Friday, December 22, 2006

Can you write a little louder, my hearing isn't that great

Ever audiobook? You know, listen to a recording of a book being read.

I was never a big fan, but my iPod - Boris the Black - has helped make a fan of me. Boris likes the idea of just playing for long periods of time without me messing about with him to pick different stuff.

Anyway, Boris and I have been on a bit of an audiobook spree of late. We've been through Robert Ludlum's, The Ambler Warning, and Neal Stephenson's, Snow Crash, of late. The Ludlum book would have been better to read - it would have taken me a third of the time - but it was entertaining.

Snow Crash, on the other hand, was great. Snow Crash is a great book to start with. My friend Josh gave it to me to read a long time ago and it took me forever to get past the first chapter. Once I did, it was amazing. Hearing it read reminded me how truly groundbreaking some of the ideas in it were for when it was written. He really nailed a lot of our current technology and computer trends. If you haven't read it, you can't really be considered a cybergeek and we all know how cool it is to be a cybergeek.

I've also been listening to Immersion German off and on. It's just German conversations done at normal speed and then slower and then normal again. The only English is a brief introduction at the start of each one to set the scene - basically, 'Gunter and Heidi are at home. Gunter is watching the end of a soccer match and they are trying to decide what kind of food they're in the mood for and what restaurant to go to...' Of course, I can't understand much of it, but that's sort of the point. You just listen to it over and over and it begins to make sense. A bit like learning language as a kid.

Anyway, the other day I downloaded another cool book, The Areas of My Expertise. It's free at right now and is pretty darn funny - in an offbeat sort of way. It's by John Hodgman. You probably know him as PC in the 'get a Mac' commercials.

I got the link from my good buddy Neil Gaiman who said, "You need this free audiobook. If you think you don't, you are wrong. Trust me. It's funny. Also, it's free."

Okay, that's sort of a lie. I don't even know Neil Gaiman - I've only been to his website. He is responsible for the bold statement though and he's right about the audiobook. You can follow this Boing Boing link to the audiobook on iTunes.

Anyway, the audiobooks have been keeping me entertained during the long hours of work tedium and boy does that make me happy. And, it's keeping Boris happy too which is always a bonus. But, I do have the hankering to sit down and do some reading. I'll never get tired of flipping through real pages in the wee hours of the morning and not getting enough sleep because the book was just too good to put down.


Laura said...

I was never able to get into audiobooks, I think for the same reason I dislike talk radio - it's distracting unless it has my absolute full attention. At which point, if I'm putting my full attention to a book, I may as well read it.

John loves them though, he listens while he works. I just can't do that. Sometimes I wish I could.

Happy Solstice!

tshsmom said...

Audiobooks are fine for those times when your eyes and hands are occupied with other tasks. But, audiobooks just don't have the smell and feel of books.

SME said...

Richard and I both dig the audiobooks on long roadtrips. It's the ONLY way to make it across the prairies with kids under 13, without losing most of your mind.
I love Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. BTW, I found Watchmen but haven't been able to unearth The Invisibles yet. I won't give up. They're around here somewhere.

Anyway, stopped by to wish you and yours the best Christmas ever!

tshsmom said...

Merry Christmas Shawn!!
I hope your parents are up to celebrating. ;)

Wendy said...

Merry Christmas!!

Melissa said...

Jeez. Now I want an Ipod and that audiobook. I am a geek I swear! Just a cheap and sometimes patient geek.

I suppose I will have to wait until next October for them to release the new, true video ipod, that cnet always speaks of. Well, writes of.

Hope Santa was good to you!

thephoenixnyc said...

I've never done an audi book, but am making a point of downloadinga few for my IPOD this year.

I am trepeditious about it because to me a book is the most sacred object on Earth.

Miranda said...

I just got my first Audiobook for Christmas. Like you, I never used to care for the idea, but it's a bit easier than real reading these days!

I love your Ipod's name. It sounds like it has a mustache.

*passes you some toffee* Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

SME said...

Happy New Year!

Miranda said...

I hope you and your family are well this New Year's day. Take care, Shawn.