22 July 2015

Audio books and character clash

My blog readers will recall I mostly read fiction. I have in recent years disciplined myself to read more nonfiction, so I'll often read a nonfiction and a fiction book at the same time. I have almost never read two fiction books at the same time.

My brother last year got me onto audiobooks after a long time of not listening. I don't know why I quit doing audio books. It might have been the move overseas and no free ones hanging around at the library.

So my first audiobook in about 10 years was Steve Martin's Born Standing Up which he reads himself. I think I've listened to 13 audio books in less than a year. Clearly I'm back on the bankwagon. I found a way to check them out from my home library in Overland Park, KS even though I'm in Spain which is a huge boon, but also accidentally signed up for an audible account so you get your "free books" for having an account. This is actually you buying books because you pay for an account. At  first I randomly picked things but after a while I realized that I need to get the most financially out of the credits they give you.

I had wanted to read ebook or audio a biographical look at the letters of Van Gogh (a much more intellectual endeavor than normal!) This book in any form was expensive. I realized I could get it with one of my "free credits" and so I went audio. A very good read if you are interested in art, creativity, Vincent or the time period in the art world. Dear Theo by Irving and Gene Stone.

I usually do one audio book which the first few months on this new kick were all autobiograhical or nonfiction mostly. Somehow a couple weeks ago, accidentally, I started a fiction ebook from the library and I started an audio fiction book also from the library at the same time. It was not a conscious decision it just happened. I was struggling figuring out what I wanted to read at the moment. I'd started a book that while well written I had to put down --  the fishing theme was not engaging me.

So both of the new borrowed books were very compelling plots, both had main male protagonists. So I read about 10 chapters of the ebook and then got a massive migraine that drug on for days. I love audio books for this. I can put the volume where it doesn't trouble my head and I can keep my eyes closed. It also distracts me from the pain, so it's a great way to pass a couple hours lying down that aren't going to be sleep anyway. I'd started the audio book while cooking so I was a little ways into it at the same time as the ebook.

I burned thru King of Lies by John Hart on the audiobook quickly because one-it was a compelling good "read" and two-the migraine had me on the floor in front of the portable a/c unit for several evenings in a row. Enjoyed it. 

Migraine was gone and the audiobook over, so I went back to the ebook. The Kind Worth Killing, Peter Swanson. A very compelling plot, very. But I found myself attributing the motivations of the main character from the King of Lies audio book to this protagonist. I'd say to myself, "But he won't follow thru because this guy is so paralyzed by life…"  and then I'd realize it was the other book I was thinking of.

I'm not sure what it says aout my mind that I interchanged these, but a major plot twist took place in the ebook that has eliminated that little problem. I found it very interesting to see how the audio and ebook mixed with the characters in my mind. I imagine it won't stop me listening and reading willy-nilly but I might think twice next time or chose wildly different themes.