A Love Letter To Audio Books

by Katy on November 28, 2009 · 13 comments

Hello there, you silver tongued devil. Your sensual whisperings compel me to fold that extra load of laundry, walk that extra mile, rake both back and front yards. Without you, the silence of taskery folds me into its dull realm, smothering me second by never ending second. Your stories flow through me, transporting me to worlds more interesting than that which float in dishwater.

Others may download you directly onto their iPods, but my outdated CD Walkman works perfectly well to bring you into my heart.

Some use you for motivational and self-help pursuits, but my needs are less serious and more joyful. British chick-lit, historical fiction and anything with the words Jane or Austen fill my innermost realms.

Some may say I’m not actually reading when you and I meet up for our literary trysts, but I beg to differ. We have nothing to hide. Our connection is deep and auditory, soaking deeply into my brain despite having never passed through my vision.

Your stories never seem to dry up. Randomly pulled from the library shelf or long awaited bestsellers, either way you always deliver the goods.

Soothing yet energizing all at once.

So thank you sweet, sweet audio books. Your words lift me beyond the sameness of household drudgery and into the lives of characters that enrich and entrance.

You had me at disc one.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Click here to read my other love letters.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela November 28, 2009 at 8:41 am

We love Jane Austen too – the BBC have recently had a new adaptation of Emma on tv which we enjoyed. A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to visit the house she lived in near Alton, Hampshire, UK for the day and it was very beautiful and humble for someone so well loved and renowned to this day.


Lisa November 28, 2009 at 9:39 am

Ah Katy… What wonderful love letters! I’m legally blind so have relied on audio books for nearly all of my reading for years. Love them! And I love my cast iron cookware and tap water and all that you have written about. Keep it up!


Angela November 28, 2009 at 11:56 am

I LOVE your love letters!

To the other Angela- we visited Jane Austen’s home while we were in England last summer. We also were struck by the humble surroundings. My husband told me he was moved when he saw me tear up in front of her writing table, and that he saw several other women do the same.

Some of my favorite audio books: The Poisonwood Bible, anything by David Sedaris, Dreams of my Father.


magdalena November 28, 2009 at 6:41 pm

I used to listen to audio books while ironing, but my ironing chores are a lot less these days. And you can borrow audio books from many libraries! I remember listening to Janes Harriot in particular, but also love Jane Austen.


marianne November 28, 2009 at 7:00 pm

i used to listen to audio books on my long drive to work. it made the boring traffic so much more exciting.


fairy dust November 28, 2009 at 7:19 pm

One of the most wonderful, luscious voices on audiobooks is Tim Curry’s. If you ever have a chance and haven’t heard him, take a listen – it will be a most pleasureable experience 🙂


Melissa November 28, 2009 at 9:33 pm

Thank you so much for this love letter! As a public librarian, I frequently tell people of the joys of audio books. When I feel like the news is bogging me down, there is nothing that cheers me up more than a good romp through time via audio. If you don’t mind a little bodice ripping, I highly recommend Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation series. Regency period historical fiction with espionage and romance…what can be better?


AJ in AZ November 29, 2009 at 11:41 am

I do also truly love audio books. I choose books to listen to that I often would never sit down and read, and listen to them on my one-hour commute to work. I am actually thinking about a better job another half hour away and would spend the extra time on the road happily listening to my audio books. I never buy them either, but pluck them off the shelf at the local library.


Kathy November 29, 2009 at 1:20 pm

I love, love, LUV audiobooks!!!!!


A. Marie November 29, 2009 at 5:25 pm

First, a couple of questions for Katy: (1) Are you a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA)? (2) If not, consider joining (go to http://www.jasna.org for details)? JASNA’s next Annual General Meeting is going to be in Portland in October 2010–and, believe me, the AGM is as much fun as you can have with a Regency (or at least thrift-shopped Regency-style, which is what I wear to the Ball) gown on!

Second, on audio books: I’ve always resisted these, because I’m very impatient of being read to. However, Lisa’s comment (thank you, Lisa) reminds me that I’d better check out a few from my local library and start getting used to them. In the last few years of my mother’s life, audio books were very helpful to her–and it looks as if I may have inherited the condition that left her legally blind in those years.


Karen November 29, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Audiobooks rock! My husband has to spend a lot of time driving to various parts of the state for his job, and I try to keep him stocked up with his fav authors. He loves anything historical, esp with a British setting, so our library has been a lifesaver. Right now he is listening to Brideshead Revisited, narrated by Jeremy Irons, another actor with amazing tone quality in his voice. I agree with fairy dust that Tim Curry’s is just wonderful!


Kris-ND November 30, 2009 at 9:04 am

Ahhh, a post after my own heart! I am an audiobook fanatic! I am a reading nut, but I could easily spend an entire day goofing off with a book. That is not good for anybody in my family 😉 Audiobooks not only allow me to get the reading fix, but has actually pushed me into a more productive lifestyle. It is easier to stomach exercising, cleaning house, and the most dreaded filing paperwork, if you have a good book to listen to you.

I have cassettes, CD’s, MP3 cd’s and my library has a program called NetLibrary that allows you to download hundreds, probably thousands of library audiobooks in every genre.


Pat November 30, 2009 at 2:29 pm

I love them too! They keep me company while doing dishes in the evening, cooking, sewing, taking walks, etc. I listened to Bill Bryson’s “Thunderbolt Kid” while walking and I would often have to stop (walking) because I would be laughing so hard! I’m sure people driving past me must have thought I was nuts. My favorite reader is John McDonough. He read all of the Mitford series books by Jan Karon and introduces many of the Recorded Books.


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