To the question: can one knit and read at the same time, someone with a bit of common sense will most likely answer in the negative way.
So how are we supposed to combine these two passions? Dull people might just say “Well drop your needles and pick up a book” which is actually the easiest way to go.
But then there are audiobooks. I hardly meet people who are fond of audiobooks to be honest, probably because for avid readers, the idea of being read to is at odds with the idea of reading.
Audiobooks are met with polite skepticism among intellectuals, as if confessing your use of it equalled your saying in a literature talk on Jane Austen that you only knew of her work through BBC series.
More generally speaking, it is a common opinion to believe that only those who can’t read (children) should be read to.
But audiobooks have some good in them: it makes one hear the text, its rhythms, its implied meaning and its repeated motifs. They are in keeping with old traditions of reading aloud and above all, they are a gentler immersion in a text, especially for the days when one feels a little tired.
And it allows knitters to knit away while listening to the stories of the greatest heroes and heroines of all times.
Of course, there is some inconvenience too (beside the impossibility of dogearing your audiobook), mainly because the audiobook industry is not a very rich one and draws mostly on volunteering (like LibriVox) so that there are good things and not-so- good things to be found. More significantly, I think it is a pity that most audiobooks simply do not make the most of this medium: there is often but one reader, very little reflection on atmospheres or extra sounds, in a word it is a traditional reading-aloud while it could be much more in some cases – it could be genuine audio adaptations, without texy editing like in some good quality radio programmes.
Do you know of any nice audiobooks? Gothic tales and fantasy are usually good (Lovecraft, Harry Potter,…).
I have just finished to listen to Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth via Librivox free version and I must say it was quite nice – I had already read the novel a few years ago but I really enjoyed rediscovering the 1900s Gilded New York. And it enabled me to complete a shawl, which I will show here pretty soon!