Fiction, Life Writing

Sounds of Silence: Audiobooks and the Reader

I’ve been listening to audiobooks. I’ve had friends and colleagues tell me that this is a thing that I should be doing for ages. This makes sense, I’m busy, I’m overcommitted, I commute and I do a lot of walking. Audiobooks should be a way of maximising productivity and pleasure in one hit. In some ways, they have been. I enjoy being read to, there’s something delightful and childish about it. I find it comforting.

I also find it hard to concentrate, and I often have to go back and repeat entire chapters. I realise that as I’ve been cleaning, walking, staring out of the train window, whatever, I’ve lost half a story. In one ear, out the other.

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Wayward Girls Read

Welcome to the Wayward Girls’ Book Club. this group grew out of a monthly lounge-room book club held at my home in Northcote, Victoria. we make a point of reading only short books (essays, poetry, novellas) because who has the time to slog through tomes? We try to read books by women, queer people, and non-Anglo/European authors. With a table heavy under wine and cheese and the sound of women’s laughter bouncing off of wooden floors, we shared our own stories and experiences, we caught up with each other, we consoled each other. We created a small refuge under the twinkle of fairy lights and the warmth of blankets. In some ways this space is Arcadian. While everyone is invited to read the books, we know there are times where that just isn’t going to happen: work, children, life, these things intervene and don’t always leave the time to read.

The Wayward Girls’ Book Club has run well for the last year, so I thought it might be time to expand: to make our experiences, our ideas, our chatter available on a broader scale. I admit, this is largely selfish: I’ll be leaving Australia later this year, and I want to take my book club with me, to have it in my pocket. This book club is about far more than getting through pages; it is about the intimate and loving connections forged between a roomful of women who were once perfect strangers. I invite you all to join us.