After my last post about my run-in with a flock of birds, I started feeling some regret about how I chose to introduce myself to what I can only be thankful is not a vast readership. Certainly, when I first contemplated writing a blog, I had no intentions of sharing personal experiences of public humiliation or using this platform to vent my anger towards birds. This was supposed to be a blog about my knitting and sewing endeavours with a few observations thrown in about the world of knitting and the "slow" movement.
Which leads me to my topic for today's post: audiobooks.
If you haven't guessed already, I am fond of a long, convoluted, and often awkward sentence construction. Or, I presume I am because I have a hard time writing a sentence any other way. My writing on the whole exhibits the same characteristics and not surprisingly, so does the typical line of reasoning I follow in my head. So to me, audiobooks makes reasonably good sense whereas you are wondering how I got there. Let's see if I can explain during the time it takes me to finish my coffee.*
To begin with, the birds of Toronto and I have a bit of history. I thought it was all ancient history by now, but I feel that this past week's events may have been a reminder that all is not forgotten. I'm going to skip over the details of this saga (strong language was used, lives were lost, and I discovered that words have power when you say them with enough conviction, so I try to keep my true thoughts to myself these days, at least in regards to birds).
Moving right along. My uneasy relationship with birds brings to mind a character in a Neil Gaiman book who also has bird troubles. (I have been devouring Neil Gaiman's entire oeuvre for the last year because I can't get enough of it. I had never read The Sandman (I know!) but I might not have been in the right headspace for it when it was first published anyway. I'd like to say I was too young at the time but I think it'd be more accurate to say I was too ignorant to really appreciate it for more than the artwork. If I had read The Sandman in my formative years, I probably wouldn't have taken this long to discover all his other writing.) Anyhow, the character I referred to is Fat Charlie, the protagonist in Anansi Boys (2006). The story is highly entertaining (if it's your sort of thing) but what's even better is the audiobook version read by actor Lenny Henry.** Easily, this audiobook is one of my top three favourites of the many, many audiobooks I've listened to. It is one of those rare instances were I have found the audio version to actually outdo its already excellent source material. (Incidentally, I'm not necessarily recommending this title to you. Neil Gaiman's audience is vast but he isn't for everyone. And just as I would never presume to tell you what to knit, I would also never presume to know your literary or listening tastes. That, and I am never comfortable being to blame for any recommendation that doesn't go over well. I'm that person who is "good with any restaurant you choose", and silently praying, please, please, do not say you are good with anything too.)
So I've managed to get to audiobooks before the end of the last paragraph but why does it have anything to do with a blog that is allegedly about knitting and other sundry crafts? You might have guessed it by now because I'm not the only knitter who figured out that an audiobook is a superb accompaniment to pursuits that require your hands but not a whole lot of your brain--particularly if it's a pursuit that some might not deem a good use of your time or one you might feel guilty about having started instead of dinner. Throw on an audiobook and suddenly, knitting endless rows of garter stitch doesn't feel like time spent poorly. Audiobooks elevate an experience; ironing is no longer pure drudgery, weaving in tails on a complex intarsia blanket becomes something to look forward to. Yes, in an ideal world, I would read a book instead of listening to a narration of it. I get so much more out of actually reading words on a page because my attention is undivided and there is just something about encountering the words visually that adds another dimension to the experience--for me, at least. Yet, for the past several years, most of my book consumption has been of the audio kind.
You'd think in the hundreds of hours I had spent listening to audiobooks, I could have sewn a patchwork cosy for my house and probably still had time leftover to yarn bomb the big oak tree out back, but sadly, my nearly mindless work in recent years has not required the use of knitting needles or sewing machines and it still doesn't. Nonetheless, I think I'm going to get crazy this weekend and sit down with some knitting, turn on Something Fresh by P.G. Wodehouse, and ignore everything else for (most of) a day.
*I can say, without telling a lie, that I finished this entire post before I finished the coffee. Which will sound much less impressive when you find out that I forgot to put the coffee on altogether. And that my attempt at editing ended up being a two-cup process later on in the day. Hopefully I caught more of my errors in this post than I did in the first and second.
**Neil Gaiman himself is also a gifted narrator. I wish all authors could narrate their own audiobooks because some of the performances I've half-heartedly endured probably ruined reasonably good stories. But I'll never know because even if there ever was a chance that I would have read the Jason Bourne series, there is certainly none now.