More and more, I find ‘listening’ to books has become a valuable part of my intellectual growth, or even, life. There is something both very modern and intrinsically primordial about audiobooks.
Modern because – after all – it is the epitome of modern, 21st century technology, the smartphone, which we use to access them. But primordial because ‘listening’ to stories being told, adventures being had, hearts being broken or soaring in love – is the most ancient human activity. And, perhaps, it was the telling and listening of stories, sitting by firesides, on ancient starry nights which made us, human.
Reading, from the page, is a wonderfully joyous part of my life too. The two – listening and reading – are the yin and yang of the inner life of imagination, I would say.
As we grow older, our imaginations tend to harden. When we were children, we would easily slip in and out of worlds at whim. Simple things like listening to stories, watching a simple cartoon, just sitting idly – they were moments of joy. We grew older and lost that magic.
The yin and yang of reading and listening has softened my mind to the life of the imagination again. I feel my mind soaring and flying with the tales of wonder again.