Reading Books Aloud

Orson Scott Card
Goodreads.com published an excellent interview with the author Orson Scott Card.  One question in particular was especially interesting to me:

GR: Goodreads member Tom Jahnsen asks, "What do you think about the future of writing with the explosion of eBooks and audio books? Do you still write with the concept of a reader holding an old-fashioned, bound book in hand?" Would you consider writing a book that incorporates new technology, multimedia, or even reader interaction?


OSC: None of the above. I have always written as if I were sitting in a dimly lighted room, or in the flickering light of a campfire, telling the story aloud to a group of people who care about and believe in the same things I do. My books are oral. I'm writing scripts, which I hope readers will then use to perform my books in their own mind. When we read, after decoding the letters, the words are actually processed through the auditory channels of the brain, not the visual ones. We're listening to the books even though we're using our eyes. My books are best, however, when they're read aloud.

Audible.com is, in my view, the ideal delivery system for books. Whenever I can, I download books I intend to read and then keep myself plugged into my iPod Nano as I run errands or exercise or take long trips. I get an enormous amount of reading done during otherwise wasted time. And I get it the right way—aloud.

But reading aloud also exposes writers who are faking it—writers who are repeating themselves or juicing up passages where absolutely nothing is happening. When reading with our eyes, we skip and skim and then forget how much we edited along the way. But listening to an audiobook, you are going to hear every word. The book will take as long as it takes. Bad, self-indulgent, or simply awkward writing is stripped naked in the process.

Comments

Sister Babcock said…
Thanks for the link. I enjoy and trust Card a lot.
Sister Babcock said…
Thanks for the link. I enjoy and trust Card a lot.
Jennilyn said…
Love his work! He is even nice in person, and his wife is wonderful!

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