I really don't know how people did it in the old days. Read by candlelight, that is. Tonight an hour-long power outage right at dusk had us pulling out the decorative candles for a much more practical use. But the thing about candles. They flicker. That makes reading a bit of a challenge, and a strain on the eyes. I did tough it out reading Speaker for the Dead by candlelight for almost an hour.
I was already reading when the power went off, and I might have stopped to do something else (the flickering made it really really hard to read) but here's my list of potential alternate activities:
- Watch TV
- Wash dishes
- Write on the computer
- Balance checkbook (on the computer)
- Listen to iPod (not charged at the moment)
Okay granted I could have gotten real creative and played hide and seek with Rusty and Husband, but our condo only has so many places to hide.
If you remember me posting a long long time ago about what audiobook to listen to while on the road, you may recall I finally settled on Fellowship of the Ring. I finally finished all 20 hours (it only took two major roadtrips and three weeks back and forth to work of listening). I don't want to give a humongous long summary of the book, but if you haven't read the books or seen the movie, click here or here for a summary.
I have a love for LOTR that is hard to put exactly into words, but it started when my dad started reading The Hobbit to me when I was very young. I've read the books many times, so that map of Middle Earth feels as familiar to me as a map of Minnesota. The story has the feel of a bedtime story you ask your mom to tell you every night even though you know it by heart.
This time around, however, was a different experience for me, as I don't listen to many audiobooks. The narrator did a very decent job with all of the voices, and I could easily tell which character was which (no small feat with nine characters in the fellowship alone). The thing that was really different for me was experiencing all of the songs that Tolkien incorporated into the book in audio form instead of written.
I'm not going to lie, I have a tendency to skip over the songs in the book the way a Sunday schooler skips over the Zephaniah begat Hezekiah begat Turkiziah begat Philoziah's of the Bible. If not completely irrelevant to the plot, the songs are at least ancillary. But listening to them brought a whole new dimension to the book that I had never really appreciated before.
I haven't read the book since the movies came out, so I had some delightful reunions with characters and scenes I hadn't encountered in a long time. It was nice stay at Tom Bombadill's house, and perfectly lovely to eat dinner with Farmer Maggot (a truly delightful fellow despite his fierce-looking dogs). Merry and Pippin, the rascals, really conspired with Sam to follow Frodo on his adventure, and didn't just run into him while stealing vegetables (as the movie shows).
So, let me ask you: have you ever reread a favorite book after a movie is made out of it? Had you forgotten certain scenes or mixed them up with the movie?