I recently downloaded Denis Johnson’s “Tree of Smoke” as an audiobook from Audible. This came about after listening to a few techno-centric podcast proclaiming that the format was the best thing since sliced bread. After downloading the DRM-protected audio files, I loaded them into my iPod and plugged into the revolution. Trust my miniscule attention span to wander after about 10 minutes. At the end of half an hour I gave up and started writing this post.
Call me old fashion but I need the physical sensation of holding a bunch of glued-together dead trees. In a sense I need murder between my fingers for my mind to stay put in one place. Something in the smell of printed pages enriches my soul. Conceptually, having someone read to you is all fine and dandy but it takes away a whole lot of what makes the act of reading a book, fun.
I listen to the radio and podcasts all the time but those formats do not require the kind of commitment reading a book demands. Podcasts are rarely about any one topic for a substantial amount of time. The majority of podcasters flit from one thing to another at a rapid pace. The closest equivalent it has in the world of prose is poetry and anthologies of short stories. Both of which I am not fond of. Give me a juicy book with a beginning, a middle and the inevitable end any time of the day. I make no apologies for the internal wirings of my neurons and synapses.
So excuse me while I take a rain check on this technological advancement.