I've been a big fan of audio books for a long time. Not only do they allow you to do other tasks at the same time -?driving, cleaning or just about anything - there's that whole element of voice acting contributed by the narrator.
We started a great story on our trip to Missouri over the Christmas holiday. Larry downloaded "Gregor the Overlander,"?written by Suzanne Collins, the author of "The Hunger Games,"?series. The story surrounded Gregor, a New York City kid and his little sister, Boots, who fall through an air vent into a strange and sometimes scary new world underground.
The cool thing about this book was that it kept us all captivated. It's probably classified as a young adult series, but in any case, it wasn't too mature for Daniel or too juvenile for Mom and Dad.
It was a long story, so we didn't quite get it finished up on the trip. Last Saturday afternoon, however, we plugged the mp3 player into some speakers and continued right where we left off. It helped make the cleaning projects I had planned go a little more smoothly. Daniel didn't seem to mind the chores very much and I heard him chuckle every once in a while when the narrator used a funny voice or tossed off an amusing line.
We finally all collapsed in the living room, chores completed, but not wanting to walk away from this fun story. If you haven't read the book, I think you will find that it is very much like Harry Potter in that the central character, a pre-teen boy, much test his bravery, grit and determination while helping to save those close to him.
We've been listening to audio books for many years, especially on long car trips. With iffy radio signals in rural areas, the books were a natural to pass the time. The first one we ever listened to was called "The Face in the Frost."?It was a fantasy book about wizards. But the big difference in those early books - they were on cassette tapes. In this case, nine to be exact. It's so much easier now with digital downloads. We can fit it all on a smart phone or mp3 player.
These types of books will never replace the paper variety for me. I still love the feel of the crisp pages in my fingers. I still like having the choice as to whether a sneak a peek at the ending, go back and read a particular section. That's a little more difficult to do with recorded books.
So now we're on the hunt for the next in the series of the Underland Chronicles. There are four more books apparently so we have plenty more opportunities to follow the adventures of Gregor and Boots.
I can't think of a better way to spend an weekend afternoon than curled up with a cup of coffee, my two favorite guys, the fur boys snoozing at our feet and a great audio book weaving a wonderful yarn for us all.