I Love Doing It…


…online, tongue to ear, tale to eye, and if I were competent with my fingers, I would do it under the sheets, in the dark, with my eyes closed and the most satisfied of grins on my face.

I just love words. Reading is sexy. I do it a lot… And then I read. Like others before me, I, too, pledge to read everything, printed or not.

I usually read (or listen to) two books (not at the same time, of course): one on my Kindle or iPod Nano and the other in print. I listen to stories like other people listen to music. Just last month, I did laundry with A Dyeing Shame, cooked with Practical Magic, and cleaned the floors while Melissa MarrGraveminder whispered all her secrets in my ear. Then I went to bed with a deliciously dark copy of Twenty Original Tales of Vampiric Erotica—I have a big bed ;-)

To me, every reading experience is enjoyably in its own way. I know there are people who can’t concentrate on listening to a book while doing something else, but I’m lucky enough to have no problem with it. Since I got my Kindle, I have been able to read/listen to 3-5 books a week; sometimes more. Before text-to-speech was an option, my max was one pleasure book a week, maybe two if I had a particularly long commute and no work I could do on the go.

This word-loving rant has a point, I promise… You see, I got into an argument with a friend over the value of audiobooks and ebooks. He said, “Stories lose value when they are narrated. And that electronic reader text-to-speech feature is an aberration.”

In my most polite voice, I told him, “You’re so full of shit.”

Seriously, my Wicked Luvs, I understand preferring a particular container for one’s words, but saying that a story “loses value” just because it goes from paper to pixel or to voice is not just untrue but it’s also insulting to the creator of the work. Yes, I love collecting paper books as much as the next reading addict does. However, what makes me go back to a book is not the presentation but the tale.

Do you enjoy ebooks, printed books, and audiobooks too? Or are you a printed-word-only kind of darling? If you answered yes to the latter, then how can you sleep at night knowing that you are yet to read “AlmaMia Cienfuegos”? Just kidding maybe ;-)


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44 comments:

  1. I enjoy stories of all kinds and in all forms...ebook, oral books and printed books whether in print of digital! I love books and stories and the places it takes me. I usually have two or three going at the same time.
    And I agree with you...he/she was so full of shit.
    Hugs from a fellow devourer of tales
    SueAnn

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    1. This "fellow devourer of tales" wishes she could hug you tight, my dear SueAnn. You know what? I think I might give myself a break from writing, today. I'm a bit ahead, so I will listen to and then read a few of my favorite short stories and thank technology and the bravery of authors and publishers for the gift of choices ;-)

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  2. You know, your comment reminded me my favoritwe movie for so long(when i was 17 i have already counted that i watched it over 50 times, the numbers have gone way higher since..)..You've got mail. There is a scene where a butterfly enters the subway and then gets out and that reminds her of something she has read in a book. God i love that movie!
    I have to admit, i can not listen to narrated books, just can't, something bugs me and whatever e books i have read, do not become a part of my soul the way the books usually do. There is something about the thrill of opening a new book and smelling it(yes, i do that, please do n't judge). Or finding a hidden treasure in a used books store. And although i prefer owning my books there is also something about a lazy afternoon in the library with all the wonderful options. It is not just that i prefer these ways,i really can not enjoy reading in a tablet or a cellphone, or a laptop(books, not blogs of course). Something keeps me from getting lost into the story! I dread the fact that maybe someday all books will be in electronic form.
    So, i understand your friend's point of view(passionate as it may have been) something gets lost this way for me to.

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    1. I understand you preferring paper over pixels. It's personal. As you say, you "can not listen to narrated books," but that doesn't mean that the story is less important. The issue is not the story, bu the fact that you can't find enjoyment in it--the tale remains the tale. You are attached to certain containers, but that is a personal choice and feeling. The content is the same.

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    2. Yes, of course the content is the same! The story does nt lose its value and the authors taht publish this way make an excellent choice, because this has made reading so convenient. But i think that many people, not just your friend can get so passionate about that issue,because of the fear(i am not sure how irrational it is) that we might lose something special. I have that fear(taht maybe in 2100 books will cease to get published in paper since there is the valid point of pollution) but i never thought the stories are less worthy. I just believe technology is a less romantic medium. I just remembered how much i love live narrations of poetry, i have been in so many. Or even children books narrations..they are so cute. It just feels different.

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    3. I don't criticize the fact that for you and others the stories lose "something" when told via medium. What bother's me is the fact that he said that the container takes value away from the story. That is nonsense. And to say that digital publishing and text-to-speech is less then professional is just a ridiculous notion.

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    4. what a nice discussion has taken place :) Greekwitch, I do understand your point of view, and I too get thrilled when seeing a cover of the book, smell it, open it, feel it with my fingers. However, electronic version of the books is not even losing its value, but is such a convenient way for me to read Russian literature here in India, as I don't have access to a Russian printed word. Secondly, it broadens your possibilities as a reader. I mean, I accept both printed and pixelated as Magaly said.
      And yea, the statement that you find hidden treasures in the printed books..it's true! Once I found a banknote worth 1000 rubles in a library book :)
      sorry, for a long comment, regarding listening to the books. It was a very helpful medium for my friend who had her lazer operation done on both eyes. We had to prepare for our exams and read loads of books, but she couldn't do it for a while as doctors prohibited, instead she was listening to the books :)

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    5. Once, I bought a old book at a garage sale for 25 cents, and then had appraised and it was worth a few hundred dollars. I was pretty proud of myself...

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  3. Ah, that's a complicated one. In the end it is the story that matters, but if the story is presented poorly, it loses something. I would not say that audiobooks or ebooks are worth less, but there are stories I did not finish because I could not stand the narrator or because their formatting was terrible.

    Regardless of how it is told, the creator of a story should make it easy for the recipient to enjoy the story.

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    1. It all comes down to choices. I, too, believe that the creator of a tale (or at least the story's distributor) should have as many formats available as possible. I understand you no liking certain narrators, there are some voices that are just not meant for reading (my might be one of those, I'm a terrible reader lol). Take this as an example, I don't like the feel of the paper in mass market paperbacks; the roughness of it makes me cringe. It might take me a bit longer than usual to finish a story because (go ahead and laugh) I spend a quarter of the time rubbing lotion on my hands. However, it is just a different experience. The same tale with a different scent to it, a new kind of thrill. Guess I'm a bit of an adventurer ;-)

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  4. I am absolutely floored that *anyone* would think that a story loses its' value once spoken. How the Hel did this person think that stories were originally told!?

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    1. I rest my case. I guess a few thousand years ago there would be a lot of people unable to enjoy a story. I've listened to the same story told by different people, each tone is an adventure, their gestures different vehicles through the world they describe...

      The same is true of paper boos, ebooks, audio books... for instance, I've experienced Terry Pratchett's Discworld in print, in digital format, through audio, and my goodness how I've loved each. I've enjoyed the satiric nectar that leaks out of the voice of the narrator, I've loved turning the thick pages of my hardback, and I've grinned at the link offered by the digital copies.

      In my mind, I've been able to enjoy the same story in new and delicious ways. So... if anything, different formats actually add more value ;-)

      I can't hardly wait for the holographic versions lol

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  5. I tried to read "Women Who Run with the Wolves" in print at least 3 times and just could NOT get through it. Then I listened to the audiobook version and the whole book just opened up for me! For whatever reason, I needed to HEAR that book, not SEE it. I listened to it twice!

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    1. There are books I enjoy more in one format than another, too. Harry Potter, Practical Magic, The Thirteenth Tale, and Can You Keep a Secret are a few examples. On the same note, I love, love, love reading horror in print; not quite sure why, maybe the thought of the pages biting my fingertips adds a bit of thrill ;-)

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  6. Nonsense! How does he think people heard stories before books! Stories were spoken.

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    1. I'm guessing mind-parchment lol.

      I could kiss you for the outrage I 'read' in your voice. I feel exactly the same way.

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  7. I adore being read to. So for me audio books are heaven. I can be crafting away and listening to something wonderful. It is the ultimate win/win. Almost a secret pleasure. And so do I love to read aloud to the fam. That is how we read Harry Potter together. We'd all gather together every night for half of forever and engaged in a joyous shared experience of that magic. I read aloud to the grands and SM on his days off at the breakfast table before they go off to school. The grands pick a book and we make our way through. Granted it may be a longer stretch to the end of the book but the shared experience of reading is almost holy.
    And I too love to just read, read, read....some experiences are better than others depending on the story but non the less. Oma Linda

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    1. I LOVE being read to. I can close my eyes, grin like a happy fool, and travel the world of the story in the chariot of someone else's voice. Perfect. I wish I could come and reread Harry Potter with you and the babes ;-)

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  8. You know, I'm on the other spectrum of things. I read paper because it's what I always did. But now even my mom (who is 66 and an avid reader) is reading e-bboks on her iPad, and I'm starting to feel like I need to be updated :)

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    1. At one point in my life the idea of reading anything other than the print word made me feel... strange. Just like the idea of a phone that wasn't attached to the wall. Now, they are both as natural (and necessary) for me as coffee as soon as I wake up: I can survive without them, but there will be a headache to suffer.

      I don't have an iPad, but my Kindle and I are very close. I also read a lot of short works online. I prefer my old Kindle for reading digital work because back lighted screens get my eyes tired. I write for hours and hours everyday, I save my eyes for that ;-)

      Hope your mom is into sharing!

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  9. I prefer audiobooks because I can listen and do other things. But all formats are perfectly fine to me.

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    1. Ditto. There is nothing cooler than listening to a good tale while I go around the house during what needs to be done. And for long drives? Yum! But like you, I love all media ;-)

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  10. I think I have told you before Magaly, that I am really not a reader, but I do read. If that makes sense? I love having a book in my hands, but then I am thinking, maybe I should try audio books?

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    1. I think audio books would be a great thing for a painter. You can listen to another world while you create yet another world ;-)

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  11. I hate to admit the only time I read is on vacation. I enjoy reading then, I can go through a book in 2-3 days, so I may finish 5 or 6 over the course of our respite....no computers, no guilt of doing "more" when camping out in the woods or sightseeing in new locales....

    At home, I'm just too caught up with, well, everything else to realx with a book. Sad but true.

    I've tried audio books in the past. I've got too much chatter in my head to be able to enjoy more words, I guess...haha!

    I bet you do look sexy curled up with a book :)

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    1. Oh, Mr. Konka (my ereader) and I have some serious sexy time under and over the sheets ;-)

      I understand not having time for certain things. It's my situation with music. I spend a lot of time without listening to the latest (or oldest) tunes, then when I have time I overdose on my favorite melodies.

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  12. So that's how you read so many books. I had wondered how you did it and still had time left over for life. I thought you might have somehow gotten Hermione's time turner, but I guess Kindles can also be magical. :)

    And I agree, stories do not lose value when they're turned into audiobooks. I guess they can sometimes lose a *little* something, like if there's a visual element to how the story is told (I've written about that before), but research has shown that listening to books is the same as reading. And I even know one series where I highly recommend the audiobooks over the printed books.

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    1. I was not supposed to tell anyone about the time turner! Now McGonagall is going to hiss at me *sigh*

      Yep, even when it comes to reading magic is just knowing (or doing) something other people don't do quite as well or as often. My Kindle and I have secrets lol

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  13. Everyone is trying to get me to get a Kindle and I just cannot seem to give up my love a "real" book! I love the feel, the smell and I'm fortunate to live in a city that still has book stores, one old stuffy one that I love and I love going into those stores.. What's your spin Mz. M? Are Kindles really all they're hyped up to be?? I just feel like for every Kindle sound an awesome, old stuffy book store closes it's doors.. :(

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    1. I don't think bookstores, particularly specialized ones, will ever disappear. I can tell you that one day I will have a tiny bookshop (I can already see people drinking tea and eating baked yumminess). It will cater to printed book and ereader lovers alike. I love my paper books. I have a beatup copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude that is nearly family. And I adore my Kindle. I talk to him (his name is Mr. Konka). The cover has coffee stains, a little scratches, it smells of lavender lotion from my hands and of cinnamon from me handling it while making oatmeal. When it comes to reading media, I'm totally polyamorous ;-)

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  14. I like to read physical books and also read them on my iPad (I have a Kindle app) but I haven't tried audio books yet. When I read physical books I "fall" into the story I'm reading. I think my hesitation might stem from the fear that if the narrator doesn't make me "feel" it, I won't be able to "fall".

    On the other hand, I've always read to my kids and now my friends. I do my best to get into character (changing my voice/attitude depending on who is talking) when I read, and my listeners enjoy that.

    I'll give audio books a try. I get free Kindle books all the time. Do you know of any free audio books out there?

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    1. I swim into stories with my eyes closed. Reading to myself, being read to live, and listening to an audio book are different experiences, but I LOVES them ALL!

      Hm... free audio books. I usually get them from the library. eNYPL has a finger-licking selection ;-) http://ebooks.nypl.org/A72D4D2C-752E-427C-A7FC-DE4E9029E7FB/10/257/en/Default.htm

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  15. You told him politely that he was full of shit? Hahahahahahahaha! Anyway, i happen to agree with you. I often listen to audio books aND the readers voice has a lot to due with it. My favourite male voice is Will Paton who reads James Lee Burke novels. He makes me positively swoon! My fav female reader is (forgot her name (Loreli King??) who does all of the voices on the Janet Evanovich novels. She is hysterical.

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    1. I've noticed that nothing compliments ludicrousness better than a serving of polite bullshit ;-)

      I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Lorelei King, Jim Dale, Emily Gray, Patrick Stewart, Bianca Amato, Fred Berman... okay, I'm going to stop. Guess I love quite a bit of them lol

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  16. I love reading. I am so glad I have found time again. I am currently reading Twilight. Waiting for Shadow of Night to go on paper back. Then I want to read Beautiful Creatures and I still have Killing Lincoln to reading. I thinking reading on the Kindle is great I just downloaded that prequel you recommended um Grimm Diaries Happy Valentine's Slay. Can't wait to read that one. :)

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    1. Beautiful Creatures, yum! I just added it to my TBR list. I've seen the movie posters and I love the visual.

      Hope you enjoy Happy Valentine's Slay. I just made some tea and will drink up my copy ;-)

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    2. Ya, The movie looks great. I want to see it. Ya I hope i like it. We will see. I will let you know what I think of Happy Valentine's Slay. :)

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  17. I pledge to read anything with words, regardless of the format, though I am a bit slow as I tend to savor a good story, stop to repeat a particularly good sentence or scene, and sometimes contemplate on the characters. I am about to admit a dark and embarrassing truth. I have never used my voice feature on my Kindle. There, I've said it. ;-) I want to use it, I think about using it, but I haven't taken the few extra minutes it takes to know HOW to use it. LOL. Oh, you know I have read "AlmaMia Cienfuegos: a Story of Blood, Scars and Nightmares", and delighted in every deliciously wicked word. Have a beautiful week, my wicked beauty. Mina

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    1. No shame in that. Many people can't stand the robotic voice. I've gotten used to it, and I swear that know I love it lol. So you might like it, or not. But audio books... yum!

      And I'm so glad you enjoyed AlmaMia's tale. I'm currently working on more... ;-)

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  18. The read aloud function on a Mac (How I miss my Mac) works nicely for reading back manuscripts. Because it bases its intonation on the punctuation, you can hear punctuation errors and other mistakes that might escape proof reading. Besides, it's very soothing to have a story read to you. Teachers and preachers do it. Mothers and Lovers.

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    1. Finally! Someone who understand why I love my Kindle text-to-speech so much. It is a great editing tool for my own stuff, too ;-)

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  19. I'll say that I don't like being read to, for some reason I can't process it. I blame my mom and all the smoking and drinking she had me to in the womb. I can't get my husband to understand that, he's always reading me things and then I have no idea what he's talking about. But if you like the text to speech, then by all means use it and enjoy it. It's not like you are illiterate and avoiding reading. You are trying to get your reading in while doing all the mundane crap that keeps all of us from curling up with a book all day long. lol I say enjoy it how you can get it.

    I love my Kindle, and I adore printed books. I'll take my books anyway I can get them. I will admit, I've read a printed book and been dismayed that I couldn't get the definition of a word just by touching it - lol.

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    1. As long as I love the word, who cares how they are presented. Works for me.

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