Here are the little gems from this piece from my perspective.
1. "We tend to regard reading with our eyes as more serious, more highbrow, than hearing a book read out loud."
There is still that misconception that reading the page is somehow more worthy than listening to the words fly off the page and into the air. But, as this author notes, much of our early literature was oral, was told around a campfire, in a meeting hall, at the dinner table. It was meant to be shared aloud. Look at all the variants of the folk tales to see how telling stories aloud permitted them to adjust and change and reflect the culture of the teller.
To me, if we are truly reading with our ears, we are reading just as seriously. I annnotate even in audio, always clutching a notepad and pen, jotting down things I want to remember or ask or reflect upon.
2. "What happens when you hear a text rather than read it? The obvious thing is that you can do something else with your eyes. "
This is what I have to admit I love about audio. Since I spend some time in the car, I still get to have stories, books, poems. All I have to do is turn on the audio. Right now, I have different audiobooks going at home and in the car. I do the same with books, so why not audio?
3. "sometimes when I listen a sentence will drop into my mind and shock me into attention in a way that is less common when I read."
I recall listening to Nick Lake's IN DARKNESS after it won the Printz. Near the end of the book is a chapter not entitled "Now" or "Then" as had all the previous chapters. This one was entitled "Always." I stopped the audio, found a place, to park and listened to this piece. Then, I listened to it again. I do not know if I would have noticed this as deeply if I were reading it. I think I might have missed it. Wow, what a moment to have missed. I went to the print book and found the place and took a shot of it with my phone as I wanted to record it somehow. But it still echoed in my head from the audio. Later, when I would recite this in a booktalk, I could see others, pens flying to get it down, too.
4. "I listen the way I read books as a child, as if I were there watching."
I wonder if perhaps reading aloud starts that movie a bit more readily than when we read from the page? I wonder if it will help kids in the same fashion?
Now, time to get my Odyssey Ears tuned up and dive into some audio.