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If the medium is the message, what does it mean that for the last several years, more and more readers are listening to books read aloud?

If the narration is good, I will listen to a book multiple times. If the narration is poor, or if the words do not hold up to the test of speech, I do not finish.

Yet not everyone can listen to audiobooks. Quintessential readers in my life cannot. They lose the plot, get distracted. Perhaps for the same reason readers avoid films of their favorite books. They prefer the voices created in their own heads to the ones put there by others.

The more I’ve listened to books, the more I hear my stories as I write them. When these stories are aloud between your ears, does writing becomes something different? Transcription. Dictation.

Writing with the ears. Not world building, or ensuring that, if your characters are outside, that there’s a bird, some rustling leaves, or the sound of a chainsaw. But actually hearing the story in your head as you read. As though so much space exists between your ears that the characters can stand up, walk around, and echo.

Orality. Literacy. Age-old questions. Can you listen?

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