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Do you listen, or just read?

When we were on strike two years ago, several of my colleagues listened as they walked - podcasts, audiobooks - but when I tried it, I couldn't focus on the storyline, so I chose to just walk and talk instead.

Fast-forward to this year, and the latest version of the "26 books with Bringing up Burns" reading challenge... one of this year's prompts was "a book you listen to". So I tried it again.  I couldn't get a paper copy for last month's book club choice, so I borrowed the audiobook from the library, and tried listening again.  I found it went well if I was listening while doing another task, like washing the dishes or folding laundry, and I was able to do lesson planning but not marking with a story running through my headphones.  It was slow going until I found I could make it go faster - 1.25 speed sounds a little more robotic, but it sure cuts on listening time.  I actually finished listening to that book as I drove to the book club meeting - finished with 10 minutes to spare.

It was a lighter read than the one I'd tried on the picket line - marketed as a "beach read" set mostly on Nantucket Island.  I didn't have to listen too closely to pick up details; the plot was easy enough to follow until the recipes started showing up.  Each chapter was from the point of view of a different character, but the narrator remained the same for all, which I think was good.  I've since listened to another book (I'm finding I prefer a story to the news and opinions on my favourite talk radio station on the drive home), and that narrator changed her voice to indicate character changes...which was a bit odd.  I could have followed it without the weird voices.

So, now that it's March Break, and I have some time to read, maybe some of the rest of my time will be taken up listening, too...


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