Talking Reading

I often begin speaking to my wife, Carol, before I've actually entered the room she's in, only to see the huge pair of Husqvarna noise reducing headphones clamped over her ears.  Inside the phones she has mounted small earpieces with the wires converging into one a bit below her chin.  Tracing that single wire to her pocket, one finds it attached to an iPod.  She is listening to some podcast, likely from public radio.  I get her attention by clapping my hands or making some other sharp noise; tapping her on the shoulder or grabbing her around the waist can be dangerous, especially if she's holding some heavy or sharp object.  When I have her attention, she signals for me to wait, reaches in her pocket for the iPod, and pauses the machine.  Then she smiles (most of the time) and says, "What?"  I repeat my statement or question, if I can remember it; she responds or just shakes her head and restarts the iPod, depending on the inanity level of what I said, and we go on about our individual activities.

She is also an avid consumer of  books on CD which she listens to in her car.  She has begun calling this Ear Reading to differentiate it from the more familiar paper book activity, which she has dubbed Eye Reading.  I really like the phrase; it's superior to the clunky "I'm listening to an audio book" in its simplicity, yet it describes the activity perfectly.

I propose that you, my vast blog-reading audience, make this phrase your own.  Use it freely, without danger of infringing on copyright or trademark.  Shout it from the rooftops! (Well maybe not - that could get you into trouble.)  Whatever you do, don't let the phrase die.  It's too good.

Sorry I've been away so long.  I kept starting a note, but it always ended up being a rant instead of a muse.  I'll try to do better, promise.  Till next time.


  1. We'll be doing some ear reading together in an hour or so... we always take audio books on road trips. These are usually mysteries we wouldn't buy as *real* books -- the kind we'd like to keep (lord knows we have more than enough of those).

    Ironically, perhaps, today's mystery is Christopher Morley's Haunted Bookshop.


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