I hated to do it, but the old, black recliner was falling apart. Not that comfy, a few-rips-and-tears-but-I’m-still-keeping-it-so-get-your-hands-off kind of falling apart. No. The years, along with abuse and the ravages of being the winter headquarters for a colony of mice, had eaten away its innards. The leather had hardened in spots; the wooden handles wobbled when gripped, and I was afraid to let anyone sit in it.
Out it went, into a borrowed van and driven to the dump.
The memories, however, stayed. My father read to us in that chair, when it lived in its first home, when my brothers and I were small enough to crowd in together and listen to Make Way for Ducklings, Where the Wild Things Are, Ferdinand the Bull, or Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel.
I don’t know what it is about the human experience that makes us like hearing someone tell stories. This could have gone back to the night Og gathered the cave children around the fire and entertained them with the one about the mastodon that almost got away. The generations of kids who grew up with radio became accustomed to hearing their favorite stories, a different sort of skill than watching a movie or a TV program.
When audio books were first available on cassette tapes (remember those, kids?) I couldn’t get enough of them. Not only were they good companions on long commutes, but they helped improve my listening skills so I could give better feedback to my writing group when we read our work aloud. It was also fun hearing my favorite books acted out a bit by a talented narrator.
These are some of the reasons that I wanted to release Drawing Breath as an audio book. And now that I’m feeling a bit nostalgic for those days—and, okay, a bit guilty about tossing the chair—I’d like to give away a couple of copies from audible.com. Also because voice actor Randi Larson did a fantastic job of bringing my characters to life, so I want to share her talent with everyone. [If you click on the link above, you can hear a sample of her pretty voice.]
Just post a comment below about a memory…of being read to, of reading to a child, your favorite books as a kid, your favorite audio book, when and why you listen. On Friday afternoon, I’ll choose the winners.
Thank you for reading!