In Defense of the Audiot

Audiotn. One who, instead of reading an actual book like a literate human being, listens to them on tape practically nonstop. See Vidiot.

At the November 2011 Writers’ Day of the awesome SCBWI Cen-Cal chapter, a piece of advice was given to the effect of, “The first step to becoming a good writer is to read, read, read.”

After an almost 30 year love affair with, and the GDP of a moderately wealthy country invested in, books, I could not agree more.  Any excuse to keep fattening my library, right?  It’s a great thought until you have a husband, child, and an insanely cool temp job that you’re hoping will become permanent.  The only physical books I’ve read since giving birth were of the board variety, and lately, increasingly focusing on funny noises and gross-out humor.  I just don’t think I have any boad books in me, so that doesn’t really help me as a middle-grade writer.  And days like today, it took all I had to stay up to watch The Office.

So this week in the car ride between my son’s school and work, I’ve been listening to the first book in The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series.  Like most quirky but brilliant middle grade semi-fantasy novels, I wish I’d written it myself.  And like with many audiobooks, I wonder what cool illustrations I’m missing. 

But it does beat NPR and Raffi.  And if it helps me as a writer too?  I guess that’s just a sacrifice I’ve got to make…