It’s probably safe to admit here that I listen to Harry Potter audio books every night when I go to bed. Before Harry Potter 7 part 1 was released on Netflix, I listened to book 7 three times in a row.
November 16, 2010
As many of us are donning our school robes, hats, and scarves in our favorite house colors and lining up at the theater in anticipation of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1, I have to wonder: how many viewers have read or listened to the books?
That’s right. I said “listened to the books.” I don’t think I ever finished reading any of the Harry Potter books that are sitting on the bookshelf (not for a lack of trying), and yet I practically have the series memorized. I’m sure I’ve listened to the audiobookswell over two-dozen times.
I think fans of the series, even if they’ve enjoyed reading the books, should give the audiobooks a listen, and here’s why:
Jim Dale – Fans of the television show “Pushing Daisies” might recognize the name (and the voice for that matter); Jim Dale as he is the narrator for the quirky and cute show. Some of us know him better as the narrator for the audiobook version of the Harry Potter series. The voice characterizations of Jim Dale bring the stories to life in a different way than they might play out in your head while reading or as portrayed on-screen. Each character’s voice is unique and fitting. A Dungeons and Dragons gal that I play with Twittered, “Seriously, Jim Dale, your Aunt Marge voice is positively disgusting. Well done.”
I would have to agree. I have never heard anyone swallow their chin to the extent he does to achieve the perfect voice. Even while he is quietly hissing threats from Voldemort or portraying an overly excited first-year girl, Dale maintains a consistent volume to his reading. While listening I rarely need to adjust the volume.
Time – “I don’t have time to read” is no longer an excuse. As a busy mom, I don’t always have time to sit and read a book. I have a much easier time getting lost in a story if I can listen to it while folding laundry instead of thinking about folding laundry while trying to read the book.
Inspiration – Inspire your child to become a reader. Listen to a book in the car instead of turning on the radio. Play a chapter or two at home instead of turning on the television. If you are like me and need to keep your hands busy, you can do an art project inspired by the story while listening.
Oh, Jim Dale, you lull me to sleep with your depictions of tales of fantasy and mischief. I will be sad when the movies have all been released. But then, the box set of movies will be put right next to the audiobooks and the collection will be complete.
If you are interested in listening to Harry Potter, the books can be downloaded from the iTunes store, and the CD copies are available through Amazon.