Lois Lowry's Blog


Shhh, I'm listening

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Thursday, 02 August 2007 in Uncategorized

A recent lightweight article in the NY Times raises the question of whether listening to a book qualifies as "reading" the book. My personal opinion is: who cares?

It did make me remember back to my grad school days when I took two semesters of intensive Shakespeare, and I found that if, while I read the plays, I listened simultanmeously, I got more out of the experience. This pre-dated CD's or even tapes. I used to go to the university library...I seem to recall a glass-enclosed (probably soundproof?) room where I listened to actual recordings.

Now...I mean like RIGHT now...I listen to audio books in the car. Back and forth to Maine, 3 hours each way. Some people tell me they worry that it would distract them from their driving but I haven't found that to be the case for me. I listen to mindless but absorbing mysteries.....except for one recent high-brow trip, a four and a half hour drive - nine hours round trip - when I listened to "Collapse"...interesting, but after a the seventh or eighth hour I really did not want to know one more thing about deforestation. Back to Police Inspector Brunetti.

Anyway: all of those thoughts spring out of the fact that this morning I had a four and a half hour dental appointment. I SHOULD have taken my headphones and a book on my iPod because four and a half hours is a very long time to sit and listen only to the whine and screech of dental tools.

But it didn't occur to me. I did, though, because of an aching head and mouth, come home at the end of those hours and curl up with a book and some Tylenol. I rarely read during the day....it feels decadent. But I started today on "Peony in Love" by Lisa See and it pulled me right in. Now I can't wait to get back to it, though I am not yearning for more dental recovery time...just routine bedtime reading.

Now I'm feeling better and back at work. Houghton Mifflin notified me that my new book, THE WILLOUGHBYS, for which I did the illustrations (as well as writing the book) was missing an illustraton for Chapter 17. I don't know how that happened. But I just did a quick pen-and-ink sketch and emailed it off to them.

And now it is 5 PM and I have company coming for dinner.

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Sarah Miller Monday, 29 November 1999

Way cool! Despite the fact that I've been feeling smug and superior for acquiring a Willoughbys ARC of my very own months ago, the finished product always seems to trump the preview. Why is that? ;)

Lois Lowry Monday, 29 November 1999

Yes, it's true. But I'm not sure why it is. And to create yet one other in-apt analogy, last month, with my granddaughter, i watched one of the worst movies of all time, and by Spielberg, no less: "AI: Artificial Intelligence", in which, in a futuristic society, a couple who has lost their only child get a robot child who looks, acts, speaks, etc. like a real boy. And he is definitely an ARC, not a real book.
(For those wondering, ARC means Advanced Reading Copy)

Sarah Miller Monday, 29 November 1999

"And he is definitely an ARC, not a real book."
I love it! Perhaps the phenomenon ought to be christened The Pinocchio Effect?

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