Daily Archives: June 21, 2010

My first audiobook, or re-reading Harry Potter

Audiobook Week is hosted by Devourer of Books (Click on the image to be redirected)

I was nervous about audiobooks. Would I be able to follow the story when someone is reading it to me, instead of looking at the letters myself? What would happen if I got distracted? Would it mean that I’d end up rewinding every five minutes?

In order to get used to the format and explore whether I would be able to follow a story in audio, I decided to reread Harry Potter in audiobook format. I knew the story having read it several times, but wouldn’t mind hearing it again. It was a wise choice, I think. However, it did take me 4 months to actually finish the book. Why? Because I only listened to it when I went running. And so this post leads to the shameful admittance of my lack of motivation to actually go running. Not that I didn’t love listening to an audiobook while running, it actually makes me at least consider going running more often, which is a rare feat.

All in all, I did enjoy my first audiobook experience. There is something soothing about having someone narrate a story to you. I can imagine myself lying in bed and listening to a story. It feels a little like going back to those times when my mother used to read to me before I went to sleep, but without the embarrassing experience of actually feeling like a child again or having your mother there when you go to sleep as an adult. And really, I found that I didn’t get distracted much while listening to the book. I did rewind a few times, but that was mostly when I ran across a building site and couldn’t hear the story for all the noise on the streets.

I have never listened to an audiobook in bed however. And this is where my uncertainty with audiobooks comes in: I have yet to get comfortable with the format. When I have time to read, I rarely think of listening to an audiobook. I do often think about when I could listen to one: while ironing, while doing the dishes, instead of watching a movie late at night. Maybe Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone - J.K. Rowling &  Stephen FryI should try to get over my hesitation and make a little more effort? I really would like to read more books in audio and I loved reading Harry Potter in this format, so that should provide some extra motivation.

As for the book itself, I absolutely loved it. There is something about hearing one of your favourite stories narrated by Stephen Fry. To be honest though, I would probably have loved any narrator with an English accent (yes, I am an anglophile like that). I think it added a lot to my enjoyment of the story. And I will be sure to read the second, third & etcetera books in the series in audio some time.

Also, I rediscovered so much to love about Harry Potter. I had forgotten all about the gentleness of the first books in the series. I re-experienced all the surprises of the magical world right along with Harry, even if it was the 7th or so time that I read The Philosopher’s Stone. And can I just say how much I fell in love with Dumbledore again? I never quite remembered his silliness in the first few books because of all the drama in the latter ones.