has been three days and I find myself to be quite comfortable with the experience. The only irritant is that I cannot "see" the spellings. Isabel Dalhousie mentions many names, ranging from Scottish painters and poets to visitors and passers-by, and the Scottish names are hard to form in my head. Even simpler nicknames escape me - I found out from the link above that her niece was "Cat" and not "Kat" as I had imagined it. Did McCall Smith explain the name while introducing this character? You see, the other thing is that when a truck zips by with a vigorous honk, some words do get muffled. But I had chosen such a book where it would be possible to interpolate the story under such travel conditions.
The biggest plus is that, thanks to the excellent reading by Phyllis Logan, I get to hear a variety of Scottish accents. I am very interested and even fond of these accents, so it's a huge plus.