What do you get when you cross a socially awkward book blogger with a book-worshipping tech geek? Brilliant ideas, that’s what! (What, you thought I was going to make a joke? Pfft.)
My friend Tanya and I were discussing the deteriorating quality of life, you know, as one does; and we decided that our lives would be much improved if they included more reading. And we also felt like they’d be further improved if they included more reading together.
Tanya thought that we should read an audiobook together. I, of course, was hesitant. I’m a purist. If your eyes aren’t bloodshot and you aren’t hugging a book (Or Kindle: I’m not that much of a purist) and rocking in silent agony, are you really, truly reading?
Tanya finally bribed me with something that she knew can never fail to work on me: Beautiful British voices. She told me we could listen to any one of the Harry Potter books of my choice and she reminded me that Stephen Fry, the most delightful actor/writer/multi-talented human being alive, reads them out. I was sold. I’d get to listen to Stephen Fry be J.K. Rowling!
I chose Goblet of Fire, which is my favourite Harry Potter book for several, well thought-out, highly boring reasons that I won’t get into and we were ready to dive in! Sort of.
We had to figure out the when’s, where’s and how’s. The how’s were particularly bamboozling. We ended up Skyping with each other and staring at each other’s faces the entire time as we listened to the audio book. Tanya even had headphones over her earphones so she could hear me and her audio book at the same time.
Honestly, for me, Stephen Fry’s voice overshadows the book a bit. I think that’s likely because I’ve read the book several hundred times before. He does excellent voices for each of the characters and he truly makes the book come alive. I spent a lot of time going into ecstacies over the way he says “broomstick” instead of focussing on the book.
On the other hand, Stephen Fry’s voice several lines from the book into fresh emphasis, lines that I’d forgotten about because I was so absorbed in the plot. It reminded me that J.K.’s not just a fabulous storyteller, she’s also a brilliant writer.
We’re still reading the book, part of it alone and parts of it over Skype again. The Skype bit was awkward but it was worth it to see Tanya smile and look worried at all the right parts and to have someone to snort-laugh with at all the hilarious bits.
This is the first time in a while that I’ve read (listened to?) Harry Potter. I think it might even be the first time I’ve read it as an adult. This time around, my heart ached worse than ever for Harry and for small orphan children suffering everywhere. Reading children’s books as an adult is always a bittersweet experience, isn’t it?
Maybe I’ll do more posts about this reread of Harry Potter if I have more things to say. However, I’ll admit this much: this experience definitely has made me more open-minded towards audiobooks. I didn’t think anything could make Harry Potter better but Stephen Fry’s exquisite voice has.
Does anyone else read audiobooks? Has anyone else read the Harry Potter ones? Does anyone else want to cuddle with Stephen Fry’s voice? Let me know in the comments!