Have you ever heard an author read their own book?
Whether live or recorded, it’s a wonderful experience. I’ve had the opportunity to hear a few authors live, including Patrick Rothfuss, and I’ve begun seeking audiobooks read by the author.
Why do I do this? Why is this a great thing?
Because, as Neil Gaiman said in an interview after the audiobook recording of Stardust, you get to hear the words as they are heard in author’s head. You get to hear names, ideas, phrases, as they sound in the author’s mind, as they were initially imagined.
The story takes a new shape. The characters, for me, become more real and lifelike as their creator shares their thoughts, words, and actions.
Just as when you were a child and listened to stories read aloud, listening to an audiobook is a creative, wondrous experience. It’s very different from reading the words with your eyes. After the words filter through your ears, you are reading them with your imagination. You don’t have time to think about the words, the spelling, the layout, the length of the paragraph. You only get to taste the words as they form images in your mind.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go find more Neil Gaiman books listen to.