I have a long road trip next week and that means one thing — time to go to the local library and pick out a book on tape. Yeah, I know; two big issues: Why am I not doing a better job of supporting fellow writers by BUYING the book on tape, and why am I listening when I should be reading?
Well, as to the first concern, they’ve really got to lower the price on audio books. Seriously. Furthermore, the disincentive for buying them is that A) if you want to lend them out to friends, a lot of people turn up their noses at them B) they look like crap on your home library shelf and C) if you want to reference a section or a phrase, it’ll take you a year to find it.
On the other hand, I do not have a snobbery issue with books on tape. For one thing, State Policemen throughout our great nation appreciate that I am listening to Alan Alda or Martha Plympton recite something, rather than seeing me trying to drive while reading a book.
In addition to that, some of these voice artists are quite talented. Not all of them, mind you, but a lot of them. Some of the ones who do all the various character voices themselves can be unbelievably bad, and I scratch my head wondering how they got hired and keep getting hired.
Look, I’m a music lover. For short hops to the supermarket or the mall, nothing beats some tunes to sing along with on the car stereo. But when I’m behind the wheel of a car for more than 2 straight hours, I’ve got to have a book on tape.