Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On being read to...

Yesterday, on the way down to see my mother (just over an hour's drive on the highway) I started listening to the audio book of  Sue Monk Kidd's "The Mermaid Chair."
Lovely book. When I got home last night I was reluctant to stop, I wanted to go driving on into the night, being read to.

For some time I tried to bluff that my decor for it was the "distressed look" but it had gone from being distressed to being in downright agony and shrieking "torture!" and it was time to bite the bullet again. I'd already spend several weekends on it and this was a long weekend — Monday was a public holiday. Everyone else I knew was going away on the last long weekend before winter, but my only plans involved getting this wretched job finished, if it killed me

I made my usual visit to the library during the week and the audio book section caught my eye. There was a book by a favorite author on it that I hadn't read. I checked the catalogue, and all the books by her were out, so I looked at the audio version and thought, why not?

By the end of the weekend, the vestibule was all done, and I'd even managed to wash down the wall in preparation for the undercoat of sealing paint. And although my arms and shoulders were aching, I didn't feel as though I'd passed a weekend in endless drudgery, I felt instead as though I'd been naughty and spent an entire weekend reading. It was wonderful. 

The following weekend I listened to more books as I painted. The surface was still so bad a normal coat of paint would show up every faint pock mark, so I ragged it (painted on the paint roughly and while it was still wet, blotted it with a rag) and I really loved the textured result. That's it behind the tulips.

The most fantastic thing was that the nasty, dreary job not only had a great outcome, but that I'd felt like I'd been given a treat by having all those books read to me. And because the selection isn't huge in my library, I tried some authors new to me and found some I really liked.

So now, whenever I have a mundane household task to do — cleaning out cupboards or regrouting tiles or whatever, I grab an audio book. My hands are perfectly capable of carrying on and getting the job done while my brain is in the world of the book.

And lately, as I've been driving down to see Mum more often, the stories not only make the time fly, they're a comfort. These days I'm not so impatient and it's such a treat to be read to.

So what about you? Do you like to listen to audio books or have someone read to you? Or if you still prefer to do it all yourself, where's your favorite place to read?