Why I Listen To Books On Tape

mojave_crossing_9780553276800Almost all of my reading takes place in the car. So much so that in the evening if I have any free time I wonder what to do because I don’t have a book on the end table calling to me.

In the car, I have a horse neighing for my attention. Tell Sackett is running from gunshots.

Louis L’Amour’s, Mojave Crossing, is a William Tell Sackett book. Sometimes I just need a good Western to take my mind off things. It’s also a way to look forward to Monday’s and the 45 minute drive to work. Listening to the narrator I find myself wanting to twist, turn and yell, “No, don’t go there, Tell.” But, of course he does.

As a writer, I find value in listening to books on tape the same is if I was reading the paperback. Louis L’Amour’s description of the landscape, the people, the saloon, is a ‘how to’ lesson for me. She had the clearest, creamiest skin you ever did see and a mouth that fairly prickled the hair on the back of your neck. I also listen for how he places summary with action.

He’s found the formula to give me just enough summary so I don’t get bored and then he slingshots me back to the present.

Often, I click Stop while listening to a book on tape and ask myself, Ok, how did he or she just do that? Or, what is making me want to continue listening to this book?

It will take me a few miles to ponder these questions. I am at work in no time at all.

Sometimes, I will hit on a series of books and I can follow the writer’s growth. Tamarack County was one such book by William Kent Krueger. I had listened to a number of his earlier books and there were some where I skipped to the last CD to hear the ending. With Tamarack County it was interesting from the first CD to the end. I tried skipping and had to rewind.

I was eager to listen to his latest book Ordinary Grace. After finishing Mojave Crossing I slid in the Krueger CD. I fell off my horse. It took me a bit to get used to the change of pace – from constant danger – to a walk on a railroad trestle.

Besides listening to westerns and mysteries, I like to skip around to memoir, literary fiction, and self help books. One thing that is good to know, I can always come back to a Louis L’Amour western and find a Sackett lying still on the wet ground, shaking with chill, knowing he has to get warm or die.

I encourage you to try books on tape. I’ve listed below links to information on what others consider good books.








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About Elizabeth di Grazia

An artist, I follow the nudge inside of me. This nudge led me to write Peace Corps stories, find the front door to the Loft, and to graduate from Hamline’s MFA program. The story that became my thesis for Hamline is woven into my book manuscript: HOUSE OF FIRE: From the Ashes, A Family, a memoir of healing and redemption. It’s a story about family. And a story about love–for my partner Jody and the son and daughter we adopted from Guatemala. Most days, I can be found working as a Human Resource Manager for a foundry in Minneapolis. When I am not at the foundry I may be volunteering as a Police Reserve Officer for Richfield, MN or kicking butt at Kor Am Tae Kwon Do.