I’m not sure when it happened. Probably about a year or two ago. I decided that I was finished with reading and that I would only listen to audio books for the rest of my life. What prompted this decision was anger at all the fake book reviews on Amazon. It seemed like everywhere I looked, except for the classics, I would read reviews like, “This book changed my life!” and “I wouldn’t be where I am today without this book.” When I got to “The pages of this book are wet from my tears.” I gave up. I determined that any and every single newer book on Amazon has an army of fake reviewers at the ready to trick and deceive. This is only my personal opinion, of course.
The problem was that I would buy books based on good reviews. I can remember getting almost all the way through Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” before I told myself that I had enough of the “go nowhere” story. Then, after about half of Dan Simmons’ “Hyperion,” which was awesome to start out with, I had to put it down. Even video reviews on Youtube seemed like they were somehow fake. Not everyone’s life can be changed from a book. There were simply too many people out there with the same sentiment. So that’s when I gave up on wasting my money. Plus, I discovered that by reading only the negative reviews after I had read the book, I’d find which ones were actually accurate. I agreed with almost all the negative ones. That’s depressing. One theme among these types of reviews went like this; “I wanted to love this book, just as so many of the good reviewers said they did…”
The reason I switched over to audio books is because, on Audible.com, you can return a book if you don’t like it. I thought that was perfect for me because of my apparent finicky personality. In the beginning, the audio books I listened to were awesome. I listened to a bunch of Star Wars ones, such as the “Darth Bane” series, that I really enjoyed. I also listened to “Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss, which is probably my favorite book to date. “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë and narrated by Thandie Newton was untouchable. Thandie Newton is probably the best narrator on the planet, which is probably much of the reason I loved this book so much. The audio book thing was really working out.
I found two huge benefits to listening to audio books. First, I could listen to them via my tablet in the car on the way to Jiu-Jitsu class. Because I was listening during my off-time, I could actually get more done. Also, I’m sure the narrator of these books reads faster than I do. I’m a very slow reader, and larger books take me forever to read.
The problems I found with this medium are definitely there. Through Audible.com, you get charged $15 per month and get one free book per month. The problems arise when you haven’t finished a very long book, such as “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand, and the credits keep piling up. The credits last in your account for only six months, so if they start to pile up, you begin to lose them. I didn’t like that at all.
Secondly, I did a lot of my listening in bed before I fell asleep at night. As Laura would sit there and read, I’d place my headphones over my ears and somehow ignore her until she turned the light off and did her own thing. I didn’t like that either. In the car is one thing, but totally ignoring someone at night is another.
Finally, I began noticing that I was falling asleep while listing to the audio books. This wasn’t a problem at the beginning, but as the months rolled on, I found that I’d listen to one page and sleep through three chapters. That was highly annoying.
Because of these things, I’ve decided to give up on audio books and head back to paper ones. This time though, I want to do things differently. I want to read like an adult and read books that I can collect and keep forver. With this in mind, I recently purchased a hardcover version of “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas.
As I mentioned above, the classic books on Amazon seem to have legitimate reviews. The only thing people try to sell is which translation is better. For this latest purchase, I deduced that people really liked the Robin Buss translation. I also liked the look of the Penguin Classics hardcover, so I thought this would be a good place to start my collection. I have my fingers crossed that this new idea is going to work out.
By the way, if you don’t know anything about “The Count of Monte Cristo,” Take a look at the movie trailer on Youtube. I don’t use the word “epic,” ever, but that’s the only word I could think of after watching it. Incredible.
In closing, I’d like to say that the log cabin room remodeling is finally coming along. I’ve finished all the drywall and painting and I even installed a very nice floor. Take a look at our cat sleep on the sunny spot this morning.
Redoing this room was another motivator for buying and reading really nice books. The next step at finishing the room is to add trim and shelves all over the place. It’s on these shelves that I’ll store my book collection. Just ask Laura, I’m very excited about this.
Until next time, thanks for reading!