A long-awaited pleasure.
Tuesday Article: Humans and books--messy

Forget about audiobooks for the time being.

I have less time for reading these days, which is good and bad. It's good because I'm busier doing other things I want to be doing (watching CRjr eat, for example, continues to be a joy) and don't want to be doing (good lord, I could mop the floor under CRjr's highchair every day and my floor would still be sticky). I can't complain about any of that.* It's bad because, well, I miss reading.

So lately I thought maybe I would get some books on audiobook, and that way I could listen to some nonfiction while I did other tasks like cleaning and cooking and even playing with CRjr. This plan, however, is failing spectacularly, for a variety of reasons.

The first book I tried was Ian Frazier's Travels in Siberia, which got great reviews. I listened to about three CDs of this one, and the book did seem interesting, but Frazier himself read it, and that was a huge mistake. His voice is okay, but he's got that over-enunciation thing that people who are not natural performers have. (Maybe natural performers have that problem too, if they're not very practiced in reading for recording.) And the subject's just not interesting enough to me to keep on keeping on. The only time I really perked up was when Frazier described meeting an American journalist in Russia who couldn't believe that Frazier was in love with the place--the journalist complained about nothing in Russia working, and he did so using a lot of "fuck"s. Now, I know that Matt Taibbi spent many years in Russia working as a journalist, and I know he loves to swear, so now I'm dying to know if that was Matt Taibbi. How can I find that out, short of emailing either author?

The other book I tried was Chris Hedges's Death of the Liberal Class, which I really wanted to read. Unfortunately, I started listening to it while I was trying to sort hand-me-down clothes from my sisters' kids for CRjr**, and while CRjr was playing in the room. And here's something I'm learning about parenting: even if you take what you think is going to be a braindead job like marking and sorting clothes, it takes just enough of your brain to make it impossible to focus on a book on tape. So I couldn't focus on the Hedges book, and it will have to go back too.

So we're back to listening to music CDs. CRjr seems relieved, particularly when I play Dan Wilson. He loves Dan Wilson.

*Okay, maybe I can complain about the cleaning. I HATE cleaning. And as a person with a high filth tolerance, it's sometimes more work to convince myself of the value of cleaning than it is to actually clean.

**Which I really appreciate, as the only thing I hate more than cleaning is shopping.