I have listened to books on tape - or CD - for many years, well over 20, perhaps 30, I am not really sure how long in fact. I got out of the habit though, other things came along, these days I tend to "listen" to TV shows or podcasts on my computer while working. The books that I did have on tape or CD languished and I haven't added to the collection for many years now.
The listening to books has had a revival lately though. We have introduced Lady, who cannot see to read any more, to books on tape. She cannot cope with CD's as they don't stay in the same place when you turn them off, whereas when you stop a tape it just stops. She can also operate a little portable tape player even though she cannot see the buttons, she knows where they are.
So the search started for books on tape. Charity shops, a giant haul on that well known online auction site and being lent or given them by other people. Each one is carefully checked first to make sure it plays, then wound or rewound to the start of each tape and a large number stuck on each side so that Lady can make out which way round to put the tape in. Lady loves them. They give her hours of pleasure, she can "read" on her own, at her own pace and in bed if she wants to as well which she likes.
Of course this does mean that there is soon a mound of books that Lady has listened to. She will probably listen to them again, and in the meantime they sit waiting for her. So I have borrowed a few of the listened to ones. They are what now accompanies me as I sit in my office sewing or working. As I go through them I will give you a brief review a couple at a time. Here is the first!
Lake Wobegon Days written and read by Garrison Keillor
This was an really interesting listen. I will always think of it when I look at and use the item that I was sewing as I listened to it in fact, I can just tell! This was originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1989. It was still just as good a listen today as it must have been back then.
Garrison Keillor is the author of several tales about the fictional Lake Wobegon and you can read more about him and the books here - it is well worth a read! I had never heard of him or Lake Wobegon before, but if there are any more books by him in Lady's collection I will be hoping to borrow those.
I don't think that a time period for the story was given specifically, but I imagined it in the 1950's small town America in the Midwest somewhere, St Cloud which is in Minnesota is mentioned, so you can perhaps imagine what I imagined.
Stories of a Norwegian founding father of the town, picking tomatoes endlessly during the summer, of Christmases and decorations made by the school children. All fairly run of the mill daily happenings, but interesting, well written and well read too.
I have no idea if you are ever likely to come across a way to listen to this, but if you do, take the opportunity. It is gentle and easy and comforting and you will not regret it.
This is one of the posts that I wrote in August to be published in September but publishing it got delayed by my need to take a blog break.